CAP-Do supports Outcome Driven Innovation

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In a recent blog post, Lean Sales Process does not start at Plan or Build, I discussed how companies that apply Lean to Sales and Marketing think incorrectly in terms of PDCA versus Cap-Do. In the post, I stated:

When we utilize the traditional cycle of PDCA, we start with Plan. We form a hypothesis of what we need to do. We assume the role of a teacher or revert to GD Logic. If we utilize the CAP-Do, we start with Check or understanding. We look to uncover common intent while stopping and listening to others. This point of understanding and Service Dominant Logic (SD Logic) is best implemented through the CAP-Do cycle.

It is not just SD-Logic thinking that supports my Cap-Do premise it is also being supported by what Tony Ulwick calls Outcome Based Innovation so well described in his landmark book,What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services. In it he states;

Marketing managers are responsible for identifying Opportunities for growth, segmenting markets, conducting competitive analysis, generating and evaluating ideas, generating intellectual property, communicating value to customers, and measuring customer satisfaction. To successfully perform these activities, these managers rely on feedback from customers, which means the customer-requirements-gathering process is one of the most
critical in business.

It is surprising, then, that there is such a lack of precision when it comes to capturing customer data. “Listen to the voice of the customer.” That has been the marketing mantra for the past two decades, and although great strides have been made as a result of the customer-driven movement, the voice that managers are listening to needs to be silenced in order for marketing and development to be more successful. It is no longer sufficient for managers to simply gather customer requirements. Rather, they must know precisely what types of information are needed and what types of information they are collecting in order to create a more accountable model
of innovation.

In the book, he lists Customer-Driven Innovation (Voice of Customer) inputs as Solutions, Specifications, Needs, and Benefits. This is well supported by PDCA or GD-Logic thinking and a view that Faster, Better, Cheaper is a battle cry for growth or even sustainability.

When Ulwick turns to Outcome-Driven Innovation (Jobs, Outcomes, Constraints), he claims that these three distinct outcomes are what organizations need to know in their marketing practices. Expanding on them….

  • Jobs (to be Done) are the tasks or activities that customers are trying to get done
  • Outcomes are what customers are trying to achieve
  • Constraints something that may prevent a customer from using a product or service

When we use Ulwick’s Outcome Driven Innovation it easily compares and is best implemented through CAP-Do. If we utilize the CAP-Do, we start with Check or understanding. We look to uncover common intent while stopping and listening to others. This point of understanding and Service Dominant Logic (SD Logic) is best implemented through the CAP-Do cycle.

For most marketers, this is somewhat old news. However, in Lean and other Process Methodologies with a central focus on GD-Logic and operations it still seems foreign to them. They resist building an organization that will put the customer’s outcome as a priority. They still center their thinking on internal improvements. Parting words from Ulwick drives home the need to change to an outcome based approach and for a Lean organization that means the co-mingling of Supply and Demand through PDCA and Cap-Do, a subject for tomorrow’s blog post. Ulwick’s closing comments:

As in most disciplines, managers need a common language around which to discuss issues and build a shared understanding. The innovation process is no different. Knowing that jobs, out-
comes, and constraints are desired inputs and that solutions, specifications, needs, and benefit statements hinder the successful execution of the innovation process gives managers a new language to consider when talking with external and internal customers.

Today, very few employees in any firm know all the jobs that customers are trying to get done, all the outcomes they are trying to achieve, and all the constraints that are standing in the way of product use. Improvement is inevitable when all employees across a firm have access to this valuable information and are empowered and motivated to use it to create customer value.

Without the proper inputs, the innovation process will remain an art. However, those managers who know what types of information to look for (and what types to ignore) will be at the forefront of a transformation in the way that companies manage their innovation processes.

This book belongs on every marketers book shelf: What Customers Want: Using Outcome-Driven Innovation to Create Breakthrough Products and Services.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.

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