Our Unique Process

Most organisations are struggling to keep up in a rapidly changing world. CEO’s, Founders and Leadership Teams need to make rapid investment decisions about transformation, innovation, communication and technology in response to increasingly complex customer needs.

Subsector helps you focus on critical initiatives for growth and change, prioritising those things that will have greatest impact for your organisation and the people you serve.

The POP Method® is a Decision Model or Judgement Protocol. It provides evidence of customer needs, the degree to which your organisation is meeting these needs and an evaluated set of initiatives that will deliver the greatest impact.

POP stands for People, Outcomes, Priorities. The POP Method focuses on:

  • the needs of the people you care about most
  • how serving those needs helps your organisation to achieve its objectives
  • clearly revealing which business initiatives should be prioritised

At the heart of the The POP Method is the NeedRank™ algorithm that has been in continuous refinement for over 20 years. It interprets the data we give it, in order to deliver a clear set of priorities.

The POP Method benefits from a modular approach allowing it to adapt to a variety of needs. Typically either the Mini, Lite or Classic approach is most relevant.

MINI

Results in a day
£5,000plus VAT
  • Reveal a clear set of priorities in just one day

LITE

Test your assumptions
£15,000plus VAT
  • Delivers an evidence-based set of priorities in just two weeks

CLASSIC

Evidence not opinion
£38,000plus VAT
  • Provides an evaluated set of initiatives that will deliver the greatest impact

Approach

The Classic version of The POP Method has 3 simple steps: Workshop, Validation, Scorecard. For more information about the Mini or Lite approaches, please download the relevant PDF from the links above.

Step 1: Workshop

The POP Method begins with one day working with your senior team. These are the people who can confidently speak on behalf of the organisation. The day involves a set of structured discussions, the findings from which we take away and feed into our system.

The structured discussions consider the following:

  • Who does the organisation care about most? Who does it serve?
  • What is their relative importance to the organisation?
  • What are their needs?
  • To what extent does serving a need achieve a business objective?

Step 2: Validation

Now we have the perspective of the senior team, the next step is to test any assumptions with actual “customers”. Note, we use the word “customer” as convenient but inaccurate shorthand for “the people you care about most / the people you serve”. These people may be inside or outside the organisation.

In the Classic version of The POP Method, this validation takes the form of qualitative and quantitative research (mixed methods). A set of face-to-face or telephone interviews capture data about “customer” behaviour and their jobs-to-be-done. These JTBD are problems these people are trying to solve. They tend to be functional, emotional or social in nature and may be thought of as your customers’ needs. They reveal motivations relevant to your organisation.

When we’ve conducted qualitative interviews with a sample representing the “customer” groups identified in Step 1, we extend our findings with quantitative research (typically in the form of an online survey).

With the “customer” research complete, we’ll know:

  • what the “customer” needs or JTBD really are
  • the percentage of customers having each of the needs
  • the claimed importance of each need
  • the degree to which they feel the organisation is currently serving these needs

We analyse this data and feed it to the NeedRank™ algorithm at the heart of The POP Method in order to produce a Needs Matrix and Service Rating (see below).

Step 3: Scorecard

In a separate group composed of subject matter experts from across the organisation, we create an “Initiative Scorecard”. Using the scorecard we evaluate current and planned business initiatives across a range of dimensions, including:

  • positive or negative impact on “customer” needs
  • cost to implement / maintain
  • time to implement / procure
  • internal training required, etc

Actual assessment dimensions are agreed with the organisation before scoring begins.

Outputs

Needs Matrix

Having ingested the data from the stakeholder session and “customer” research, the NeedRank™ algorithm creates a simple visualisation. This “Needs Matrix” clearly shows the most important needs of the most important people. Not just which needs are most important to the people you care about, but which needs are most important in helping you achieve your business objectives.

A sample Needs Matrix
A sample Needs Matrix

Need Service Ratings

In the validation stage we will have captured the degree to which each respondent feels the organisation is currently serving each need. This data will be provided in a simple report, clearly indicating where “customers” believe a need is being under-served, over-served or somewhere in between.

Initiative Scorecard

The scorecard gives us an overall priority level for each current or planned initiative we assess. Exact dimensions to assess against would be confirmed with you but are likely to include cost, implementation time, degree to which it serves a need, potential benefit to the organisation (and/or key KPI), implementation risk, maintenance risk, staff training required and so on.

This scorecard will reveal strengths and weaknesses in the organisation’s overall direction. It will also indicate where business initiatives are failing to serve important “customer” needs, or, conversely, over-serving them.

A sample Initiative Scorecard
A sample Initiative Scorecard

The benefits of The POP Method:

  • clarity about what your organisation should focus on
  • areas for innovation are surfaced
  • it will suggest where current resources might be wasted
  • it will generate alignment between participants
  • clear signposting for further research or validation
  • ultimately, decision-making with more impact

The POP Method FAQ

The Method was designed specifically to cater for a diverse set of people with divergent opinions. It’s particularly well-suited to complex situations.

As a minimum there should be a stakeholder group composed of people who can speak on behalf of the organisation. This is typically board/exec level.

The absolute minimum is 1 day. It averages at about 2 days in total.

We highly recommend it. If you don’t talk to the people you care about most, any recommendations generated by the Method should be considered unreliable.

Absolutely. If customer research is involved in the other processes, we recommend minimising any inconvenience by combining question-sets.

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