Customers, competitors, capabilities, capital, channels, communication, and coordination are the dimensions that determine whether an investment or project makes sense, according to Dye (2009). These dimensions can impact your ability to structure, launch, and execute projects successfully. As a result, navigating these seven dimensions will give you and your company an edge in ensuring project success.
Do you want to reach out to an existing customer base, an existing customer in a new area, or a new set of customers with this opportunity?
Seth Godin (2003, p. 41) highlighted the importance of understanding your customer, stressing that no two customers are alike. As a result, you must separate your customers and determine which group is the most profitable.
Also, you must determine who in the market is likely or willing to move beyond a current product or service. To succeed, you must figure out how to meet the needs of both groups.
Another thing to consider is what matters most to your customer. Do you truly understand what the customer wants, and can you communicate the benefit that the customer will receive?
What are the overt benefits? Doug Hall (2001) asked throughout his book ‘Jump Start Your Business Brain’. Are the advantages clear, specific, and obvious?
Businesses move into new areas for a variety of reasons, one of which is competition. It is crucial to identify existing and potential competitors before venturing into new business areas. If you’re trying to get away from the competition, you should be aware that the further you get away from your original idea or project, the more competitors you’ll encounter; this is because the further you get away from your original idea or project, the closer you get to a potential army of competitors.
If, on the other hand, there are few competitors, you must fully comprehend why. Is it simply because your move is revolutionary and you are the first to take it or are there no customers because it is too expensive or has too little profit potential?
You must also consider the actual product in addition to the competition. Will the project result in a “me-too” product or will it give you a “leap-frog” advantage over your competitors by being something new and innovative?
When comparing yourself to your competitors, it’s critical to figure out what makes your product or service stand out from the competition. Customers use this distinction to decide whether to work with you or a competitor based on value or price.
Credibility is established through capabilities and knowledge, and confidence is established through credibility. Customers, both internal and external, often hold off on making a final commitment until they are confident that you will deliver on your promises.
The following factors may influence your ability to keep your word and establish credibility:
- Personal experience: This is where prototyping comes in to help build and improve the customer experience. It is critical for projects to allow customers to experience, see, and feel what they will receive.
- Guarantees: What guarantee is your project going to give your customer? Are you willing to put your reputation on the line and stand behind your stated benefits?
- Testimonials: It is critical to note this. The opinions of others on your project are extremely important to its success. There’s an adage that if someone likes something, they’ll tell three people about it; if not, they’ll tell fifteen.
Most businesses want to expand but lack the resources to do so. However, it’s better if you can rely solely on available resources. In the absence of available resources, you must answer this vital project expansion question; what is the magnitude and timing of investment versus expected revenues if external funding and resources are required? The answer to this question will give you an insight into the next course of action.
It’s sometimes more difficult to get the project results to the customer than it is to develop the product in the first place. There are significant differences in the methods used to bring a product to market. If you’re trying to move to an Internet or Web-based approach, it can be even more difficult. Hence, the different channels have their peculiar challenges. Identifying these challenges will help you map out a working strategy.
Businesses operate on information and the quality of the information matters. The importance of both internal and external communication is making a strategic shift cannot be overemphasized.
You’ll need a clear understanding of the big picture to integrate all of the other C’s. The extent to which other parties are involved versus working alone, and how much risk and uncertainty are associated with each move are all factors to consider when it comes to coordination and maintaining synergy.
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Adapted from: Dye, L. D. (2009). Navigating the seven C’s to project success. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2009—North America, Orlando, FL. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.