UpStream Alignment <> DownStream Execution (TM) Methodology
Misalignment and Execution Problems in Technology Companies: Technology companies operating in global markets face unique challenges and are forced to posses a unique set of specific attributes. But even the best companies could become temporarily misaligned or experience execution problems due to dynamic market changes, intense competition, aging product line, shift in customer preferences and/or emerging new technologies.
Key Concepts in our Methodology:
Irreversable Flow of Decisions: UpStream to DownStream: Incorrect business, technology, product and marketing decisions made UpStream can't be corrected or reversed DownStream. Therefore, any critical UpStream decisions must be based on current and in-depth understanding of market trends, customer needs, competitors' strategies and emerging technologies.
System Design Analogy: As mentioned successful technology companies are, in essense, well-designed, precisely-tuned and integrated "systems." Their core functions are structured and managed as scalable and dynamic business processes. They define, develop, market and sell the right products faster and better than the competitors. Those business processes need to be reviewed, prioritized and optimized on an ongoing basis to keep up with very dynamic nature of global market. Successful companies know that the overall system will only perform as well as its weakest link or the slowest sub-system!
Typical Deficiencies: Typical deficiencies are somewhat unavoidable, predictable and fixable. They are product shortcomings, weak & conflicting positioning messages, program misalignment and ineffective execution. There are some specific factors involved in predicting where and how the deficiencies will manifest themselves in a global technology company. The most important factors are: company size and age, growth rate, organizational design, business models, market understanding, competitive position, technology maturity, corporate scalability and senior management's experience.
Cross-Links and Inter-Dependancies: Product management, product development, strategic marketing and go-to-market strategies as well as overall business, market and technology strategies are all closely inter-related and cross-linked, thus creating interdependancies. Any significant change to one part of the system, could result in "ripple effects" throughtout the entire company ('the system").
Therefore, the challenge is two-fold: (1) to improve performance of the entire integrated system, even when its specific system elements are evaluated, prioritized and optimized separately, and (2) to ensure that any local changes to the sub-systems won't negatively affect other parts of the entire system.
Core Functions: Core functions in technology companies must be not only well-understood, but also treated and managed as integrated, scalable and dynamic business processes. The core functions are business, market and technology planning, strategic marketing, new product development, product management, go-to-market and sales.
Customer and Market Focus: The leading technology companies apply the Outside-In Paradigm to align themselves with customers and markets as oppose to the Inside-Out Paradigm, frequently used by less successful companies. They evaluate, improve and optimize their strategies, structures, programs, processes and products by attempting to "see" themselves from the perspective of their customers, partners and competitors. They also assure that any customer "touch point" provides superior experience and consistent messaging.