Manage Phase Tasks and Deliverables

To manage ongoing operational marketing and sales processes, the same set of Launch tasks and resulting deliverables are used in the Manage phase . The difference is that they continue to get updated and modified as the environment and information change over time.



The Adapt Phase

This phase addresses how to determine when to react or be proactive to events to stay on plan. As mentioned in Chapter 5 , "Six Sigma in the Tactical Marketing Process," a well-constructed plan identifies the critical parameters to monitor in a steady-state process. Such a plan also defines a set of contingencies, enabled by specific sets of tools, methods, and best practices, that determine when and how to respond to change or an off-plan trend. This contingencies plan identifies the countermeasures to assignable causes of variation that disrupt the steady-state plan for growth. Changes in economic, industry, or market environments may cause an adaptive response that should be unique to your business and your offering.

Changes in economic conditions provide examples of the importance of developing a potential adaptive response. For example, when fuel prices escalate, transportation companies should have a control plan in place to inform operations how best to respond. A one-cent fuel increase costs American Airlines $80 million annually and perhaps is worthy of triggering an adaptive strategy in ticket pricing, in-flight services, or another approach. Fluctuations in the currency exchange rate are another example of an economic condition affecting multinational companies. The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team is dependent on either traveling to the U.S. or hosting Americans. It probably has to plan a currency hedge on how currency fluctuations affect attendance and concessions. Also, when the U.S.-to-Canadian exchange rate is low, the Blue Jays may execute a response strategy to attract top athletes because paying salaries may be easier at that point. Such an adaptive response fits nicely with an overall strategy to build a team of top athletes, which presumably produces better team performance that yields higher ticket, parking, and food revenues.

Sources of assignable cause variation (nonrandom noises) signal the marketing and sales teams to adapt or make adjustments to critical adjustment parameters that are known to be capable of countering these effects. These variations typically are changes in customer behavioral dynamics or market dynamics that threaten your results. The goal is not to change your plan but to adaptively use it to stay in control of growth parameters. The Adapt phase can be exited by bringing the marketing and sales metrics back to a steady state of control after the effects of variation have been countered.

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