With every contract proposal, I include an expression of expected value - the impact we are seeking to achieve through the engagement. I define value in my clients’ terms, but it usually falls into the categories of better, faster, or cheaper. For any given project, we usually expect to make some process or achieve some outcome faster, better, or cheaper, which in turn can be expressed in dollars (e.g., revenue, market share).
I like adding a fourth dimension: delight. When we make a process more delightful, everything is better. However, delight is often neglected as a business measure. I recently drafted a proposal that included “happiness” as an outcome of the project. Upon reviewing the draft, my business mentor reminded me, “You have to monetize the value. ‘Increasing happiness’ won’t pay the client’s bills.” Good reminder; when writing contracts, don’t neglect happiness, but translate it into meaningful business metrics, which in turn can be translated into dollars.
Here’s an example: there is a significant shortage of cybersecurity professionals in medical devices, and they are burned out. They are highly paid but still leave their jobs at an alarming rate. I am designing a project and program that will significantly reduce drudgework and elevate these experts into roles in which they are much happier. This happiness and delight should be included as part of the value of the project. Their delight will translate into retention, innovation, collaboration, and increased capacity. Each of these can be translated into increasing the bottom line.
Some people may have a hard time thinking about quantifying the business value of happiness. I personally find it delightful to monetize delight.
~Shannon, the Optimistic Optimizer
Ps. Finding an image for the cover of this blog post was harder than I would have imagined. Try capturing "delight" and "money" from a Shutterstock search.