In retail, people often talk about a product and its position in the market as either ‘good’, ‘better’ or ‘best’.

Heinz position their baked beans as the best. HP might decide not to invest the considerable resources it would require to challenge Heinz’s positioning and instead position their baked beans as ‘better’. The supermarket own brand baked beans would be positioned as ‘good’. (Supermarkets also very successfully introduced a ‘basic’ level to this hierarchy and I can remember as a student being able to buy a tin of baked beans for 9p).

This hierarchy of perceived value can be applied to building solutions to a problem. There could be a good solution, a better solution, and the best solution. The higher up the hierarchy the solution is the more costly, complex, time-consuming it’s likely to be, but it delivers more value than the lower solutions.

Knowing what a ‘good’, ‘better’ and ‘best’ solution looks like helps with plotting the future of the solutions. A good solution might be enough for now but a better solution will be required within a year.