Why is it so important that a clear case is made?
Author: Joe Heapy
With the small amount of time and headspace available to them, it’s often hard for senior decision-makers to see the potential that you can see in a new solution, and to evaluate the benefits.
A design-led approach helps in important ways: by applying evidence directly to visioning and design and engaging widely to draw in expertise. And prototyping allows solutions from the future to be tested today. Confidence and consensus grow throughout, taking the heat off the big decision points. The case is focused on benefits not just cost, helping to ensure more of the right services make it to market.
Everybody needs to be comfortable that the work is happening for the right reasons
The energy of a well-conceived design project, insights from research and the originality of the vision is enough to carry most people along. But rightly there are some in every organisation who, either because of their character or their role, need well-evidenced arguments and numbers. Once minds are won often hearts will follow. And in our experience, those that demand rigour do so not because they want to extinguish the vision but because they want to be certain it will succeed.
The benefits, not just the costs, need to be front and centre in people’s minds
Existing approaches to calculating benefits may not apply when the proposed solution is new to the business and potentially new to consumers.
The challenge of assessing the total business benefit of a proposed solution, which may not materialise in full for several years, can be confounding. This can mean decision-makers revert to assessing cost alone resulting in great ideas being compromised or cancelled
A design-led approach focuses teams on total value creation from the start, making the case for a holistic assessment of business benefits, which should include a valuation of ‘softer’ yet quantifiable aspects including: positive brand perception, colleague engagement and attractiveness to partners.
Five questions to check the strength of your case-making
- Is the value to the customer and the business clear and quantifiable?
- Are your stakeholders confident that the solution can be delivered?
- Are costs being assessed based on total benefits to the business and the brand?
- Can internal teams confidently present and influence other stakeholders?
- Is the benefits case creating a strong imperative to act among senior stakeholders?
If opportunities to get great solutions out there are lost because the approach you’re taking doesn’t build a strong enough case, we can help.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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