e3value user manual, first release

2.3 Value activities

A value activity is a task performed by an actor that potentially results in a benefit for the actor.

A value activity is represented in e3value by a rounded box (figure 2.5). We recommend to use the present continuous tense (e.g. traveling) for the name of value activities.

Figure 2.5:The railway company performs transporting and catering services.

If no value activity is shown in an actor, this means that it performs exactly one value activity, which is left implicit. We should be able to infer the value activity of the actor from its name. If we would omit the Traveling activity fro Traveler in figure 2.5, we can still guess what a traveler does: traveling.

A market segment can perform a value activity too, which means that each actor in the market segment performs the same value activity (figue 2.6).

Figure 2.6:Actors in a market segment perform the same value activity.

Sourcing. An important task in value network design is the assignment of value activities to actors, also called sourcing. A value activity is a collection of operational activities that can be assigned as a whole to actors. A value activity should be assigned to an actor who expects to benefit from performing the value activity, i.e. to make a profit, comply to its mission, or increase economic value for itself. From the point of view of one actor, the assignment of a value activity to an actor or market segment is basically a make-or-buy decision.

For example, in figure 2.5, the railway company offers two services, Transporting and Catering. In figure 2.7, the Catering activity has been outsourced. In this situation, the catering company expects to profit from this activity. It can provide its catering services also to other actors.

Figure 2.7:The railway company has outsourced catering services.