You want to establish a long term business, a good clientele and a product that is acceptable to your customers? Yes, everyone does.
Since now things have started to move very rapidly we tend to confuse ourselves in the complexities of how to sell and earn more money, where in my opinion “money” is a bi product, which we don’t keep in our focus.
“Though many preach, “It doesn’t matter. Don’t question it, don’t cause a wake”, I always strive to make things better – I have a difference to make! ... - Vadim Kotelnikov
So what do we keep in focus? Someone answers that long time ago. Dr. Deming provided a continuous improvement cycle which proved to be the key to success for many small and large businesses – and still do. However due to the labeling of the practice under some standard, we are now taking this as granted.
I will here show you what that was, and how we can improvise this to the new business setups – so that they can earn big!
Deming’s cycle was based on 4 elements; Plan, Do, Check, and Act, with an advanced version of the image showing Customer on both input and output end of the diagram. The reason for this is to keep the focus on the customer’s inputs regarding the requirements, whether implicit or explicit and the feedback after the use of the products.
The reason I discussed this cycle here is the hard core fact that PDCA is still the building block for quality cultures in the organizations. Since now, we are entering a new era of Start-ups and young entrepreneurs with a vast variety of products and ideas – the establishment of this model becomes a necessity. Only thing is, that we need to consider it with a different perspective, which can serve the new born businesses in a better way, without effecting the real essence of Plan, do, check and act cycle.
The base unit for startups to get things going is the idea they come up with. The realization of this idea leads to selection of technology, the office space, the investments, and the customers. If you have a good idea that can sell and flourish itself within the next few months (and this should be quick) then you have something which can grow as a business.
The reason we use plan, do, check and act as a standard cycle, that it is easily understandable and adaptable, and to make it more interesting, we shall replace the PDCA with Idea, Design, Code, and Action.
Conceiving the Idea:
For startups to get things going, first of all you need the Idea. Without the idea, you cannot move forward. There is a whole science and management involved in getting the right idea, and the one which actually kicks in some big bucks.
So to play safe usually what the crowd does is, to work upon something which pre-existed. This way they only have to look for the right market segment. For example, going with On-Line Fashion sales, or Food Deliver business.
For the wild side, the idea comes with a lot of risk, because what you are aiming at is something never been tried before. This is where the stakes are too high but the payoff is sky rocketed.
In any case, without the “right” idea, the wheel cannot move.
It is okay to think beyond limits and aim for the sky. It is okay to go wild and out of the box. It is okay to see what others fail to see and put your perspective in first place. But, it is not okay to just keep this in your mind, and not let it drawn out on the board.
Designing does that to the idea. It creates it into a feasible form which one can see and then realize about its practical implications. There are a lot of concerns which are taken under considerations, such as the frameworks, how much would it cost, who will use it, the size of the product, platform, market segment, portability, security, reliability, and adaptability.
When Peter Jackson talked about remaking King Kong, he immediately created the initial design of the climax scene – which actually helped creating the complete film framework.
It is simply that important!
Code the Design:
It is not necessary that you have a software product as your prime idea. It could be a service or a physical product which you are creating the design for. But in any case the “Coding” means that you need to formulate that design into a practical form. Into something which has working components, integrated, and functioning.
In any case you need to construct the design into workable form.
The best way to approach this is to code the product, test it, pass it or fail it and then redo. This is where in PDCA, the “Check” part comes in. It is where the conceived process is actually checked for its performance before being delivered to the customer (stake holder)
Most of the startups run a beta version of their product for the select customers. With this the quick errors, issues, functionality, performance and bugs which are overlooked by the team are revealed. Also, this is where the “user experience” reveals itself and provides major changes in the design phase.
Take an Action:
You need to consider this carefully while conceiving the idea that ultimate game is to send the product to the customer, and then earn on it. To do this, we take actions. Actions are:
- Improvements regarding the feedback
- Redo the delivery
This cycle is like a continuously moving wheel, which takes in the feedbacks from internal and external stake holders, with the focus on Improvements to the system.
What we have tried to establish here is the fact that quality and continuous improvement are not some things, which we can take for granted. We cannot launch a product or business without considering its design, customers and the feedbacks it is going to provide.
“Listening to customers must become everyone's business. With most competitors moving ever faster, the race will go to those who listen (and respond) most intently.” – Tom Peters