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From the perspective of Geomarketing, a project can emerge from several roles. External partners—any communication outside of the company, whether a resident themselves or a community's mayor—can send an extension request to a Project Designer. Furthermore, projects can also emerge from Management. If a project contains any contact with Residential Buildings, contract terms are requested by the Project Designer for Residential Buildings.

Once a project is designed, the Project Designer sends it to Geomarketing. It is Geomarketing's responsibility to examine whether or not all needed project information is available. If information is missing, the Project Designer is given feedback to improve the project plan. Once all information is available, Infrastructure may be contacted to obtain information about the technical parameters; however, the Project Designer themselves sometimes does this communication. Before sending the project for further approval, some Project Designers first want to obtain the result of the plausibility check.

Because this result has not been officially approved by Controlling, false information may as a result be delivered within the company—or even to external partners. However, because the Project Designer of Residential Buildings is not informed by the Project Designer, the project's status is requested by Geomarketing, again leading to false information about approval requirements. Nevertheless, once a project is prepared with all information, the project plan is sent to Controlling for approval.

The Management Committee is involved if the project exceeds a certain size in terms of required funding. Controlling and the Management Committee then communicate either sales or commission approval. Once sales approval is given, a project must meet certain requirements before being commissioned for extension. The Project Designer now tries to meet these requirements, informing Controlling as soon as they are met.

After receiving the commission approval from Controlling and the Management Committee, Geomarketing completes further process steps, including preparing the project for Infrastructure with all needed information. The project plan is then sent to Infrastructure, which will design the pipe concept. The pipe concept is sent to the GIS Documentalist, who documents the concept and sends it to the Network Project leader.

After the project is planned, it is sent back to Infrastructure, which performs the commission. First, exchange analysis documents the holomap to obtain an overview of which steps are performed. Deliverables are marked as tangible or intangible to easily detect any extra effort provided. The overall exchange analysis clearly shows an unbalanced network. Furthermore, too many and even unnecessary roles are involved in the process. Much communication occurs due to misleading or poorly communicated guidelines, often originating from a lack of information about the responsibility of the roles themselves or outdated guidelines.

For the next step, impact analysis, a template was provided to standardize the analytical process.


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For impact analysis, the Participants analyzed their network with respect to the inputs each role receives. Activities were detailed with respect to their tangible and intangible nature and the costs, risks, and gains for each role. In the first row, the Project Designer delivers the area extension plan. This transfer triggers the project plausibility check, and the project is created in several systems.

The impact on financial resources is that the deliverable enables approval by Controlling. The overall costs, risks, and benefits are high. The costs are high due to the overall effort required to prepare the project with all needed information. The overall risk is also high, because wrong or missing information can lead to more work later. Nevertheless, the benefit of the deliverable is high, because, without the plan, no further steps on the project—or on any project—could be executed or realized. The second row represents transfer of the commission approval by the Management Committee to Geomarketing.

This deliverable generates a status update in several systems and enables Geomarketing to send information to the execution commission. The costs of this deliverable are described as medium, because only a status update is needed. However, the benefit of the information is high, because the execution commission requires this information to proceed. After analyzing the inputs to roles, Participants captured and evaluated the outputs of roles.

Outputs are compared with costs, risks, and benefits and inspected for their value addition. The first deliverable to the Project Designer is information beforehand, which generates the activities of creating a project, calculating the feasibility, and preparing the information for the Project Designer. The next question, how to add value, shows where value creation happens. In this case, Geomarketing does not want conversation or upfront information in order to avoid circulating information that is not officially approved, which could result in misinterpretation. Upfront communication is also unneeded, because Controlling sends the official statement.

This decision is also justified by the overall costs, risks, and benefits. The costs are declared medium, because the information must be prepared with all eventualities to prevent any misinformation. The risks of this communication are also medium, because the official statement and the provided information can differ from each other. Furthermore, the overall benefit is low; the provided information creates no value, because Controlling sends it anyway. The next example shows the deliverable of improvements to the Project Designer.

This deliverable creates the activities of a plausibility check and analysis of whether all information is available to complete the check. Because improvements are necessary, value can be added by using checklists and guidelines for the Project Designer's preparation. This could prevent redundant communication, because all information should be discovered before sending the plan to Geomarketing.

Furthermore, once the Project Designer gather all information, they can perform the plausibility check on their own. The overall costs, risks, and benefits confirm the value conversion done by Geomarketing. The costs are declared to be high, indicated by the time required to check and revise each project every time new information arrives. Even though the risks are described as only medium, unnecessary work time is spent. However, the benefits show that the value conversion is necessary, because without all information, no further steps can be done.

To call attention to the main focus, the diagram comprises the main roles, with the affected communication highlighted in red. This communication contains information that will be provided by Controlling anyway. Even if Geomarketing transferred the result of the plausibility check, the information is not guaranteed to be correct.

At this stage of the process, the next control mechanism has not yet been applied. Furthermore, assuming all information is available, the Project Designers can estimate the result of the plausibility check on their own. The other main hot spot found for Geomarketing was the preparation of the area extension plan.

Communication is crucial to all following process steps, because if information remains undelivered to Geomarketing, it cannot properly design the project for the following departments Controlling or Infrastructure. There were no guidelines for how to prepare the area extension plan. Most miscommunication occurs due to a lack of information. Therefore, a checklist of important information for project design must be prepared and implemented in the process. In this way, the Project Designers will know what information is important and what they need to ask to find out, and Geomarketing can prepare all projects in the same way with all information.

The first hot spot shows that cooperation is needed between Infrastructure and Project Designers. To prepare the plans for area extension, Infrastructure's insight is necessary to know if a network can be built at a certain place or if there is still free fiber to design a new project. Even though this communication sometimes occurs, Geomarketing needs reassurance of the technical feasibility, even though they are not responsible for making any changes.

Although information from Infrastructure is needed to prepare extension plans, the process does not explicitly define this delivery. Therefore, infrastructure's insight must be provided as additional information by Geomarketing to the Project Designer to improve the project plan, even though any problems could have been solved earlier. Therefore, communication between Infrastructure and the Project Designer is needed to correctly design the project so that Geomarketing can prepare further steps without requiring additional confirmation.

Another hot spot was identified in the communication between Project Designers and Network Project leader. This communication is intangible, because the initial process defines no communication at all between these roles. Even though the Project Designers have detailed insights about their project, only some Participants deliver this information to the Network Project leader. This communication proves crucial to the whole commissioning process. The Project Partner plans the project using only the information from the GIS Documentalist, which is a source of errors it might be late to correct.

To avoid possible errors in the future, the Project Designer should communicate all information about a project to the Network Project leader. In this way, the role carrier ensures that all involved parties have the same information. Much additional communication occurs because Participants in the process lack information they need to complete their work, showing that an overall system is needed that provides all information.

Even though the company uses an enterprise resource planning system, the Participants were unaware that the system contains all the desired information. This implies that, even though some information may need to be added to the enterprise resource planning system, Participants require access to the system and need an introduction so they can find the necessary data on their own.

What's In It For YOU? (WIIFY)

This would make redundant communication flows obsolete. Both parties expressed a wish for a single commission partner. The analysis showed that Project Designers hand their extension area plans over to more than one partner, following a change that officially adjusted the commission partners. Some Project Designers still transfer their information to the Construction Manager, even though they are no longer involved in the process.

Therefore, the company needs to assign one partner as their official contact person and set their responsibility. However, all involved parties do need the information and must be able to obtain it. We first detail the novel process design in Section 5. The hot spot analysis revealed problematic area, from which an aspirational situation can be derived as captured in the following process diagrams. The combination of roles also allows condensing but only if these roles follow the same communication pattern as before.

The analysis allowed the elimination of miscommunication and communication throughout the whole value network without effect on the accomplishment of the task. Only active roles required for completing the selection and preparation of extension plans remained: a Geomarketing; b Project Designers; c Project Designers for Residential Buildings; d Controlling; e Management Committee; f Infrastructure; and g Commission Partner. Step 1. In this way, Infrastructure becomes the main source of information for Project Designer about technical parameters.

Consequently, Geomarketing need not check with Infrastructure whether all parameters are available. Step 1a. In that case, all project data are transferred to the Project Designer, who prepares the project plan, including all information from the Residential Buildings Partner. Step 2. The analysis showed that this communication often entails problems with the transferred information. Implementing checklists and guidelines for how to prepare extension plans can help this communication reach its potential, completely eliminating other redundant communication e. Step 3.

The next step involves the communication of the details of the area extension plan to Controlling, including all the data from the Project Designer. If the data were completely transferred to Geomarketing, there would be no need for Controlling to revise the data with Geomarketing or Project Designers. Controlling can now check the economic feasibility without any further demand for information.

Step 3a. If a project exceeds a certain cost threshold, the Management Committee is informed. Step 4. After this communication, the different roles take further steps. If a project is only approved for sales and marketing purposes, all Project Designers take further steps to finish all sales required to achieve execution. This is only needed if Controlling demands a prerequisite.

For example, a project might only be approved for execution if 20 of 50 residents in an area sign a contract. Without these contracts, Geomarketing will deny approval for the execution commission. Step 5. Step 6. After the Management Committee has decided to approve the execution of a specific project, Controlling can inform Geomarketing and all the Project Designers about this decision. However, only Geomarketing can now authorize the execution to Infrastructure and the Commission Partner.

To evaluate the findings and show the applicability of the process, a process survey was conducted. A questionnaire was distributed to one person in each role i. Because the Management Committee and Controlling roles are handled by the same person i. Each item of the questionnaire concerned one of the hot spots found in the analysis. Interviewees were asked to answer the questionnaire as the defined role. The questionnaire was pretested with several persons familiar with the domain but outside the organization to ensure the items' understandability and measurability.

The version of the questionnaire that was eventually distributed is provided in Appendix A. Item 1: Project Designer—Geomarketing interface and use of resources. The first hot spot revealed some misconceptions and miscommunication between the Project Designer and Geomarketing because information about project plausibility was sent beforehand. As detected by the analysis, this often leads to misinterpretation and creates high workload without significant effect on results.


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Because the new process design removes the delivery of information prior to the final results of the plausibility check, the interviewees were asked whether the new pattern of communication would more efficiently use resources. Most Participants considered this upfront information to be a key location for errors. They stated that because information from Geomarketing is not officially confirmed by Controlling, it could lead to misinterpretations. Furthermore, Project Designers were able to use a tool to generate an estimated value on their own. However, Project Designers considered this information to be a reference point, not an official statement, so they would keep this information to themselves.

From the perspective of process optimization, communication flows would be more efficient if information were not delivered before completing the plausibility check.

6 Ways Leaders Step Back but Don’t Step Away

Project Designers can calculate the desired information on their own, without the consent of Geomarketing, thereby reducing the chances of errors or miscommunication between Geomarketing and Project Designers. Item 2: Restructuring project information. As shown before, reaching consensus about the information required for a new project design is a major problem.

Additional communication between Geomarketing and Project Designers or even other parties is required if the acquired information is incomplete. In order to standardize the collection of relevant information about new projects, a checklist was suggested to guide which data to collect from which party.

Therefore, Interviewees were asked whether introducing a checklist would help to increase the quality of conveyed information. The Interviewees believed this proposal would valuably improve the flow of communication. Using a checklist, Project Designers could collect all relevant information. The checklist would help standardize the process of acquiring relevant data. Furthermore, all projects would be handed over to Geomarketing in the same state. Misinterpretation of the conveyed information would be eliminated, as would the need for further questions from another party.

Another hot spot in the evaluation showed that some collaboration or cooperation between Project Designers and Infrastructure should be introduced. In this regard, a Project Designer would gather all needed information from Infrastructure during the design phase. This would eliminate the need for Geomarketing to acquire technical parameters. Interviewees were asked whether this communication flow could prevent additional communication between other parties.

The Interviewees stated that this measure would help to clarify all information during the project design phase. Infrastructure could better plan projects by considering all discussed parameters. Furthermore, projects could be halted during design without further waste of time if, for example, no more fibers were available. Moreover, once this communication is implemented, Geomarketing need not reconfirm the information with Infrastructure, making still further feedback loops obsolete. The new process relies on a defined pattern of communication between Project Designers and the Commission Partner.

All project plans would be sent to the other party to ensure every new project is based on the same information. The Commission Partner would then be able to plan the project. Interviewees were asked whether this measure could leverage the information content of the new communication flow. Interviewees consider the additional content in this communication to be an improvement. It is easier for the Commission Partner to plan the work in a specific area if they know all the ideas and plans of the Project Designer.

Furthermore, they can adjust their plans using the new information and need not raise the same issue again, with no need for further queries about the project. Nevertheless, the interviewed Project Designer did not think this communication necessary, because it had not yet been designated. However, he recommended all involved parties to be part of the project design phase.

Item 5: Rethinking distribution of basic project information. The analysis often showed many acts of communication to collect basic information about a project. Such a system would help stakeholders look up needed information about a project. Interviewees were asked whether such a change would help in increasing the efficiency of interaction. This also would reduce the risk that only a few people have insight into the project.

Overall, the system would save a lot of time by presenting all information in a single place. However, the system must be designed properly in order to avoid misinterpretation of data, especially in the future, when external customers can access the data. Item 6: Introducing a new Commission Partner.

The final hot spot analysis suggested introducing a new Commission Partner into the process as the only party to receive information about a project from a Project Designer and responsible for the overall commission process. Therefore, the Interviewees evaluated whether a concise role definition of a Commission Partner could help communicate previously missing information. Interviewees expected the clarification of the role of Commission Partner to increase potential communication. With only one defined partner, all communication will center around that role and not with parties uninvolved in the case.

Feedback and information will thereby become available in one place. Furthermore, this party would be involved from start to end of a project, able to collect all information at the right time. Finally, clear definitions of roles, including responsibilities, are required for processes to work. Overall, the questionnaire confirmed the proposed, newly developed process design.

Information flows between Geomarketing and Project Designer that did not generate value could be eliminated. The content of several communication flows could be improved by introducing guidelines and checklists of collected information. Role definitions clarified responsibilities assigned to the communication partners involved in the process, raising the overall value of communication. In this section, we reflect on what we learned from the presented VNA application as applied to future market developments and considering underlying business operations.

After kicking off a market development project, a preparatory stage involves identifying stakeholders relevant to the concerned market segment. This allows relevant parts of an organization and its environment to be accurately identified, thus scoping the project in terms of involved roles. Stakeholders can then reflect on existing structures and patterns of behavior from specific perspectives, capturing not only current processes but also developing knowledge required to transform business operations in a novel market segment.

According to our findings, the following structure facilitates market development while recognizing and incorporating existing operational processes. Articulate and explicate knowledge of existing product s and processes : This phase requires guiding stakeholders to effectively present and represent their knowledge of business transactions, referring to current processes and existing products using a modeling notation. This should enable the identification of hot spots in business processes in terms of stakeholder interactions that could be relevant when exploring business operations for market development.

Prototype novel business operations : This phase must be supported by work process models that can be executed i. Stakeholders have substantial articulated knowledge, as contained in the transactional relations addressed by all value network analyses. Explication leads to externalized mental models, which allows individuals to reflect on their perceptions of operational situations. Next, incoming and outgoing deliverables as represented by interacting stakeholders are considered and evaluated in terms of the effort required from stakeholders and the risks and benefits for the organization.

Although modeling represents the process, stakeholders cannot be assumed to know how to represent i. Hence, stakeholders must agree to use the holomap network representation scheme of VNA and must agree on the rules for identifying formal and informal relations i.

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Exploring the relations for novel market development should lead to a simple but effective understanding of tangible and intangible deliverables. Exchanges that are not explicitly contracted between stakeholders should be considered intangible. Implementing a market development strategy does not necessarily mean turning intangible value into tangible value. Sometimes, tangible value should become intangible, if no added value can be identified.

Creating High-performing Project Teams

Hence, the envisioned market development can be analyzed from the perspective of those roles that are considered relevant for implementing the strategy. Each role should encapsulate activities leading to major deliverables, as these require communication with other stakeholders to complete business processes.

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Taking the nodes of the holomap as a point of departure should help to identify the level of abstraction that fits stakeholders' capabilities of articulation. In the described Geomarketing case of a telecommunications company, this process led to introducing a new department to implement the strategy. Because processes had not been redesigned to explore the novel segment, misconceptions and thus miscommunication occurred frequently between several teams, departments, and even subsidiaries.

The analysis enabled stakeholders to collect the exchanged tangible and intangible deliverables, which were used as a basis for transforming existing processes to suit the novel segment. The captured value network of the telecommunications company showed many relations of communication involving a variety of roles. Through the example of the Geomarketing Department, we demonstrated how the application of VNA and hot spot analysis enabled the involved stakeholders to recognize relevant paths of interaction within their network to successfully complete tasks.

Furthermore, stakeholders proposed several actions needed to overcome information deficits and miscommunication. An ideal process was proposed that eliminated several roles and communication flows to increase the efficiency and value of the remaining transactions. Simple measures revealed that overall communication could be improved. Clear responsibilities of roles and partners led to more efficient exchange of information. The concept of tangible and intangible requires clarification before conducting analyses with stakeholders.

The actions taken as a result could increase the company's efficiency and decrease problems of misconception and misinterpretation. Item 1: Do you think communication flows would be organized more efficiently if the Project Designer received no information beforehand about the result of the plausibility check? Picture a checklist containing all information required to design projects for area development. Would such a list help to improve the quality of communication?

If no, why not, and how could the quality of communication be improved? Could we reduce communication overhead by clarifying all technical parameters between Project Designer and Infrastructure? Could we increase the quality of information by transmitting all project data from Commission Partner to Work Partner?

If no, why not? How could the quality of information be improved? Would such a system help to increase the efficiency of communication by reducing unnecessary communication flows? How could the quality of communication or information be improved? Would clarifying the responsibility of the Commission Partner help to increase the quality of exchanged content? How could the quality of exchanged content be improved? Volume 26 , Issue 2. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account.

If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username. Knowledge and Process Management Volume 26, Issue 2. Claudia Kaar Corresponding Author E-mail address: claudia. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access.

Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract When organizations aim to expand their market share by positioning a product that is well established in a certain customer segment by positioning that product in another market segment, they may need to adjust their processes accordingly. Figure 1 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint.

Product—market matrix, after Ansoff Figure 2 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Figure 3 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Figure 4 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Figure 5 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Figure 6 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Figure 7 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Figure 8 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint.

Figure 9 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Impact analysis For the next step, impact analysis, a template was provided to standardize the analytical process. Transactions Impact analysis Deliverable From What activities generated Impact on financial resources Impact on intangible assets Overall cost Overall risk Overall benefit Area extension plan Project Designer Plausibility check; creation of area in GIS and FTTH database Enables approval from Controlling Information High; high effort to prepare the area extension plan with all needed information High; wrong or missing information produces more work later on High; without the preparation, no further steps can be made Commission approval Management Committee Status update in GIS and FTTH database Enables execution commission Information Medium; only status update necessary Low High; without the information, no execution commission would be possible.

Value creation analysis After analyzing the inputs to roles, Participants captured and evaluated the outputs of roles. Figure 10 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Hot spots. GIS: geographic information systems [Colour figure can be viewed at wileyonlinelibrary. Figure 11 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint.

Hot spot for Geomarketing [Colour figure can be viewed at wileyonlinelibrary. Figure 12 Open in figure viewer PowerPoint. Hot Spots for Project Designers [Colour figure can be viewed at wileyonlinelibrary. Each one is described in a practical, user-friendly format covering when to use it, its purpose and overview, time required to complete it, and a detailed guide which includes scripts, flowcharts, and reproducible masters.


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