Blue Ocean 4 Actions Framework Template
Break the value-cost trade-off and create a blue ocean with four central questions.
About the Blue Ocean 4 Actions Framework template
Who created Blue Ocean 4 Actions Template
Blue Ocean 4 Actions Template was created by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. They are Professors of Strategy at INSEAD, one of the world’s top business schools, and co-directors of the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute in Fontainebleau, France. Together, they wrote a best-selling book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.
Why use the 4 Actions template?
The 4 Actions Template can help you assess whether you are spending money in the correct ways around your product to maximize user gain and minimize user pain. Identify the pains that really matter for your product and the gains that really matter with this template. This way, you are getting the most value with the least cost within the total product market.
When to use the Blue Ocean 4 Actions Template
The Four Actions Framework is most useful when you help create value innovation and break the value-cost trade-off. W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne use terms red and blue oceans to describe the market universe. They say that ‘red oceans are all the industries in existence today—the known market space.’ In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. As the market space gets crowded, prospects for profits and growth are reduced. Blue oceans, in contrast, denote all the industries not in existence today—the unknown market space, untainted by competition. In blue oceans, demand is created rather than fought over. So the Blue Ocean 4 Actions Template is a great tool to consider when you feel like your company or your product is stuck in the ‘red ocean’ and you are looking for the ways to innovate.
How do you use the 4 Actions template?
Step 1: Eliminate
In each column, it’s important to ask questions about the industry standards among your product space. First, ask yourself, which factors that the industry has long competed on should be eliminated? Think of the factors that require a lot of investment and effort, but don’t bring a lot of revenue/new customers and, in general, don’t drive key metrics up. These can also be the factors that made more sense in the past but are not as useful now — for example, a feature of differentiated a digital product in the past but became obsolete as time passed.
Step 2: Reduce
Which factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard? Think of the features/characteristics of your product that are well designed to beat the competition but take to much time and resources. Can you strip this down to something more simple but still competitive and relevant to your users?
Step 3: Raise
Which factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard? What are the pain points that the market does not address? Think of the way you can build features that will help your customers solve challenges that other companies are not solving.
Step 4: Create
Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered? This is one of the most challenging questions and it requires a deep understanding of your customers’ interests and desires, as well as a good insight into where the industry is going. The goal is to think about the future and the challenges customers haven’t articulated yet.
The Lesson Reflection template is a tool to create space for self-reflection and improvement. Students can evaluate the key takeaways from a lesson and what are the topics they find most interesting. As teachers receive the student’s Lesson Reflection, they can look for opportunities to improve learning and teaching methodologies. The Lesson Reflection template can help you facilitate the educational process, and it’s easy to use and straightforward.
Companies face a range of complex problems. At times, these problems leave the decision makers unsure where to even begin or what questions to ask. The Cynefin Framework, developed by Dave Snowden at IBM in 1999, can help you navigate those problems and find the appropriate response. Many organizations use this powerful, flexible framework to aid them during product development, marketing plans, and organizational strategy, or when faced with a crisis. This template is also ideal for training new hires on how to react to such an event.
Keeping track of your priorities is a big challenge on big projects, especially when there are lots of deliverables. The MoSCoW method is designed to help you do it. This powerful technique is built on a matrix model divided into four segments: Must Have, Should Have, Could Have, and Won’t Have (which together give MoSCoW its name). Beyond helping you assess and track your priorities, this approach is also helpful for presenting business needs to an audience and collaborating on deliverables with a group of stakeholders.
Product canvases are a concise yet content-rich tool that conveys what your product is and how it is strategically positioned. Combining Agile and UX, a project canvas complements user stories with personas, storyboards, scenarios, design sketches, and other UX artefacts. Product canvases are useful because they help product managers define a prototype. Creating a product canvas is an important first step in deciding who potential users may be, the problem to be solved, basic product functionality, advanced functionalities worth exploring, competitive advantage, and customers’ potential gain from the product.
Product/Market Fit Canvas
The product/market fit canvas template is used to help product teams meet customer and market needs with their product design. This template looks at a product in two dimensions: first, how the product fits user needs, and second, how the fully designed product fits within the market landscape. This combined metric understands a product holistically from the way customers use and desire a product, to the market demand. By comparing customer and product qualities side by side, users should better understand their product space and key metrics.
With so many day-to-day decisions to make—and each one feeling high-stakes—it’s easy for all the choices to weigh a business or organization down. You need a systematic way to analyze the risks and rewards. A cost benefit analysis gives you the clarity you need to make smart decisions. This template will let you conduct a CBA to help your team assess the pros and cons of new projects or business proposals—and ultimately help your company preserve your precious time, money, and social capital.