Minimum information needed to understand a company

Robert McNamara

What is the minimum information a manager needs to understand how a company is positioned in the market and how it can grow?

Here is our suggestion:

Customers
How do customers interact and which decisions do they make that benefit the company.

Interactions
All interactions by all customers with all content and products. The more data is collected the better.

Revenue
Revenue is the best indicator of both power and problems of a company.

Content
Content is often neglected as an important factor in company growth. Ideally all content should be documented and constantly improved.

Products
Products are the core of the company and the main delivery of value to customers.

Competitors
Behavior of competitors is not only useful in understanding customer options, but market trends and regulation.

Team
Team members should be constantly included and their skills improved.

This is minimum information that leadership, designers, marketing, and sales should use to plan the company growth. If any of above information is missing, the picture might not be complete and risk of error might increase.

However, nature of management decisions is that they are often centralized, informal, and intuitive, and do not include above information. A way to improve management decision making is to include more team members in the decision process. As one person still decides others might use the above information to challenge that decision and therefore improve it.

So the purpose of information is not for one person to use it, but for many to use parts of the information available and challenge each other’s decisions. This is ideal teamwork.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 24 Apr 2019