The Value Plan: Live Case Study #1 - Metabirds

Metabirds week 8: Stakeholders’s analysis and S.M.A.R.T. objectives

Hello everyone!

We are now on a building block 9! However, before we start to proceed, it is crucial to refer to the PWS and the SEED question, set at the beginning of our Value Plan journey.

PWS: “Online educators struggle with offering a personalized experience on online platforms”

Seed Question: “What is the best strategy to help educators with providing a personalized learning experience on online platforms for the highest possible value for educators, online platforms and online learners?” 

After confirming within our team that both PWS and SEED question are relevant and reflect the critical problem, that, if solved – would bring the maximum value to the company and it’s ecosystem, we were ready to proceed to the Stakeholders’ analysis.

Stakeholders’ analysis

During the process of building the marketing strategy, identification of stakeholders is very critical. It helps to reveal both the specific stakeholders. These can positively or negatively affect the implementation of our marketing strategy and the stakeholders that help to solve the PWS!

While working on stakeholders’ analysis, we faced several challenges.

Stakeholders’ analysis. Version 1.

You can see that we were not specific enough, i.e. including the stakeholder “online ed. platforms” gives some idea, however specific details are lacking. Which educational online platforms are we referring to?  Are there any specific ones that would be really critical to focus on? Is there any categorization of platforms that can be made to ease this process?

As you can see it is critical to be specific since S.M.A.RT. objectives and the whole proposed strategy would heavily depend on this step. You can also notice from the picture that “Competitors” and “Developers” are similarly vaguely defined

After realizing our problem, we redefined the list of stakeholders.

Stakeholders’ analysis. Version 2.

As you have probably noticed, this list is long, since we tried to be more specific by categorizing and specifying most of the stakeholders. However, some of them are still not detailed enough, and we are in the process of further developing them.

S.M.A.R.T. objectives

I cannot emphasize the importance of this step enough. Our team realized that during this stage, it was the first time when all building blocks started to form into one coherent structure, further formed into strategic options.

At the beginning, this step seemed to be straightforward. However, the longer we spent time on it, the more challenging it became. We have faced several challenges, while developing our S.M.A.R.T. objectives:

Challenge 1

Make sure the objectives are NOT tactical. We faced this problem several times. While trying to make the objective as detailed as possible, we did not realize that we lowered down the strategic objective to the tactical level. For example, one of the objectives we stated:

Hire 2 employees [here, we specified the area of the required expertise] within specific time frame.

So, let’s test if it is S.M.A.R.T.?

Specific – yes,  we can see the clear outcome of this objective (hiring two employees).

Measurable – yes, it should hire 2 employees. We have the reasoning behind it and we can prove why exactly we need two people.

Achievable – yes, when we were framing this objective, we made sure the company can afford hiring two more employees.

Realistic – it is realistic in this industry to hire this many employees.

Time Bound – we specified the time frame within which this objective should be achieved.

It is S.M.A.R.T. hooray! With these words we continued working on different objectives.

However, the first question that comes up to mind after reading this objective is how does the execution of this objective would help us to successfully solve the PWS? It seems to be very tactical, explaining step-by-step process of how to achieve the bigger strategic objective, however, what do we eventually want to achieve is not clear.

Having this in mind we decided to rewrite this objective.

Improve overall [area that can be improved if both of these employees are hired] that is measured by [here, we included specific web tools that can measure specified area] within [specific] time frame.

You can see the difference. Here, it is clear, that this is the important part of the marketing strategy that if achieved would help us to solve the PWS.

Challenge 2

Make sure that you measure your objectives wisely. In the case of the previous example, it was straightforward to know how to measure the objective. However, how do you measure intangible objectives? For example, brand credibility?

It took us a while to find specific tools that might help to measure such objectives.With the proliferation of social media, key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of shares or number of clicks can represent a very specific and understandable way to measure such intangible objectives.

After finishing S.M.A.R.T. objectives, we were ready to move to developing strategic options! Let’s test if our objectives are S.M.A.R.T. enough to facilitate our Value Plan journey! Stay tuned!

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