in business building, innovation, lean business building, tools

I want to share a concept that I believe will help enterprise innovation and digital transformation initiatives be less risky to business. I call the concept Value Gates.


In developing technology solutions one work stream will start with a study and workshop to understand where we can make the biggest impact. In a 2*2 matrix, this looks like x-axis: value to the company (viability) with y-axis being value to the customer (desirability).

Prioritize the top areas and use this as the scope for your solutions.

Value gates – the inspiration

At SAP we use design gates to make sure that the usability meets the specified requirements. There are several gates as we move from concept to the final solution. A key principle of design gates is that they are must-haves, ie you have to meet them for the project to continue.

Why not use Value Gates like we do Design Gates?

I propose to use value gates: Checkpoints that align to the ROI requirements of your proposed solution.

If you’re familiar with the principles of Lean Startup the value gates concept relates to the build-measure-learn iteration cycles. value gates add the ROI criteria as a quantitative metric into the cycle. The concept essentially enables portfolio thinking and prioritization of resources but the key benefit is setting the baseline for impact to the business. An example of how this is manifested is by certain features quickly becoming visible as the most important value drivers for your solution.

Benefits of value gates

The main benefit of value gates is that it forces the team to center in on the impact to the business. This is what really matters.

Having run many software development projects I’m inspired by this concept and the many possible benefits.

What do you think of the concept of value gates?

For more on digital transformation and innovation, and why the time is now, please read my article Innovation Acceleration – The future is closer than you think.