Measuring far-off value

Photo by Chris FordIf you’re like me you want to focus on delivering value. And real value is more than software—it’s the benefit the software brings to outside people or your organisation. But what do you do if the realised benefit is very far away? Sometimes a little imagination can help.

A while back I was talking to someone whose company provided, among other things, access to high value data. This was sold to corporations on an annual subscription. Her problem was that it was very difficult to link current product development work to a major sale that was a long way down the line. But it was the work of a few seconds to think how we might move the goalposts.

Suppose we could bring sales forwards? Perhaps we could incentivise customers for signing up early by giving them discounts. This encourages tightening of the feedback loop from product change to sale. She could incentivise people internally with pre-sales (or early-sale) KPIs. Both the software development team and the sales people would be focused on the same thing.

This is not a business change for budgeting or technology purposes. It’s a business change to increase market intelligence, and bring more control back into the organisation. It’s the kind of change that makes the business more effective.

Photo by Chris Ford