For nearly three decades, I have worked with business leaders to help them drive innovation within their businesses by creating products and services that improve customers’ lives. Over the years, I have worked with hundreds to tools and frameworks to make this process easier and more straightforward for clients. The S-Curve Mapping template is one of the most helpful tools I’ve come across for helping individuals determine where their business stands within the current market landscape.
What is S-Curve Mapping, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
S-Curve Mapping is the process used to identify where a business sits in the current innovation ecosystem compared to other businesses in the market. S-curve maps plot product or industry performance along the axes of time and performance. The model can be used to determine how mature and established an organization is within the industry or how well-developed the industry is itself.
Ultimately, the purpose of the S-Curve Mapping exercise to help business leaders make educated guesses about where their businesses are in terms of innovation and determining where they need to go moving forward. The key is to put together all available pieces of information together where they can be reviewed side by side. When this happens, insights professionals and business leaders can find more meaningful groupings of the data and make connections that will lead to lasting innovations.
The S-Curve Mapping Tool
An S-Curve Map is comprised of two S-shaped curves. The location of a product or industry on the S-curve can be used to infer the potential risks and opportunities that can arise when either entering the industry with a new product or using products already on the market. Broadly, this model assumes the products and industries follow a life cycle that consists of development, growth and eventual decline. In line with this assumption, the four phases on the S-curve are Incubate, Scale, Maturity and Discontinuity.
You can access the tool freely as a download here. It’s simple to use and is based on best practices I’ve gathered in the 3 decades I’ve spent as a strategic business consultant. Praxie’s digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
About the Author
Soren Kaplan is the bestselling and award winning author of Leapfrogging and The Invisible Advantage, an Affiliate at the Center for Effective Organizations at USC’s Marshall School of Business, a columnist for Inc. Magazine, a globally recognized keynote speaker, and the Founder of Praxie. Business Insider and the Thinkers50 have named him one of the world’s top management thought leaders and consultants.