The definition of value is subjective. Measuring expenditures is objective. If you ask someone in your company or team to define value, what do you think they will say? Will they discuss financials? Will they discuss projects, software releases or widgets created? Do you or your team define value to a customer by counting things?
As a quick exercise, define the value of your pants; not in terms of money, but in terms of value to you. Simply put, can you measure the value of your pants? Simpler yet, define the word itself – value. Like choosing wine, art, and music, defining value is subjective to whoever is shopping.
When we use cost accounting to measure, we're being fiscally responsible. However, the focus on the cost of things leads companies, teams, and individuals to perceive that cost of acquisition, cost of ownership and return on investment math defines value. While the company that sold you pants can measure their investment throughout the entire supply chain down to the point of sale, that math doesn't define how you value pants, their brand or company. Were you able to measure the value of your pants? What would make you purchase a second pair of those pants?
Taking software projects and breaking them down into people, time, and cost helps us count things. In order to deliver product and service solutions to customers, we count things. Does that seem weird? Does it seem weird we can count all of the things in a project, feel good about ourselves, and still have no idea what the customer actually values?
If we can objectively count money, but we cannot easily measure a customer's perceived value of things, as business and technology leaders and team members, how do we increase the probability of making first-time and recurring sales? Most of us are in business to make a living. Making a living requires money, which requires sales. If we don't know what a customer values, how do we make sales?
"What!?" you say to me. "I'm not a sales, advertising or marketing person. That's their job to do that rubbish. I just deliver stuff."
I'm not a marketing or sales expert either. However for those who are, as a technology leader I can help them do their jobs better by providing shorter time to revenue windows which helps them discover shorter time to value windows for both the company and the customer.
In other words, marketing and salespeople need options every moment of every day to adapt to varying customer scenarios, gain market-share, crush competitors and make money to pay our salaries and business expenses. And they need them now, not when the business and/or technical teams can get to it.
In your company, is the flow of a product solution from beginning to end smooth like fresh ice on a hockey rink and as fast as a hockey puck? Or is it more comparable to the starts and stops of a muddy, variably pothole laden road? Figuring out time-to-revenue and time-to-value factors depends on understanding how product solutions flow through your company.
If you build software solutions and/or run software operations for a living, what do you think about the following questions?
If you're responsible for delivering solutions that enable customer delight resulting from sales, marketing and advertising successes, the distance between having an idea and realizing the ability to make money with said idea is called – time to revenue. The distance between having a product and knowing what product the customer actually wants to buy is called – time to value.
Question: Organizationally and operationally, what do you need to change in order to realize shorter and more frequent time-to-value discoveries?
If you'd like help figuring out how to compress the time it takes to get from an idea to making money while also including security, performance, quality and reliability from the beginning (instead of later), we'd like to help. Or if you'd like help determining how to more quickly and frequently discover, rediscover and provide recurring value for your customers, the teams at Trility Consulting know how to help you get from where you are to where you'd like to go.
We evaluate your business goals and current state of operations. Then we work with you to implement solutions which help you get there. We use 100% software-defined, continuous delivery behaviors including:
This is simply what we do and how we live even for our own projects – and we’ve been doing it for quite awhile. We’ll help you discover what time to value looks like in your team and operation. And your customers will thank you for it.