Offerings are defined to deliver a complete, end to end Experience. So what exactly is the Offering, end-to-end experience? To begin putting some shape to this lets define some lofty, aspirational goals.
This set of goals can be applied to virtually any type of Offering. They are organized into three buckets because they represent three different facets of the end to end experience. To better understand these goals, here are some roles associated with a typical SaaS Offering mapped to the same set of goals.
Roles, Goals and Key Questions
For this SaaS Offering, there are three roles (End Users, Data Scientists, and Developers) all representing customers of the Offering who are so compelled by the Offering that they build their entire lives and/or business around it.
But how did they become aware of the Offering? How did they decide that this Offering was the right choice for their needs? Did the Offering meet their productivity needs? Did it provide a return on their investment? Are they delighted with the Offering on a day by day basis? Are they renewing their commitment to the Offering? Are they expanding their commitment to the Offering?
There are three roles (Marketing, Sales, and Success) all working at the company who is providing the SaaS Offering. They are so effective that they are able to delight every whim and desire of every single individual while delivering never-before-seen top line revenue growth of profits.
But how did they attract those individuals and companies to the Offering? How did they influence those individuals and companies to make the right choice of this Offering for both their needs as well as benefiting their own company? How did they help make those individuals and companies immediately productive with the Offering? How do they ensure those that are delighted with the Offering remain so? How do they strengthen the opinion of those that are merely satisfied with the Offering? How do they reverse the opinion those that are irritated with the Offering?
There are also three roles (Design, Development, and Delivery) all working at the company who is creating the SaaS Offering. They are so creative that every one of their Offerings either dominates an existing market or creates a brand new market. As those market change, they are able to immediately deliver evolved Offerings to perfectly match the new market characteristics at “the speed of thought”.
But how do they envision an Offering that can dominate existing or create new markets? How do they establish aggressive delivery and execution plans for those Offerings? How do they expedite the design, engineering, and delivery of the Offering against those plans? How do they discover, quantify, and remedy unforeseen shortcomings in the Offering? How do all of this at the speed of thought?
Meta-Roles: Pink, Blue, and Green
The nine Roles outlined above will resonate with anyone doing design, development and/or delivery for a SaaS Offering. If the Offering is not SaaS but, say, a kitchen appliance or clothing or vehicle, some of these roles may not exist at all (e.g. Developer) and still others may be very similar in nature but with a different vocabulary (e.g. End Users for clothing are more likely referred to as Consumers). As Roles are refined into Personas with corresponding empathy maps, specific use-cases, etc. the original similarity to the example SaaS Roles above might seem to dissolve. Even in a large portfolio of SaaS Offerings, the refinement of the Roles leads to a sprawl of Personas who may actually share a large number of traits and use-cases which *should* drive underlying re-use. But, in most of these cases, the opportunity for re-use is missed because the two Offerings think they are serving totally bespoke Personas (and, hence, Roles).
However, the conceptual model for an Offering (and the underlying Product and soon-to-be-defined Engagement Platform) has, through concrete use, proven to be widely applicable across Industries, Roles, and Personas.
To help mitigate the confusion with sprawling Role/Persona definitions and the improve the reuse of concepts, skills, and technology, three simple Meta-Roles are used to categorize and position the overall aspirational Goals outlined earlier.
Pink Users are those who Engage Offerings
Blue Users are those who Advance Offerings, to those that Engage
Green Users are those who Create Offerings to be Advanced to those that Engage
Besides SaaS, as shown above, whether the Offering is a kitchen appliance, clothing, a vehicle, a software library, or even a multisided platform (MSP), the meta-roles of Pink users who Engage the Offering, Blue users who Advance the Offering, and Green users who Create the Offering apply.
Offering Experience Requirements
Recall that an Offering is the full lifecycle experience for a Product. This means that the Offering delivers critically important experiences beyond the “Use” experience of the Product, defined here. The additional experience requirements for an Offering, derived from the aspirational goals, are then captured more succinctly below.
Pink Users are those who Engage Offerings … [ ] … and find them so compelling that they build their entire existence around them.
Blue Users are those who Advance Offerings, to those that Engage … [ ] … and profitably delighting their every single whim and desire.
Green Users are those who Create Offerings to be Advanced to those that Engage … [ ] … and are continuously adjusting to every single market dynamic at the speed of thought.
Engagement Platform Functional Requirements
The full lifecycle experiences of an Offering define the core functional requirements (represented above by the [ ] above) of the underlying Engagement Platform, which delivers those experiences. So, the core functional requirements of all Engagement Platforms are defined in the context of their experience requirements below:
Pink Users are those who Engage Offerings … [enriched with signature experiences from an Engagement Platform] … and find them so compelling that they build their entire existence around them.
Blue Users are those who Advance Offerings, to those that Engage … [via actionable insights & business agility gained thru an engagement platform] … and profitably delighting their every single whim and desire.
Green Users are those who Create Offerings to be Advanced to those that Engage … [including composition of capabilities that establish an engagement platform] … and are continuously adjusting to every single market dynamic at the speed of thought.
Each of these core functional requirements can now be refined to more completely understand the role of the Engagement Platform in an Offering.