Fit for Purpose Class Review: Product and Service Improvement for Survival & Success
As the European heatwave sets new temperature records across the continent, Spaniards know how to cool themselves. The country’s favorite cocktails, Leche de Pantera, Sangria, Agua de Valencia and Calimocho are refreshing, delicious and just the thing you need when the sun is at its highest. Truly fit for purpose.
Is your business fit for purpose? Do you know who your customers are, what they want and need? More importantly, are you keeping a finger on your customers’ pulse and responding to their needs appropriately?
If your answer to this question leaves room for doubt, the Fit for Purpose class will be fit for your business.
Have you ever wondered why the black cabs are still all over London despite the rise in hiring private vehicles through apps such as Uber and Bolt?
Why the signature London taxis thrive and survive for centuries, even though more affordable competitors are entering the market?
Picture the following scenario. You just boarded off a flight in London Heathrow. The shuttle service takes you to Victoria Coach Station and suddenly, you’re right in the middle of one of Europe’s busiest cities.
Luckily, all of the world’s knowledge is contained within your pocket, so you fire up Google Maps, type in the address of your hotel and hit directions. ‘’It’s only a 10-minute drive,’’ you think to yourself and switch apps to book a Uber ride.
A mere 20 seconds pass, just enough for the weather to change, and your driver has been located, transport paid for and confirmed. All you have to do is keep your eye out for a Vauxhall Corsa.
The driver pulls over, you get in and shut the door. After the obligatory ‘’busy day?’’ question, you realize the person behind the wheel hasn’t got the best command over the English language, but that’s okay; your phone has already ‘told’ his phone where to go.
The only problem is, he doesn’t know how to get there. You see, unlike London black taxi cabbies, whose rigorous training involves knowing 25,000 roads, 20,000 landmarks and memorizing 320 routes within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross, your chauffeur relies solely on navigation, completely clueless about how to avoid the traffic jams London is so rife with.
You let out a disgruntled tut as a black taxi whizzes past you in the bus lane. Your driver locks eyes with you in the rear-view mirror but there’s nothing left to do but sit through the traffic at this point. What was supposed to be a 10-minute ride took over an hour.
And that brings us to the main point. London taxis are much more than an iconic part of the city’s tapestry. They’re the best taxi service in the world. One that has evolved to become so robust and invaluable it’s nearly irreplaceable. Wonder why the black cabs are still in business? Because they’re truly fit for their purpose.
Every product or service, from a post-it note to a passenger aircraft, fulfills a customer purpose to some extent. Those that don’t either evolve to cater for their market or go extinct. Take Coca-Cola, for example. The legendary US soft drink wasn’t that soft at first – it was intended as anxiety, headaches and addiction medicine. Without Cola’s shift in purpose, we would never get to taste its sweet, caramel flavor and the world would lose its most famous soda.
Understanding why people choose a service and tailoring that service to their needs is necessary for business survival. Being fit for purpose is essential when it comes to earning customer loyalty and keeping them coming back for more.
Held by the David J Anderson School of Management in the newly-opened office in the heart of Bilbao, Fit for Purpose is a two-day class led by the originator of the Kanban Method himself.
It’s designed for executives in leadership and management roles, and follows up on one of David Anderson’s most recent books, Fit For Purpose – How Modern Businesses Find, Satisfy & Keep Customers.
The approach works upon the framework of segmenting your market by customer purpose first, aiming to answer pressing questions that dictate the survival of businesses in the 21st century:
- Why are customers coming to your product or service?
- How to find, select and grow market segments?
- What features and classes of service should you select to better satisfy and retain your customers?
- How do you know whether a change represents an improvement?
- How to catalyze improvement by creating and tracking the right metrics?
If you’re looking for pragmatic, actionable guidance on evolving your products and services to position your business for long-term survival, this is a great opportunity to meet and learn from the thought leaders in the field.
The exceptional insights from the Kanban pioneer and an author of six books, David Anderson will equip you with everything you need to optimize business efficiency by delivering fit-for-purpose products and services.
The classes are held at the David J Anderson School of Management headquarters in Seattle, as well as in the newly-opened office in the heart of Bilbao. This industrial port city in Northern Spain offers a blend of traditional culture fused with the bustling atmosphere you’ll find in contemporary cities.
A peek through the large windows reveals the amazing views of the historic Basque buildings. The office itself is designed with elegance and attention to detail, featuring all of the facilities a modern training center should contain.
The class spans over two days and is packed with a plethora of practices designed for executives and decision-makers who play a central role in strategy as well as product and service portfolio management.
The first day of the class is dedicated to exposing the problem with the current marketing approaches and focuses on serving your customers with what they truly need by analyzing their current behavior. You’ll learn how to harness the power of your front-line staff to gather and relate client narrative to gauge customer experience.
David Anderson links each learning objective with a real-life scenario, putting attendees in the shoes of companies that made wrongful approaches to their problems.
Each concept is followed by an exercise where attendees sit together in groups of 3 to 4 people and discuss scenarios and their possible outcomes by applying the practice in their own context. David Anderson analyses the outcome and provides his feedback.
Attending the class in Bilbao will give you the opportunity to meet exceptional thought leaders in the field – apart from the originator of the Kanban Method and chairman of Kanban University and David J Anderson School of Management, you will have a chance to meet Teodora Bozheva, co-author of the “Kanban Maturity Model” book, Steve McGee who is developing and presenting the Kanban Maturity Model Leadership extension, and the wonderful team of David J Anderson School of Management who are very friendly and welcoming.
The atmosphere is exalted and inspiring, with the attendees coming together to discuss topics revolving around management and business excellence. You can expect a lot of compelling product and service improvement ideas along with some good-natured humor shared in the local Spanish pubs.
The second day of the class is more technical in nature. It’s about developing tighter requirements and defining key metrics that help businesses understand their customers better through a data-driven approach.
Some of the particularly interesting learning objectives include:
- Defining fitness criteria to pinpoint underserved, appropriately served and overserved market segments
- Using F4P Cards to survey why customers are buying your products and services and how effectively you’re fulfilling their purpose
- Investigating and improving the revealed market segments
- Coping with fixed date and irrefutable demand
- Understanding when and how to implement emerging roles in Kanban
- Challenging the concept of the Net Promoter Score as the primary indicator of customer satisfaction
- Understanding affordability and price
Upon completion, students will receive a certificate of completion recognizing participation in the class, as well as the classroom Powerpoint file, a copy of the 2nd Edition of the book, “Fit for Purpose’’ and a printed copy of the Fit for Purpose Infographic poster.
But more importantly, you’ll learn how to stay closer to your customers and sense their purpose, how to shape the collective effort of your team to fulfill that purpose and how to switch focus from a product-centric thinking to a customer-oriented one.
You can access these novel concepts in the fields of strategic marketing, product management, service design, and market research with a 15% discount when checking out with the code SoSide15, valid for any scheduled class. Places are selling out by the day so it’d be best to book your seat in advance. Morning, afternoon snacks and lunch included.
Understanding fitness-for-purpose and shaping your design, implementation and service delivery accordingly can have a profound impact on your customer experience and growth. What makes this class stand out is its unique and compelling approach to market segmentation, founded on the concept of fitness-for-purpose of your product or service. If you’re after thought-provoking strategies for evolving robust products and services to better satisfy your customers, look no further.
Meet the Author
Sonya Siderova is a passionate product manager and a driving force behind Nave, a Kanban analytics suite that helps teams improve their delivery speed through data-driven decision making. When she's not catering to her two little ones, you might find Sonya absorbed in a good heavyweight boxing match or behind a screen crafting a new blog post.