Market to Service

Market to Service tracks us from the process of finding where your product would fit, to delivering it fit for the market.

We track through 8 stages:1marketservice

  1. Defining the Market
  2. Stating the Mission
  3. Scoping the Products
  4. Meeting the client Business Need
  5. Concluding the Strategy
  6. Selection from Portfolio of priorities
  7. Delivering the Programme / Project
  8. Adding and accepting into Service



The journey starts with a Market analysis that defines the consumer demand over time, within the context1marketservice of the  products the organisation can deliver:

  • now,
  • in the future, or
  • too late for the market.


This step is undertaken by a business or marketing analyst, though work needs to be time boxed, as often these experts  can have an innate ability to explore.  (More on approach and deliverables)

Marketing – more on approach, deliverables and outcome




Many missions are frequently lost within daily targets, absent altogether, or confusing to external and even internal audiences.


In the context of project delivery, the mission sits at the top of the pyramid, guiding the strategy and ultimately focusing the project.  It must drip down on the culture, behaviours and management style.  Without this focus, a splintered vision will develop, political influence drives discussions and strong characters get their way.  Everyone has their own view and the vision can easily be lost. 

The rationale for the organisations existence, which drives your vision, is accomplished through clear formation and communication of the mission statement.  It will need to be reinforced periodically.

More on approach & outcome


Products   Fig8no3

To manage all projects (planned and in flight), you need a list of existing and future products.  They are positioned on a roadmap, depicting the journey to the vision.3marketservice


We need to define both the products that make money (eg an App for ecommerce) and the products that get them there (eg the infrastructure that holds the App).  The products sit within the business case, balancing investment and benefits.  Once approved, a traceability matrix will track and monitor to the quality required, before being transitioned into service to generate profit.  Attention to quality and control of risk is key.

Products – more on deliverables and outcome


Business Need  Fig8no4


You must understand your forecast P&L for the next 3 to 5 years, so that strategy, resource capacity and capability can be planned.

Business Need defines the demand and is used to create the vision which is linked to all the project deliverables and products.  The vision can easily be defined as a “postcard from the future”, that explains your path to deliver your targets, as if you are there already.    This provides a memorable communication which provides a focus across all parties (Board, Stakeholders, Project team) and tracked with earned value in the future.

More on Business need – Postcard from the future, Approach, Deliverables and Actions


Strategy  Fig8no5

Organisations need a clear vision that the sponsor, stakeholders and project team have created together and agreed upon. 5marketservice

The Strategy is the pivot in the process, aligning to the market, with clear  product specifications; while also segmenting into deliverable targets.

The mechanism to control this is the portfolio selection process that selects segments for scoped projects.

The Board will want to:

  • feed the corporate business plan into the forecast Profit and Loss account, that will define the vision and the goals for each domain.
  • understand demand, including what finance / resource is available (as this is nearly always the limiting factor, but must be managed anyway) and BAU (Service).
  • revise the Business demand within its financial boundaries to create a credible Strategy, with associated resource in terms of capacity and capability.
  • finalise net benefits by product, domain, year…, which creates a concrete business plan, that allows the portfolio or executive board to prioritise ideas and select the right viable programmes and projects

Sometimes business cases are ignored, grow out of date, or simply missed from the portfolio, as you rush from strategy to delivery.

Strategy – more on approach, action and outcome


Portfolio  Fig8no6


Portfolio Management selects the most appropriate ideas & products from the strategy, and then undertakes a selection process to pick the best to deliver into service.  It is at the tipping point of demand and supply and it’s customer is the vision.

Project scope and targets are delivered from a Portfolio Selection process, that filters opportunities, as it passes along a criteria filled conveyor belt.  It picks the right items, in all shapes and sizes, feeding the engagement stage of the project delivery.

Portfolio: more on approach.


PROGRAMME / PROJECT DELIVERY  Fig8no77marketservice

This stage has three diagrams at a high, medium and detailed level that define the process at different levels.

  • High level – conceptual to allow links to other components in the organisation
  • Medium level – provides easy view of end to end process
  • Detailed level – checklist of tasks to ensure successful project


Moving into Practical tips from detailed theory?

Did you find project management easy to get to grips with?  It’s a bit of theory, business, process, people management, cultural behaviour, and more. The key is to take a proven  practical approach, agree expectations and track through to delivery, hand in hand with the sponsor.  While all of us can easily discuss 80% of our approach, here we focus on the most painful 20% that is difficult to solve.  We make the 20% easier.



  1. Engagement stage – to get everyone on the same page

Defines exactly what needs to be read, understood, actioned and agreed by the sponsor, stakeholders, before the project starts.  Creates and refines to baseline.

  1. Baseline – – signs off every page

Balancing your benefits, quality, scope, pace, cost, and risk level within the chosen methodology, set tolerance, team roles and dynamics, metrics, reporting and environment to communicate the right viable baseline.  Communication to all at kick off.

  1. Delivery –- manages the team to tolerance

Maintain positive relationships between the team and with the stakeholders and sponsor, and remove barriers, as they arise.  Put products and service deliverables on to a shelf ready for transition into service, as they are approved.

  1. Completion – – everything is finished to quality

Making sure that your project follows and lands the service delivery requirements, with acceptance by all.  The deliverables are ready for transition from a project that used Waterfall or Agile.  The Portfolio Board reviews project progress and service transition against strategy and investment management to balance the books. Additional work may be added to the Portfolio Selection process to fill gaps or improve services that do not meet KPIs.

The purpose of establishing the framework described here is to make the various human behaviours work together well to a common clear goal, and manage deviations to plan.

Project and Programme delivery: more on Stakeholders, Governance, Tolerance, Project Closure.

8  Service

Landing your Projectpassenger-traffic-122999__180

Project activities are never exactly as per plan, although products will have have time, cost and quality.

  • Imperfect deliverables are often spotted in transition, during business change!.
  • Time is merely added to service rather than during delivery, hitting quality and profit!.
  • The honest team finds this stage easy, while in the more political cultures, proper sign off with clear accountability can be a challenge.
  • Service transition needs to be managed carefully, with clear visibility, appropriate accountability, lessons learnt and roll back plans.
  • The final fortnight is about completing and finishing, so use that type of person to help you!
  • The backlog and/or planned deliverables need to be reviewed by the Service transition and management team and mapped directly to the architectural vision, prior to transition.
  • Any gaps will lead to busy sprints or heightened project activity toward the deadline. Well planned transitions avoid this.

More Service