The rigorous modeling process follows the Pyramid Principle

My last post “Get buy-in with the Pyramid Principle” explained a process to win support for important conclusions or recommendations …

  • start with the key recommendation, or issue you want agreed
  • summarise the key insights that lead to this recommendation
  • then only explain any supporting analysis that audience questions call for

I didn’t explicitly plan this, but it turns out that the rigorous ‘AgileSD’ process for building “digital twin” business models conforms with that same principle.

Whatever the purpose – creating a plan for a business or function; planning and managing a new initiative; fixing some problem – we start with a quantified chart of how the outcome of concern is changing over time.

That outcome can nearly always be directly calculated or estimated from very few proximate causes – sales = customers * sales/customer; service quality = a function of workload … so quantify those items too and formulate the relationship.

Keep pursuing that “what causes this?” process (including the bit about how “stocks” accumulate) until you have a good-enough explanation for the outcome. Where “good enough” means you can answer any likely question that your audience may ask.

There will be branches along the way, spreading out to cover the full scope of items needed to give an adequate explanation. And of course there will be interdependence and feedback among those connections (an issue that the Pyramid Principle itself does not recognise).

So … what we do in effectively is start at the top of the pyramid – drill down by asking “What causes that?”  to generate a wider base to that pyramid – but we only widen the pyramid as much as is necessary to answer our needs.


The ‘agileSD’ method for building dynamic business models follows exactly these principles. Its rigorous 4-step process starts from the outcome-of-concern and builds-out the model progressively from there. So you quickly get a model for planning and managing any strategy, or initiative that matches the real world, but only includes the essential details. Learn to build these digital-twin business models in our core course. There is a low-cost Essentials option, and followers get 1/3 off the price, using coupon ‘blog33′ at checkout.

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