Tool Components

Potential Tool Components and Content Types

The table below characterizes types of content that can be included in tools that we develop and publish for you.  Basic (e.g. marketing) tools may only have 1 or 2 types of content.  Comprehensive (sales or analysis) tools often have many types of components.

Our analysts have extensive business, technical, and financial modeling experience and can work with you to design a tool that contains appropriate content to best meet your business objectives.  Or if you have spreadsheets that already contain content/logic, we can convert them into a highly effective tool.


Profile / Diagnostic

This often is a single sheet that contains all key user inputs

Instructions Description of the model, instructions to use the model effectively, methodologies used in the model, end-user license agreement, how to obtain support, etc.
Ticker symbol entry  User entry of customer ticker symbol (for public companies) automatically populates appropriate default data, such as financial data, employee counts, industry, likely maturity levels, etc.  Can be based on stored or live external database lookups.
Scenario selection User can select from a list of common customer scenarios.  Selection will influence many subsequent input default values.
Organizational Profile Collects key organization information: organization size, location, and industry; end user types; labor costs, etc.  Default values are based on research and are driven by previous inputs (e.g. industry/location influence labor costs).  Values entered also impact subsequent default values (e.g. company size may influence maturity levels)
Diagnostic Assessment of current (as-is) situation and environment
Situation/Solution summary input Initial/high-level entry of information that drives default values in the more detailed corresponding worksheets.
ROI summary Displays key ROI graphs/data on the profile sheet.  This makes it easier for those interested in conducting a quick assessment and understanding the impact of changing key profile inputs.


Solution Selection & Impact Assessment

The user selects the solution to be modeled in the tool. Implications of the solution are analyzed.

Solution Selection The user selects solutions to be modeled. Costs, benefits, maturity level improvements, and KPI improvements can be based on the selected solutions.  Enabling features can be dynamically listed for each of the benefits based on the solutions selected.
Feature assessment Enables the user to rate the likely usefulness/adoption of product features. This assessment can impact the benefit calculations and the list of enabling features for each of the benefits.
Product configurator logic Tools can contain logic to help the user in configuring products/solutions and assessing option conflict or incompatibilities.
Pre-requisites assessment Assesses which capabilities are required to benefit from other features/capabilities.  If the prerequisites are not fully met, then the benefits are reduced:  Benefits resulting from these features will be disabled.
Maturity & Best Practice Assessment Assesses the current (as is) and future (to-be) maturity levels (adoption of best practices) of the organization.  The best practices can be based on existing industry maturity models.
It can calculate indexes used to estimate current costs and other KPIs.  Benefits can be based on maturity level improvements. 
Business process assessment Business processes to be analyzed will be based on industry and solution selected.  Will collect and analyze statistics (KPIs) and characteristics of the organization’s key business processes.
TCO (total cost of ownership) Annual recurring/ongoing costs (Direct and indirect) are estimated based on all previous inputs.  
Feature/capability Assessment Subjective assessment of expected feature usefulness and adoption.  The rating is used to determine the "Key Enabling Features" list for the benefits.


Costs (the Investment)

All one-time and on-going costs required to implement/deploy, adopt, maintain, and support the solution(s)

Implementation Strategies and Timing Assumptions regarding deployment strategies and timing.  Drives cost calculations.
Cost assessment Assessment of all costs (hard and soft) necessary to deploy the solution.  Cost categories can include:  hardware, software, IT labor, user labor. IT labor effort includes: planning, engineering, and management. Soft costs are internal resources required to plan and implement the solution.
Pricing Pricing models can be incorporated based on licensing lookup tables/logic
Risk Assessment Risks, mitigation activities, incident probabilities, remediation plans, and costs.  Can be used to risk-adjust the results.



Estimates direct and indirect benefits resulting from the selected solution. Default values are estimated based on precedent inputs.

Strategic impacts Assessment of non-financial benefits
Direct savings Assesses direct benefits (e.g. TCO savings)
Revenue growth Estimates the likely increase in revenue due to the solution.  The benefit is the margin on the additional revenue.  
Productivity Benefits Assesses productivity savings enabled by the solutions.  These benefits are calculated based on time savings of various common business activities.  This analysis only estimates efficiency improvements, not effectiveness (agility, decision-making) improvements.  A conversion (discount) factor is typically applied.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Assessment Assessment of how the solutions may impact business KPIs.  Results may not be converted into financial terms and not included in the ROI calculations
Dynamic feature–benefit mapping Dynamic charts that graphically show the strength of linkages between the benefits and the enabling features.


Financial Analysis and Results Summary

A summary of the results and comparison of benefits to costs.

Results Report Summary of costs & benefits by type; cash flow analysis; calculation of ROI, payback period, NPV, IRR; graphs.  Basic explanation of results.  Basic recommendations based on results.
Results Verbal Explanation Numerical results can be incorporated within verbal descriptions of the results and how results were calculated.  Verbal descriptions can be in paragraphs or bullet-points and can then be incorporated into reports.
Sensitivity analysis  Analyzes the potential upside and downside of the costs and benefits
Option analysis Leverages Black-Scholes analysis to estimate the value of future options/opportunities enabled by the solutions selected.


Product/Company Information

Provides additional details about the solution selected. Can be static or dynamic (dependent on user inputs) content.

Company profile Information about the company providing the solutions.
Product info Detailed information about the solutions selected.
Case studies / Testimonials Other supporting information related to the selected solutions.
Research / Evidence Provide text or links to appropriate research to support the solutions selected.


Contract Details

Generation of appropriate legal content; which can be based on the solution selected by the user.

Quotation and pricing forms  Pricing based on the solution selected 
Deliverables  Statement of work 
Terms of Use Customized terms of use 
Confidentiality agreement NDA (NonDisclosure Agreement)
Standard legal language  Warranties, copyright and other notices, licensing, limitation of liability, etc 
Signature forms Forms that can be incorporated within the reports that can be signed.


Recommendations and Next Steps

Can assess user inputs to ensure proper completion. Provides recommendations and next steps; which can be based on user inputs.

Completion assessment Determines if all appropriate inputs have been properly filled out, that all inputs are reasonable, and that any conflicts have been resolved.
Dynamic recommendations Provide recommendations based on user inputs (e.g. solution modifications to improve output).
Next steps Provide recommended next steps, such as create reports, contact the tool publisher, etc.
Submit Optionally have user submit content (e.g. for a survey)



Our tools can include a wide variety of other content types -- essentially anything that can be modeled in Excel. Examples include: data lookup tables, complex calculations, product configuration logic, statistical analysis, and much more.