How should we define pivots?

We would like your help defining a start-up pivot and the difference between minor and major ones. Share your opinion on our proposed new definitions and offer your suggestions.

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Background and current definitions

CIMIT's GAITS platform enables teams to capture progress toward completing Deliverables in an interactive display that provides a visual snapshot showing the status of a project. GAITS also allows teams to show what happened as a result of completing a Deliverable.

Here are the options and current definitions:

  • As Planned: Things went more or less as expected.
  • Minor Pivot: Things did not result as a expected and caused a minor change to plans
  • Major Pivot: Things did not result as a expected and caused a major change to plans
  • Stopped Program: The result showed a fatal flaw which caused the team to abandon the program
  • Launched New Program: The results identified a whole new opportunity that is being pursued in addition to the original program. 

Lesson Learned

The value of capturing this information was initially envisioned to help conduct retrospective analyses to determine which Deliverables were most influential in establishing the path of a program.

We have found that GAITS visual indication that a pivot has occurred is quite valuable as it helps coordinate team members in reacting to unexpected events.

Defining the pivot

Proposed pivot workflow

The definition of pivots above does not provide consistent guidance and can cause confusion. We need better definitions and would like to tap into the healthcare community for help. 

We started with the definition from Steve Blank, the founder of the Lean Launchpad methodology. He states a pivot for a start-up is: “a substantive change to one or more of the 9 business model canvas components.” We use the Healthcare Business Model Canvas which has 14 components, but otherwise propose using his definition.

Proposed definitions for GAITS/Healthcare

We welcome your feedback on these definitions:

Pivot: A substantive change to one or more of the healthcare business model canvas components.

  • Minor pivot: causes a change of plans moving forward.
  • Major pivot: causes the team to go back and redo prior work while also changing plans moving forward.
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