January 2018.

Seven Feet Apart Value Map

The New Year. Excited? All fired up, ready to jump into the water, full of new ideas and clear about the value you’ll generate? Or disorienting, while you remember what the hell it is you actually do?

Whichever, the first week back can be a bit chaotic. In our enthusiasm to get on, make changes, make amends and keep resolutions, we can stumble rather blindly into January. Before we know it, it’s Spring and we find ourselves pretty much doing what we did last year.

Of course, you’re probably superly organised, clear as crystal and everyone around you is on the same page. This post isn’t for you.

For Seven Feet Apart, there was a lot of strategic planning in the last quarter of 2017. We are raising EIS funding to grow our business and a proposal to investors has to be built. Ours was rigorously considered. It will change over the year – all plans do. You’re welcome to see it if you would like to consider an investment.

However thorough the proposal, I still waltzed into the studio this morning, sat down and realised that, while I could thrash out a long to-do list, the things on it might have no direct connection to our two overarching business goals.

So the team and I have started to populate a Value Framework. In a Value Framework, there must be a measurable correlation between an activity and the business goals. This might be seemingly obvious, however, in my experience, there are very often wasteful disconnects between the day-to-day whats and the over-arching why.

This is what one looks like.

Seven Feet Apart Value Map

This is, in fact, ours. We have nothing to hide. Ok, well, just the numbers.

The process is straightforward.

Sit with your team and agree what your Goals are. Think, “Where will we be in 12 months?” Cut to the chase. You can have soft measures and things you’d like to do, just make sure they are imperative. We want to be a valuable company and so we have two.

Then Objectives. This is the essential “why?” bit. Why are we really doing this and does it really matter? I’d suggest giving some real thought to this bit. Believe me, ours will be refined all week (at least).

Then High-level Strategy. Generally speaking, what are we going to do?

Add Strategies. There could be lots of these. The page above is just the very start.

Measures. You’ll need some real numbers in yours. From X to Y e.g. by %.

Finally, Projects and Campaigns. Hopefully self-explanatory but just in case, for example, “Ambassadors” is us developing relationships with individuals who share our values and inspire our customers. They create content around their life while wearing Sevens. A nice idea, but does it track back to a goal and is the benefit measurable?

Let’s see.

Seven Feet Apart Value Map

Arguably, developing an Ambassador Programme could increase reach and awareness. We could measure if it actually is within the volume of traffic or as a percentage of a known, quantifiable market. By the way, it’s actually the case that any project or campaign will have many measures and can attribute value to multiple objectives and goals. Just be careful it doesn’t turn into strategic spaghetti, where everything is valuable ‘somehow’.

Once we have completed this framework, we will be able to use it alongside a project/product backlog and prioritise all the things we could do and agree on the things we will do.

Closing thoughts.

Try it. Make one and put it up. Use it. For example, use it to make a KPI dashboard. Come back to it. Rip it up. If you want the keynote template, let us know. and you can freely have it.

Whatever you do as a job, take a moment to make sure it’s valuable and then have a great 2018!