Create Winning Companies!
Business Development Programs
Help Companies Create New Products, New Customers, and New Businesses
Our Business Development Programs are our most valuable programs, in the opinions of our clients. They help people in companies of all sizes to win more customers in their current businesses, and create entirely new businesses that will ensure the long-term success of their companies.
Empowered, self-managed, cross-functional, cross-cultural teams accomplish outcomes like these better than any other form of organization:
Team members must represent the stakeholder groups in the business, elements of the organization that will affect or be affected by the outcomes of the program. That representation secures the buy-in across functional and cultural boundaries for the teams' plans and activities. It's simple group dynamics.
Teams must also be fully responsible for the commercial success of their work products, not for simply gathering information and reporting their findings to management to make the decisions. That does not work. The people who will be responsible for the success of a business must gather their own information from their own customers.
The teams do the work. The strategies and the plans are owned by the teams. The relationships with the customers are owned by the teams. The skills and processes are owned by the team. These things are retained by our clients long after we have finished our work.
DeltaNet provides training, coaching and facilitation services to unite the team members, help them learn what they need to succeed in their mission and coach them through a proven process from project planning to getting funded to completing their mission.
A typical Business Development Program is completed in a logical sequence of work stages. The major steps are:
We consult with the management sponsors for the program to develop the Team Challenge, help select team members, frame the Program Objectives and set expectations for the management-team interactions.
Our Team Launch Workshop delivers this phase. The outcome of this 3-day workshop is a group of people who have a common understanding of teamwork, have been evaluated for team style and who have experienced teamwork in exercises not specific to the program they are about to undertake. The members will have participated in group problem-solving, and will have learned a range of basic team skills and processes.
The group moves closer to becoming a real team during this 2-day workshop. Members learn and practice a range of new skills and processes to facilitate effective program planning, and they put their new learnings to good use to complete the detailed planning for their program.
This is the longest phase of a typical program. The most valuable information is normally collected during this phase. To ensure quality, we typically deliver our 1-day Customer Interview Workshop near the beginning of this phase. Team Members learn the skills and processes needed for effective team interviewing, and they practice their new skills and processes in mock interviews.
We coach the customer interview teams during their early interviews to help the members to develop their skills, and hone their processes. In most cases, the interview teams can then complete a large number of interviews on their own.
Other research is also conducted by team members during this phase to fulfill the needs developed during the planning done in the prior phase. Also, new information needs will always arise as new information is collected, so the Research Plan will be modified often during the research phase.
We promote the use of the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) process during all phases of a Business Development Program. In customer research, the QFD process produces an unstructured collection of information based largely on face-to-face interviews with customers and prospects. Using QFD for the analysis will seem natural by this stage of the program. QFD was originally developed for real teams to collect and analyze unstructured data. In the Analysis Phase, it offers powerful methods and tools to generate a high level of value during the analysis of all of the information.
We use a QFD workshop to analyze the data and create the solutions. Every team member has a hand in creating the outcomes. The quality of the outcomes and the sense of commitment of the team members to the outcomes usually surprises team members. This engenders a sense of self-confidence and self-empowerment, which is essential to successfully complete the program.
The analysis steps of the QFD process create a very detailed range of solutions, with each solution mapped against its importance to the customers. The Analysis Workshop typically runs from 3 to 5 days, depending on the scope of the mission.
We coach the team and facilitate their work during the business planning process. The emphasis is on the planning, but the plan must be documented in preparation for the next stage.
Business planning is the team's job that managers are most skeptical about before it takes place. After all, the team members are often not managers in their non-team roles. Most team members we have worked with have not engaged in business planning, except in the context of contributing fragments of a plan within their own functional groups. How can they be expected do a complete an effective business planning job?
The answer is the members will have united into a real team representing all of the functional groups in their business organization with a stake in the outcome of their work. They will have learned far more about the customers, competitors and others outside the business who will affect their business success than they would have in a hierarchical approach to business planning.
The team members clearly see how to win, and they are committed to winning. We very often hear from managers after the planning has been completed that it was the best they have seen.
We agree! It's what we do for a living.
We train and coach the team members to help them prepare for the big game—getting management approval or outside funding for their project plan. We introduce the team members to mediation and facilitation techniques that will help them to negotiate a decision that they are confident will lead to a winning new product line, or a winning new business.
By this time, the team knows how to win against any and all competitors, and they are committed to do that. They fit Margaret Meade's famous quote: "Never doubt the ability of a small group of dedicated people to change the world. Indeed, they are the only ones who ever have."