Paymentgal Blog

I'm not aware of any company that doesn't have some form of Mission and/or Vision Statement.  These are supposed to summarize the core focus of a company in two forms:  first, as the declaration of the purpose of the company and second, as the benefits or value generated by that mission.  Taken together, these should help a company navigate its most important decisions.  In practice, these lofty-sounding pronouncements can often be lost in the maze of the daily business grind.

I also find that Mission and Vision statements are not extremely helpful when it comes to making product-line investment or vendor decisions.  The reason for that is pretty simple - they're just not specific enough.  They describe the goals of an organization, but not what each of its product lines is designed to deliver to its market, regardless of changes in management or its overall strategic roadmap for example.  For this purpose, I recommend using Guiding Principles and not surprisingly, I've only worked with a few companies that actually had these in writing, available to me when I asked for them.  Instead, I'm usually given their Mission or Vision statement, which is helpful, but once again, not for purposes of specific investment or vendor analysis. 

Defining one's Guiding Principles does take time, but is an effort well worth it.  Once completed, these principles can be incorporated into the decision-making process from formal RFP's to smaller capital expenditures to major R&D investments.  In this post, I'd like to share with you a method for building your Guiding Principles or dusting off and reconsidering the ones you already have in place.

Asking the Right Question

The first question might be obvious, but it's the very best starting point.  What business are we in?  Let's say your organization is a bank or a credit union and you're responsible for consumer payment products, so the business you're in is delivering and managing consumer payments.  Therefore, what are your Guiding Principles?  Some examples might be:

  • To own as much of the consumer data value chain as possible
  • To enhance our consumer experience
  • To ensure our brand is protected
  • To increase digital use of our products
  • To differentiate our products

I recommend that one uses no more than ten (10) Guiding Principles and to write them using action verbs, such as "increase", "differentiate", "protect", etc.  In this way, It's easier to use them to contrast and compare potential decisions.  To use these Guiding Principles in your decision-making process create a scoring system which can be very simple, like a heat sheet (red, yellow, green) or Harvey Balls (more, some, less, none) to a more complicated weighted, numerical ranking.  Then see how well your candidates align across all principles. 

Using Guiding Principles also helps to extract some of the subjective bias out of your decision-making and decrease risk.  Being able to point back to how well a vendor does or doesn't fit into your Guiding Principles offers a more objective view of the potential relationship by using a methodology that anchors recommendations according to their ability to support your product precepts. 

The investments you make in time, capital, and resources whenever you're contemplating a change in vendor, a new technology integration or new business partner is not insignificant.  Taking the time up front to identify how well this investment aligns with your specific value and cultural precepts is knowledge worth having. 

 

 

 

ny principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/guiding-principles.html
Any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/guiding-principles.html
Any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/guiding-principles.html
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