Notes on stuff

Tagged Posts: Business

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Pattern Languages and Business Strategy

I’ve been working through the books I added to my collection after the strategy course, especially Co-opetition
and (just started) Thinking Strategically.
Thinking Strategically: Competitive Edge in Business, Politics and Everyday Life
When I was on the course, especially as we started to touch on the idea that certain strategies arise inherently from the structure of any situation (especially the [bliki]Value Net[/bliki]) it occurred to me that design patterns may be the natural way to express the thinking in a condensed form.

Unfortunately (in one sense) this was also a new idea to the people on the course, and as I didn’t have time to refresh my rather surface knowledge of pattern languages whilst I was on the course, I wasn’t really in a position to develop the thinking.

In the spirit of release early, release often, I’ve made a small start with this, indexed at Strategy Patterns, and will continue to build it as I work through the books and a review of my course notes.

Developing Deliverable Strategies – Trams Study 2

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More on the tram company pre-work for the strategy course.

Having identified one option fairly quickly by applying constraints thinking, I went on to use the [bliki]PARTS analysis[/bliki]:

Using the [bliki]value net[/bliki] approach, who are the various players, and what do we know about them?

ValueNet Biddiford Trams

The customers fall into two groups:

  • The local residents
    We know that they are price-sensitive, and regard the trip to Old Orchard Bay as only one option competing for their leisure time and spend.
  • Peak-season tourists
    We are told that they regard the tram ride as a key feature of their visit and the fare is immaterial.

Combining these two factors gave rise to the seasonally-adjusted pricing strategy.

The only suppliers mentioned are:

  • The contracted-out tram maintenance company.
    They are only mentioned in passing, so it is presumed they do a reasonable job.
  • The staff who work for the tram company.
    It’s noted that the staff are on flexible contracts, and that there may be an opportunity to reduce staffing by making the driver role multi-functional. Training new drivers only takes 2-3 hours so it may be reasonable to assume that finding replacements for any who leave is relatively easy. So a later part of the strategy could be to reduce costs by introducing multi-skilling

There don’t appear to be any – the case study describes the tram company as having an effective monopoly on transport to Old Orchard Bay. A broader consideration, however, would be to consider the tram ride as an entertainment experience, therefore the Substitutors would be competing sources of entertainment that do not require the customers to take a tram ride – e.g. the attractions in Biddiford itself.

The most obvious Complementors are the companies providing entertainment in Old Orchard bay, e.g. the bars and restaurants. They need the tram service to deliver their customers; the tram service needs them, to some extent, to create a demand for travel to the Bay. There may be demand stimulation strategies that are based on co-operation with Collaborators. Going further and considering how to stimulate competition amongst the Collaborators, there may be a way to exploit some kind of preferential relationship.

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