A few nice example business plan images I found:
7-Level Design - the product defect hierarchy - the 7 drivers of impact and cost reduction
Image by Julian Partridge
I'm quite used to finding massive, multi million-pound system 'improvements' in industry that have failed - unwittingly - well before the construction hurdle was even past.
Massive IT projects, for example, based on poor architecture becoming plagued with performance and cost issues that could have all been avoided if addressed earlier.
In large organisations, the operating concept of whatever change solution is being looked at is often the most overlooked - being the hardest to grasp due to competing political silos and a shortage of overarching conceptual talent. This only condemns the best of craftsmanship straight to the bin - the product just fails to solve the business problem!
A bad workman always blames his tools; but which gardener can dig his frozen ground with just a broken trowel?
Implementation - tirelessly converting work practices and installing new products and training all the people affected and then each learning how to optimise their new ways over time - is another very common oversight.
Often the costing of the idea was limited to the purchase of the product, with the scantiest allowance planned for 'extras' like proper implementation. Owners often throwing their kneejerk new product ideas at their organisations and just expecting perfection to emerge by osmosis! [ring a bell, anyone... in the NHS perhaps?]
And of course there's the other extreme - an industry of implementation hangers-on making a small fortune 'improving' the implementation of an operation, or the 'skills' of the person, without any regard to the opportunity or concept upon which their world is based.
Ergo: massive cost; no impact.
But remember: not just iPhone apps, aeroplanes, and electric bikes are products - systems, services, events, enterprises, NGO missions, charities, economic policies, governments, laws, work programmes, economic stimulants, town centres, benefit systems, hospitals, schools, communities... Even whole nations can be viewed as 'products'.
To cater for this all-encompassing product view, I've added the opportunity and spirit upper levels in this hierarchy. Ie even if the concept is sound it may not be the best opportunity to take-up: what else is out there!?
And when people are the most pressing concern, the whole endeavour must be born of the right spirit. Woe to everyone if it's not!
So by looking at your organisation, product or service, rooting-out defects at every quality level - particularly from the top - you can drive up your impact and drive out your costs, maximising your spiritual and financial return on investment.