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Product Leadership by Martin Eriksson, Nate Walkingshaw, Richard Banfield

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Chapter 9. Mapping the Partner Ecology

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This chapter will offer suggestions for mapping out your partner landscape. The ecology of where the value flows—from partner to customer or constituent to revenue—will provide new insights. This mapping can take several forms: an experience map, a business canvas, or a flow diagram showing where the activities, value, and communication flows. Some of these relationships will be added, removed, and edited as the company or product grows. This evolution is normal, and partner or vendor relationships should be reassessed from time to time.

There’s no right or wrong way to do an exercise in partner mapping, but the experience map format works well. Experience maps are a temporal display of the touchpoints and interactions between internal teams and customers. In the case of the partners map, the relationship touchpoints would also include the partners that provide services or value to the company and product life cycle.

It’s surprising when we’re consulting to product companies to discover that they haven’t done this work, and are unable to clearly explain where the value flows. When they see an experience map illustrated for the first time, they are equally surprised. What’s important to remember is that although your company might have several partners or agencies, it might also be someone else’s external partner. Take a good look at which ...

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