Episode 61 of The Informed Life podcast features another conversation with consultant and author Jeff Sussna. I say ‘another conversation’ because Jeff was previously on the show talking about cybernetics. This time, he shares with us Customer Value Charting, a tool to balance strategy and agility.

The ultimate purpose for creating such balance is to drive customer benefits — which are related to, but not the same as business benefits:

the benefit of the dry cleaner is that I can get my tuxedo cleaned in time to go to the formal event. It’s not fundamentally about a cash register or a counter or even cleaning chemicals. And I mention that because a lot of the conversation I see around outcomes over outputs tends to actually talk about business outcomes. You know, revenue growth and customer retention, and time on site and business outcomes are great. I don’t have any problem with them, but people tend to skip this step. We have a hypothesis that this feature will cause this change in customer behavior, which will lead to this business outcome or business impact. But it leaves open the question of, well, why is the customer changing their behavior? What is the benefit to them?

Jeff sees the process of creating customer benefits through the lens of promises: “an intention that may or may not actually come to pass.” This forces you

to think about the possibility of failure, which on the one hand helps you do a better job of not failing, but it also gives you an opportunity to think about improvement and repair.

Customer Value Charts allow teams to map such promises visually, so they can discuss them. As such, they’re a prime example of organizing information to get things done. Listen to our conversation for details on how to structure CVCs and how they can help you deliver greater value to customers.

The Informed Life episode 61: Jeff Sussna on Customer Value Charting