In our last entry about pivoting, we took a detailed look at the possibilities and benefits of changing your business model. Now we’re going to talk shortly about the HOW.
Analyzing your company’s business situation, which could’ve changed over time compared to the start, is an important step toward finding the optimal ways to pivot. Obviously, companies can try to perform this task themselves. Yet, for multiple reasons, assessing your own situation is often difficult, because your perspective will likely be flawed and affected by the curse of knowledge.
Software partners can provide an external perspective empowered by a good understanding of pivoting analysis methods. Ultimately, they can analyze your situation and the environment you operate in from different angles and by asking the right questions about the business, user perspective, technology, etc.
There are various tools and techniques that support this process. Software Partners can, for example, use Lean Canvas (LC) or Business Model Canvas (BMC) techniques, just to name two, to illustrate the business model on a one-page document split into 9 segments describing your company’s situation. By having that in place, a Software House can understand the business better and help to identify which parts are not working as expected.
By looking closer at one of those segments, i.e. value proposition and using Value Proposition Canvas (VPC), Software Partners are focusing on the actual value delivered to the end users, analyzing not only the solution itself but looking closer at a user’s pains and potential gains. By analyzing the current solution, not only from business perspective but also technical side, and doing the product health review in areas like security, performance, technology, as well as user experience, usability and accessibility or visual design audits just to name few. By talking to the end users to gather their experience and find out what they value most or what problems they’re facing (maybe they have not been addressed so far). Having better understanding of the AS-IS situation allows you to see the desired TO-BE and come up with ideas for change.
The Input of a Software Partner
If the new solution is within the digital area, a Software House can help to validate the idea at an early stage, to see if it’s worth to implement it fully. For example, when it refers to a certain method or idea using specific technologies, software partners can do a Proof of Concept (PoC). It helps to assess and demonstrate feasibility and confirm the practical potential of the solution. A PoC is usually small, focusing on a particular aspect of the product, and is typically not complete (production not ready). The objective is to decide if further investments would be beneficial. A PoC is typically not delivered to end-users.
When the objective is to provide early visualization of potential user interfaces, a low- or high-fidelity prototype is optimal. These prototypes focus on user interaction scenarios and aspects of user experience, hiding the whole complexity of the solution. They help to explain the concept and capture feedback from users and stakeholders. They are a good option when it comes to presenting an early stage of the product to sponsors and decision makers to decide to implement the solution or not. Prototypes are also helpful when thinking about the features, information architecture, user flows, and other aspects of the product, in both early and mature stages of product development. Moreover, prototypes do not require development work and are relatively cheap and easy to build and discard.
When implementing a digital product, a good practice is to go with the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach. With MVP, the solution is delivered to end users in phases (iterations), where a first version of a product has just enough features to create value to real users and drive engagement. Defining an MVP at one hand refers to getting the big picture/best possible product, and then by using value and cost estimates, cluster the features and prioritize the minimum subset which delivered to users create meaningful value for them (in other words – product they are willing to pay for and use).
Once a product MVP is delivered to users it gives the opportunity to gather usage patterns and direct feedback from real users, thus enabling informed decisions regarding further product development. There are various ways of gathering such feedback, starting with direct end-user’s interviews through reports from analytics tools (like Google Analytics, Hotjar, etc.).
It’s Time for Your Move
This article briefly described just a few tools and techniques that can support a successful validation and implementation of business ideas, in particular pivoting. All this helps to mitigate many risks related to pivoting and ultimately deliver a new digital solution or take a step back and look for another pivot.
Pivoting may be risky since it doesn’t guarantee success from start. Yet, avoiding it may as well in many cases mean bankruptcy.
So, don’t worry, because:
Every successful company had to pivot along the way. Maybe it’s your time now?
Would you like to learn more about business pivoting? Are you in dire straits and need quick changes in your business model? Let us know, and we will help assess your situation!
Get inspired by our Pivot Talks series: