Base key decision on estimated impact on quantified stakeholder values

Will your project succeed?

That question hangs on a simple commandment:

Make things people want.

Great, but how do we know what people want?

This is definitely a difficult question,

but there’s a powerful technique that can help cut through ambiguity.

It is to quantify the top 10 most important things for your project or product.

Express them as a number.

Clarify with your most important stakeholders that it’s actually what they had in mind.

And then estimate the impact of the options you’re considering on those values.

I promise you it will bring to the surface misunderstandings that might otherwise derail your whole initiative.

Do this:

1. Bring your key stakeholders together.

2. Ask what they value most: what is most important for them.

Try to express it as a concrete number,

what will you actually be able to see or hear when you’re successful?

How much of that?

Got the list?

Great.

Now:

3. List your options: the projects or strategies you were considering.

4. Using your collective best guess: how big of an impact will that project or strategy have on each of the most important stakeholder values?

At what cost?

Of course you will not be sure at this point.

Don’t worry, we’ll validate the assumptions later.

But some strategies will obviously not be reasonable.

Drop those.

Focus on the most promising ones.

Iterate in short cycles.

Try it and let me know how it goes for you!

* Carrot cover by Charles Deluvio via Unsplash