A Blockchain Toolkit for Discovering Valuable Business Cases

Originally posted on https://medium.com/hyperspaceventures/a-blockchain-toolkit-for-discovering-valuable-business-cases-5cbe24b2285b

Blockchain is the new black. However some say we are currently at the end of the hype phase, the work pile on educating blockchain is still pretty high.

Higher management asks for strong blockchain use cases without giving away too much time to decently search for valuable or matching applications.

Finding a strong use case in just one day without the majority of the stakeholders that would finally be involved in such a project is probably a difficult thing to do. Some help needs to be provided to guide the discovery phase towards successful blockchain business cases that are as valuable to the business as possible.

Let’s say you have 8 hours to spend with a team of people on discovering this strong blockchain use case. The question there would be: What are the questions we would like to get the answer to , to get the maximum out of these 8 hours?

Another problem is that 80% of your team probably doesn’t even understand a little bit of how blockchain or distributed ledger technology works.

… And thus the need was born to create a framework or toolkit that would ask those crucial few questions, taking into account that it should also work for people who don’t have a clue about what blockchain actually is.

Hyperspace (business design), Knight Moves(service design) and TheLedger (blockchain development) teamed up to come up with a methodology that works for any business, is easy to facilitate and is based on discovering business value that is inherent to blockchain technology.

Part 1: Discover Highest Value.

How could we find out what strong business cases would float around in our business context’s universe? Well, we would probably find them by listing all of them and scoring how well blockchain could improve their current status.

Blockchain could radically improve next 3 things for any value transaction or activity registration:

  • Cost
  • Run Time
  • Inaccuracy

Let’s say that if the cost of transaction today is pretty high, Blockchain indeed could change a few things there. Or if the run time to go through a certain process is taking way too long today, Blockchain could also change something there. etc..

The question we would still have here is, how to come up with all the possible value transactions or activity registrations? Well, that’s why we first added a Stakeholder and Ledger mapping exercise. These two canvases help you visualise any value transaction or activity registration that is relevant to your business.

After scoring all the ledger elements and visualising the involved stakholders, a top list of use cases is the result.

Ok so then what?

Part 2: Prototype your Blockchain Model and Smart Contract.

Certainly with something as complex as blockchain, stakeholder alignment couldn’t be more important. The idea behind prototyping your blockchain model is exactly that: finding agreement on the model between all stakeholders and finally being able to write down on a sheet of paper a description and visualisation of the use case.

With a prototyped paper model it’s much easier to ask blockchain developers to help you on the matter.

In business, the result of a blockchain application is often (always) a smart contract. Finding consensus on the rules of a smart contract could again make it much more clear for others besides the stakeholders themselves to agree on the use and workflow of the smart contract. That’s why the last exercise in Part 2 is a canvas used to find consensus on smart contract rules.

Let’s get to work!

You can download the toolkit on www.blockchaintoolkit.be or contact any of us for more information.

And remember just like with anything else: blockchain isn’t the goal, it’s the tool you might need to get there. (Well, except for our friends from TheLedger then ;) )