Value Stream Discovery Loop


Customers go through 7 states in their journey from becoming aware of a product to becoming passionate. The objective is to determine what customer behavior indicates which state they’re in, what your organization must do to get them to each state, and what you should be measuring to find opportunities for growth.

The Value Stream Discovery (VSD) loop helps you articulate what business activities you assume you must undertake in order to create value while facing extreme uncertainty. In any startup or innovation endeavor, most of what we think we know is pure conjecture. We’re operating within the unknown.

Access the Value Stream Discovery Loop and Toolkit


Generally, customers experience you in fairly linear progression from right to left. This is not the progression for discovery, validation and optimization. While you will always be touching on all of the stages, you want to focus energy on the MVP stages first, Growth Engine and Conversion second, then Funnel, and lastly Acquisition.

The value stream discovery tool meets you where you are. In other words, if you already have satisfied customers, you might have part of an organization focusing on product execution building off the MVP, a team optimizing conversion, while still another, discovering what is necessary to build passion.

For each customer state, document your assumption about what business activity is necessary to achieve that state, the resulting customer behavior, and how you will measure that behavior.

Use a hypothesis: If we build the functionality to allow a customer to upload a video, share it with friends, and it plays back for the friends, satisfied customers will upload a video once/week and share with at least 10 friends.

When going through the tool, start from Passion and work backwards with one customer persona in mind. Why work backwards? Because you want to come up with the the strongest scenario for each stage for a particular market segment, not a laundry list of possible activities.

There are myriad ways someone might become aware. Working backwards from Passionate helps you focus on the best way your early adopter persona might come through.

Bookmark this page for easy access to the instructions and check out this article for additional information about using the Value Stream Discovery Loop.