Brevity is the name of the game in agile where shorter cycles and working software are preferred. For the entire team to internalise the essence of the offering, elevator pitch is an effective articulation tool. It is about communicating our thought or idea or work or skill in a short span of time, say in 20 – 30 seconds. This is one of the popular design thinking tools widely used in different scenarios. This technique is very effective in situations like job interview, sales pitch, product introduction, TV commercial, to catch an attention, create a curiosity on something, etc. where we have to convey the message to create more interest in the receivers’ mind.
Such a powerful technique could be used to define the objective of a product or a project scope. This can be easily explained to a potential client or to a prospective employee within a few minutes. It should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. It also need to explain what makes the product unique or stand out.
One of a simple and effective format to define our product vision is:
The following are some of the examples we have come up with during our coaching sessions with clients:
Example 1: (A mobile app for a two-wheeler owner)
For a young female professional
Who is unsatisfied with the current disconnect with their vehicle esp. the maintenance and ownership experience
Our solution is a mobile app that help her maintain and service her vehicle with out much effort
That provides service schedule, history, analysis info including fuel consumption, preventive tips, etc
Unlike the laborious manual process
We have assembled an app that not only analyse but also help set goals and achieve it
Example 2: (A Retail Tech solution)
For any retail operator
Who are unsatisfied with the low visibility of retail activity
Our product is a map of physical movement and interactions
That has simplicity and provides visibility of stock
Where Retail technologies are fragmented with lack of integration and ease of use
I’ve removed product name and any specific reference to the company name etc. to protect our client’s interests. These examples will help us get a fair understanding of the usage.
In our experience, when we facilitate this as a group exercise with multiple stakeholders, we have got very good results. We request every participant to write their vision, in the prescribed format, individually.
Let us say, the example 1 above, ‘the mobile app for a two-wheeler owner’ was being developed by a two-wheeler manufacturer. Assuming our participant group of the visioning exercise involves stakeholders from Sales, Operations, Service, Information Technology and Finance, every one would come up with a vision for the app from their point of view. Some of the ideas may be directly usable and some them may not. Still, every opinion / idea counts. Then all these ideas would be collated to come up with a condensed vision statement that is acceptable to the group. This accepted version would serve as the vision statement for the app development team.
A few useful tips while writing an elevator pitch:
* Keep them really short
* Not to digress from the core message
* Avoid the use of clichés
Defining the objective as an elevator pitch, helps the teams and stake holders to have a common understanding of their primary goal.