The Project Business Model

This post is about real life experiences of using business model thinking as a foundation for planning and delivering change. The collection of these experiences have been a long slow journey started out in the early 90’s, experimenting with creating small businesses. During the last six years experiences from the field and theory has accelerated in an exponential way. I’ve personally had the opportunity to create and run master courses on the topic of business models in the context of Enterprise Architecture. As a way of fleshing out the practical work experienced during actual projects these courses has proven invaluable.

Writing this post I’ve had the help of a true friend and admirable colleague (Eva Kammerfors) whom I’ve shared many of the referred to business model experiences with. We started out these set of posts as a draft for a book, we shall see if the book will be published or if these posts will be sufficient.

The Project Business Model Foundation

A project is a delivery format for change acceleration and gives people and organizations possibilities to focus on a specific result with a specific timeline and dedicated resources. However, we have during the years found that projects often are “over-organized” in terms of action plans, WBSs’, reporting structures and so much focuses on the solution instead of the actual result. The key to success as we believe is to actually use the same design pattern as we do when we design companies and organizations, namely the Business Model Canvas. With this approach, we ensure that we know what we are doing when we decide to perform a change in project delivery format, we will ensure we get the right people on board and – last but not least – we know that we are delivering VALUE to our customers, not only (technical) solutions.”

The Project Business Model Canvas

By utilizing a project centric business model we can assure that we capture and communicate the basic building blocks of the project. In any given situation it is common to work iteratively across all the dimensions of the PBM (Project Business Model). Given that we know who wants us to investigate their possibilities and formulate a change project for it, we start with an interview investigating the effects that the change will deliver. From knowing what major outcomes are expected by the initiator we can start investigating all the other perspectives.

The Project Business Model

Perspectives with some sample questions.

Key Partners: Who are involved in the project?

Key Activities: What key activities do we need to ensure?

Key Resources: What resources do we need to plan, build and run?

Value Proposition: What results will this project deliver and when are they expected to be released?

Effects: What effects in monetary and non monetary terms do we expect the project to deliver and when?

Stakeholder Relationships: How will we engage with our stakeholder segments?

Channels: Who and where will we deliver the results of the project?

Stakeholder Segments: Who will benefit or not from this project?

Cost Structure: What costs does the project incur?

Revenue Streams: What revenues do we expect the project to tap into for financing?

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Next in the Project Business Model series of posts:

2. The Project Business Model Profile

3. The Project Business Model Results

4. The Project Business Model Timeline

5. The Project Business Model Sprintlines

6. The Project Business Model SWOT

7. The Project Business Model Blue Ocean Strategy

8. The Project Business Model Principles

9. The Project Business Model Stakeholder Groups

10. The Project Business Model Stakeholder Impacts

11 thoughts on “The Project Business Model

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