Likelihood of Success

March 24, 2016

Being a CI DIYer is not easy. One of the things that you do not have, but which is beneficial to the competitive intelligence professional (sometimes) is the ability to interact with the end-user. That interaction, as I have mentioned, should include“push-back”, that is a dialog between the CI professional and the end-user to focus the assignment more precisely. Using that, the CI professional can make sure what is requested (a) can be provided and (b) will be actionable. But, there is another element to the relationship that is also absent for the DIYer.

That element is accountability. By that, I mean having the CI professional having to tell the end-user, clearly and honestly, how easy or difficult, how inexpensive or costly, and how quick or prolonged the work will be. We do that for our clients by providing them with an evaluation of the “likelihood of success” in our proposals.

In doing that, we evaluate and then provide our estimate of the likelihood of collecting the applicable data and providing all of the intelligence that they seek. That takes into account time available, difficultly of target or task, expertise required, and budget available, among other factors. It also factors in the deliverables: that is, of all of the data and intelligence sought, how much can actually be delivered. Or, in the case of elicitation interviews, restate it as “How many interviews can I successfully complete that will deliver value?”

To replace this for the DIYer, I suggest that, when you are beginning any CI research work, first sit back and try to estimate your own likelihood of success. Ask yourself, “How likely it is that I can find and develop the intelligence that I need, given all of my constraints?” If it is below, say, 50%, stop and rethink all of the elements of your project: do you have enough time, can you really get actionable intelligence as opposed to “sort of interesting” data, do you have enough budget if you need to buy outside services or reports, etc.? Then retool your project. A few minutes here will really pay off.


One Comment on “Likelihood of Success”

  1. […] Being a CI DIYer is not easy. One of the things that you do not have, but which is beneficial to the competitive intelligence professional (sometimes) is the ability to interact with the end-user. That interaction, as I have mentioned, should include“push-back”, that is a dialog between the CI professional and the end-user to focus the assignment more precisely. Using that, the CI professional can make sure what is requested (a) can be provided and (b) will be actionable. But, there is another element to the relationship that is also absent for the DIYer.That element is accountability.  […]


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