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10 Surefire Ways to Create Valuable Projects

One of the four categories of creating valuable projects in your company is increasing something. Here are the most common increases which will garner you fame and fortune. Or at least a solid pat on the back:

  • Profit – Obvious, but not always correct. Any project which increases revenue or decreases costs should increase profit; however, it doesn’t always work that way because 1) project value is overestimated, 2) project risk is underestimated, 3) system-wide impact has not been through through. You’re better off increasing Net Preference
  • Revenue – Bring in more top-line dollars (or Euros or Yen or Rubles) by increasing your customer base, increasing frequency of purchase, increasing volume of purchase, or increasing price.
  • Growth – You’re growing fast, but are you growing as fast as you could? Increasing growth is like pouring rocket fuel on a bonfire.
  • Value of Offerings – This is the starting point for customer-focused organizations. It’s also tied closely to Net Preference, which is why I recommend you increase NP rather than just Value of Offerings. Nevertheless, if your customers see increasing value from you, they’re more likely to stick with you.
  • Retention – Keeping your customers and/or your employees. Is there anything you can do right now which will build retention? What about retaining your business know-how? Important information walks out the door at the end of every day. A project to institutionalize that knowledge usually pays out in spades.
  • Return on Investment – Increasing the dollars you get back for the dollars you put in is, of course, always a win. This is half of what I do with consulting projects – increase the return you get on them. (The other half is reduce risk, but you knew that already.)
  • Return on Assets – Similar to return on investment; however, some companies prefer to look at the money they’re making on their asset base. When you make your assets more productive you don’t end up like steel and paper companies, with huge piles of expensive machinery churning out tiny amounts of profit.
  • Efficiency – Enabling people, processes, equipment and other assets to produce more with less resources. What I’ve found amazing is that projects which increase efficiency are often great at increasing the value of your offering. A double whammy!
  • Visibility – What’s the first rule of selling your products and services? Someone has to know you exist! Build awareness, credibility, and interest.
  • Equity – This could be brand equity (the value of your name) or financial equity. Either one is a win and a worthwhile endeavor.
  • Net Preference – Profitably and sustainably induce more customers to choose you versus the competition. I’ve written extensively about Net Preference elsewhere. Increasing NP is the surest way to quickly create a valuable project.