In the paper “CI Business Evaluation”, Margaret Horne discusses the typical steps followed in performing business appraisals, along with the role that CI plays in each. These steps and the corresponding CI action are shown in the “Role of CI in Business Appraisals” figure.
Carrying out these steps requires the use of specific research tools in the hands of trained professionals and support personnel. The most advanced toolsets change over years as Internet and database search tools and analytics improve. The following sections however provide examples of what can be achieved. Probably one of the most important items is to ensure that a small group of people participate in any study. The group should have the diversity to both conduct research as well as audit the results obtained for sanity.
High-value opportunities for competitive intelligence support occurs during M&A planning and due diligence processes, R&D and business development portfolio planning, and during the R&D and business development projects themselves. In the latter case competitive intelligence should be involved in each of the different Stages / Gates or Agile / Lean sprints.