After a long hiatus I am committing to finishing up these blog posts prior to running a session on the Impact Model Canvas in January at EWB’s National Conference in Ottawa. As another side note, I have since moved on to working with EWB’s Agriculture Value Chains team, so while I will continue to write these posts as related to my work with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, know that I’m now on to different things! You may want a quick refresher by checking out the previous posts in this series at http://theborrowedbicycle.ca/2011/03/strategy-development-in-small-meal-sized-chunks/
After introducing the notion of Value Propositions and why they are so important in the previous post we’ll now move on to the right hand side of the canvas, continuing to use the Agriculture as a Business Program (AAB) as our illustrative example.
As I discussed in a strategy sidenote, the customer that we’re serving in our Impact Model Canvas is MoFA. But who in MoFA is our value proposition targeted at? The Customer Segments (CS) building block breaks down our “customers” into specific slices that have different needs. For example, with AAB we were initially focused on finding high capacity Agriculture Extenstion Agents (AEAs) that could implement the AAB program. We also targeted District Directors of Agriculture (DDAs) who would promote the program to their AEAs. Lastly we needed to get the District Agriculture Officers (DAOs) i
Understanding each of our segments and how our Value Proposition works for or with them is key to effectively implementing a sustainable program. The high number of Customer Segments identified is also a risk in this case. The success of our work often depends on the support of all of these groups, meaning we must test our assumptions about how each segment will respond to our service or product before we step back. With AAB we have often found it difficult to retain buy-in and motivation at the supervisor (DAO) level. The value proposition for these district officers who do not work directly with farmers is not very clear, and the task of managing a program is not small. We haven’t figured out this customer segment yet, but hopefully with future work and programs will learn more and better meet their needs.nvolved as they supervise the AEAs that are implementing AAB. These are our Customer Segments, our target audience for our program. Different parts of our Value Proposition appeal to each Customer Segment. I’ve matched up the colours between segments and the components of the Value Proposition that would be most appealing to each segment.
Our main channel for AAB are
- Cost centre meetings at the regional level that we present at
- Past district experience – we may have had staff or a Junior Fellow in the district before
- District tours – sometimes carried out just before setting up placements for incoming staff or our summertime Junior Fellows
- Embedded staff
- DDA Fellowship – see Erin’s post for more info
In the photo I’ve added coloured bands to match up which Customer Segments we reach through which Channels.
One of the interesting take-aways I had when reading about channels was the need to create space for your customer to evaluate your value proposition. This turned on a lightbulb for me because I don’t think districts spend much time evaluating what we as EWB have to offer. In some ways we look like a handout – a Canadian coming to work in a district for free. Without this evaluation stage there is less of an opportunity for us to clearly communicate what we expect from the district in return if they are to accept our offer. We are looking at building this evaluation phase into our channels in a much more prominent way in the future.
Another important element of any model is our Customer Relationship (CR). What is the face of EWB to someone using AAB? Traditionally this has been an embedded EWB volunteer who is dedicated to implementing and supporting the program in the district. As we transition out of districts and expect them to continue running AAB we will need to add to this block in order to serve ongoing support needs.
The last element on the right side of the canvas to be filled in is the Revenue Streams (R$) that our model generates. This is where things get a bit interesting because as an NGO our revenue doesn’t come from our customers. Instead of complicating things too much we’ll simply fill in this box with our sources of cash – where does the money come from to run AAB? An overwhelming majority of this money comes from our team budget supplied by EWB. Recently there has been a move to try and generate revenue from AAB by consulting for the private sector or the NGO sector in order to finance the work we do with government.
Here is the completed right side of the canvas.
In summary, the right side of the canvas captures the value we’re creating, who we’re creating it for, how we communicate with our “customers” and the channels we use to deliver our value proposition.
Next we’ll move on to the left side of the canvas that describes how we go about generating the value on the right side, and what we need to do it.