Thursday, April 07, 2005

5 core Strategy questions

Jess McMullin's blog points me to an inetersting approach towards strategy:

Why Bother? Who Cares? So What? Is It Better? How Do We Get There?

1) Why Bother?For your team, and for your organization, ask: Why are we addressing this issue? What are our goals? What are the basic benefits we hope to achieve?
2) Who Cares?Markets are conversations, and you have to know who you’re talking with: Who is affected and involved? Who are the stakeholders, and what are their goals? What are their hopes, dreams, needs, and desires? What does their social network look like? Do we have a rich picture of our customers, our users, our stakeholders? What do they eat for breakfast; how do they get to work? What do they read online and in the bathroom? Do we really know them? On a first name basis? Do we empathize? Can we walk in their shoes? What about our competitors?
What (and who) else competes for attention with our product or service offering?
3) So What?If we go forward, what are the outcomes and impact? We should consider benefits and costs - not just financials, but across the spectrum from brand impact to the triple bottom line and corporate social responsibility. Are there second order effects to consider, and can we anticipate unintended consequences? Are there potholes and roadblocks in realizing our anticipated benefits? What about potholes for our stakeholders?
4)Is It Better?Too often, projects make things worse and generate negative ROI. Compared with how things are now, will they be better? How? Will they be better by an order of magnitude? Will customers say ‘Wow’? How will we measure success? How will we incorporate these metrics into a feedback loop for ongoing improvement? Do our measures balance across dimensions of both business and customer value?
5)How Do We Get There?Answering how we get there is the bridge between strategy and tactics. Given a green light, what’s the path to achieving our objectives? Do we have a clear mandate? Budget? Staffing? Buy-in? Timelines?

I love things that come in plain words, don't you?

Should Groove have gone open source?

interesting comments from Mitch Kapor's blog re:Microsoft acquires Groove. Mitch was founder of Lotus and the first external investor in Groove Networks.
"...the world looks very different in 2005 than it did in 1998...Now I would say a project like Groove should most likely be started as free/open source software."