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I saw an interesting presentation the other day which got me thinking about delivering value across the application life cycle.

It is a nice illustration of the difference between the amount of value delivered with traditional software implementation methods compared to lean methods. What makes it most interesting for me is what it says about how customers’ perception of value changes according to our (us software types) ability to deliver it. The thesis is that a customer will learn to adjust the level of value they will accept in proportion to our ability to deliver it. If we do a terrible job of delivering, they lower their expectations, a better job and they raise them.

Upon reflection this would seem pretty intuitive as it follows human nature in general. What is so powerful about this is its potential as a competitive differentiator. Software is not more valuable when it has more features. It is more valuable when it meets the customer’s expectation of value quickly before what gives them value has changed. We win by raising our customer’s perception of value to a level higher than our competitors’ ability to deliver and then deliver to that raised perception.

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