Service Chains – Proof Projects

This blog is part of a series on Service Chains.  To read the first blog in the series, click here .

Moving through the steps of a Service ChainSM, after the Entry Project comes the Proof Project.  The Proof Project is the step in a Service ChainSM designed to provide proof of concept and/or clarity of the path forward – ideally both.  Generally, it follows an Entry Project and precedes an Implement or “Fix It” Project.

Proof Projects provide buyers with the information they need to feel confident to take action, such as demonstrating the process, proving the economic model or benefit, and/or defining a clear and detailed path forward.  Generally, they deal with the buyer’s question of “how to act” – demonstrating your expertise and value proposition – and position you as the obvious choice for “with whom” to act.”

Proof Project typically accomplish some or all of the following:

  • Provide a base line from which to quantify business benefits
  • Identify specific opportunities for improvement
  • Demonstrate what the solution would look like (the level of detail required depends on the situation)
  • Identify and address potential implementation risks for both buyer and you
  • Provide a clear economic case to realize the opportunity (i.e. the Idea)
  • Lay out a clear implementation plan
  • Build stakeholder advocacy for solving the problem (i.e. the Idea)
  • Provide the decision maker with everything they need to justify his/her decision within the buying organization

Compared to Entry Projects, Proof Project fees are higher, and the project duration is longer.

Example Proof Projects include:

  • Situational assessment, pilot
  • Solution architecture
  • “Small fix” in an area identified in the Entry Project
  • Business case for action
  • Road map for action

Some critical success factors include:

  • Fees commensurate with the value received by the client in relation to the full value proposition of the complete Service ChainSM or solution
  • Participation from key stakeholders for future purchase decisions and/or implementation considerations.  This objective should be explicitly planned for and effective use of the Steering Committee can accomplish this goal
  • Expanding participation to other influencers within the organization to build rapport and credibility
  • Deliverables that make the next steps (i.e., Implement Project or Phase) self-evident and create momentum for action

Let’s close with some of the pitfalls, obstacles, and challenges:

  • Failing to match the size, scope, or cost to the trust, credibility, and value achieved, and thus, to the buyer’s mindset
  • Failure to have implicit, logical connections or linkages to the next project in the Service ChainSM
  • Losing focus on the entire vision and future state, by focusing on the “proof” as a stand-alone proposition

To read the next blog in this series, click here.

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