As a Program Manager, one of the things I’ve had to do a lot is, “pitch projects.” Whether it’s pitching a project or talking about a project in the hall, it helps to have an elevator pitch that sticks.
The ideal elevator pitch for a project is simple, sticky, and makes the point fast. Somebody shouldn’t have to work too hard to figure out what it’s about. It’s the essence in a nutshell.
The Minimum Elevator Pitch
Here are a few example elevator pitches I’ve used for some of my projects:
- Secure your web app, services, and data in the cloud. (Windows Azure Security Guide)
- Build the platform playbook for Microsoft. (Microsoft Application Architecture Guide, 2nd Edition)
- Make the most of Visual Studio / Team Foundation Server. (Team Development with Team Foundation Server Guide)
- Bake security into the life cycle. (Improving Web Application Security: Threats and Countermeasures Guide)
- Bake performance into the life cycle. (Improving .NET Application Performance and Scalability Guide)
I’m a fan of the one-liner reminders. They make it easy for you to tell and sell the story. Additionally, they make it easier for others to tell and sell your story if they have a simple, sticky, one-liner reminder, and in today’s world, word-of-mouth marketing is your friend.
The Maximum Elevator Pitch
Here is an example of an elaborated elevator pitch template, I’ve used in patterns & practices on a slide, as a more formal way of expression the cornerstone attributes of the project:
- Customer - For solution architects, lead developers.
- Need – Prescriptive Guidance for the design and architecture of applications on the Microsoft platform.
- Product name – Cloud Security Program
- Key benefit – A durable and evolvable Microsoft playbook for application architecture which is on point with future Microsoft direction, principle based, pattern based, integrated and consolidation across the Microsoft technology stack, and a good frame that integrates the actionable principles, patterns, and proven implementations.
- Differentiator – Principles, patterns and practices connected to Microsoft strategy and customer scenarios. The opposite is piecemeal, siloed, product-centric guidance and industry patterns efforts, not connected to technology stacks, and connected to expensive consulting services.