Here are some copy and visuals that you may use in your marketing or proposals if you want to. It's an explanation of the most comprehensive N2D Method process, so you might want to pick and choose bits of it. Not every project needs every step.
If you want to talk about how other people use the Method in their work, the practitioner community is a great place to start.
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The N2D Method and NeedRank algorithm are copyright and registered trade marks (© and ®) of Subsector Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under licence.
Clear Priorities For Your Organisation
The N2D Method®:
clarifies what your organisation should focus on
surfaces areas for innovation
generates alignment between teams
clearly signposts areas for further research or validation
enables decision-making with more impact
is effective for a range of use cases
A Unique Process
Most organisations are struggling to keep up in a rapidly changing world. CEO’s, Founders and Leadership Teams need to make rapid investment decisions about transformation, innovation, communication and technology in response to increasingly complex customer needs.
The N2D Method helps you focus on critical initiatives for growth and change, prioritising those things that will have the greatest impact for your organisation and the people you serve.
The N2D Method is a Decision Model or Judgement Protocol. It provides evidence of customer needs, the degree to which your organisation is meeting these needs and an evaluated set of initiatives that will deliver the greatest impact.
N2D stands for Needs To Decision. The N2D Method focuses on:
the needs of the people you care about most (e.g. customers, prospects, citizens, staff, etc)
how serving those needs helps your organisation to achieve its objectives
clearly revealing which business initiatives should be prioritised
At the heart of the N2D Method is the NeedRank™ algorithm that has been in continuous refinement for over 20 years. It interprets the data we give it, in order to deliver a clear set of priorities.
The N2D Method benefits from a modular approach allowing it to adapt to a variety of needs.
A typical use of the N2D Method has 3 simple steps: Workshop, Validation, Scorecard.
Step 1: Workshop
The N2D Method begins with one day working with your senior team. These are the people who can confidently speak on behalf of the organisation. The day involves a set of structured discussions, the findings from which we take away and feed into our system.
Structured discussions consider the following:
Who does the organisation care about most? Who does it serve?
What is their relative importance to the organisation?
What are their needs?
To what extent does serving a need achieve a business objective?
Step 2: Validation
Now we have the perspective of the senior team, the next step is to test any assumptions with actual “customers”. Note, we use the word “customer” as convenient but inaccurate shorthand for “the people you care about most / the people you serve”. These people may be inside or outside the organisation.
In the N2D Method, this validation takes the form of qualitative and quantitative research (mixed methods). A set of face-to-face or telephone interviews capture data about “customer” behaviour and their jobs-to-be-done. These JTBD are problems these people are trying to solve. They tend to be functional, emotional or social in nature and may be thought of as your customers’ needs. They reveal motivations relevant to your organisation.
When we’ve conducted qualitative interviews with a sample representing the “customer” groups identified in Step 1, we extend our findings with quantitative research (typically in the form of an online survey).
With the “customer” research complete, we’ll know:
what the “customer” needs or JTBD really are
the percentage of customers having each of the needs
the claimed importance of each need
the degree to which they feel the organisation is currently serving these needs
We analyse this data and feed it to the NeedRank™ algorithm at the heart of The N2D Method in order to produce a Needs Matrix and Service Rating (see below).
Step 3: Scorecard
In a separate group composed of subject matter experts from across the organisation, we create an “Initiative Scorecard”. Using the scorecard we evaluate current and planned business initiatives across a range of dimensions, including:
positive or negative impact on “customer” needs
cost to implement/maintain
time to implement/procure
internal training required, etc
Actual assessment dimensions are agreed with the organisation before scoring begins.
Having ingested the data from the stakeholder session and “customer” research, the NeedRank™ algorithm creates a simple visualisation. This “Needs Matrix” clearly shows the most important needs of the most important people. Not just which needs are most important to the people you care about, but which needs are most important in helping you achieve your business objectives.
In the validation stage, we will have captured the degree to which each respondent feels the organisation is currently serving each need. This data will be provided in a simple report, clearly indicating where “customers” believe a need is being under-served, over-served or somewhere in between.
This scorecard will reveal strengths and weaknesses in the organisation’s overall direction. It will also indicate where business initiatives are failing to serve important “customer” needs, or, conversely, over-serving them.
The scorecard gives us an overall priority level for each current or planned initiative we assess. Exact dimensions to assess against would be confirmed with you but are likely to include cost, implementation time, the degree to which it serves a need, the potential benefit to the organisation (and/or key KPI), implementation risk, maintenance risk, staff training required and so on.
At the proposal stage, you may get asked some of these questions:
When is it most effective?
The Method was designed specifically to cater to a diverse set of people with divergent opinions. It’s particularly well-suited to complex situations or conditions of high uncertainty. See a range of use cases for The Method here.
Who needs to be involved?
As a minimum, there should be a stakeholder group composed of people who can speak on behalf of the organisation. If the organisation is a department of a larger business, it is people who can speak on behalf of that department that should be involved.
How much time to the stakeholder group need to commit?
The absolute minimum is 0.5 day. It averages at about 2 days in total, usually.
Do we absolutely have to talk to customers?
We highly recommend it. If you don’t talk to the people you care about most, and work purely from assumptions about their needs, any recommendations generated by the Method may be unreliable.
Can the N2D Method integrate with other processes?
Absolutely. If customer research is involved in the other processes, we recommend minimising any inconvenience by combining question-sets.
May we licence this intellectual property for our own business?
Certainly. Find out more about becoming a practitioner at n2dmethod.com