Forrester Wave™ - Purchasing Options Template
Originally published: 09/07/2021 10:16
Publication number: ELQ-42816-1
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Forrester Wave™ - Purchasing Options Template

The Forrester Wave™ Template for purchasing options, mapping market actors on the strength of their Strategy & Offering.

The Forrester Wave™ is a guide created by company "Forrester Research" (founded in 1983) and created for the first time 2002. Its objective is to help buyers consider their purchasing options in a technology marketplace. The "Wave" analyses each industry's top actors, and displays them in a pedagogical graph with two axis (Strength of Strategy, Strength of Offering), and their market presence (i.e. market share or turnover size). Their focus is to help buyers take the best well-informed purchasing decisions in emerging technological markets, without spending too much time. It is considered by many as among the top trusted sources in sales enablement technology provider analysis.

Each "Wave" is backed by a solid evaluation methodology conducted by Forrester Research, with pertinent evaluation criteria, which a buyer can have a deep dive into, to even build a short list of potential actors. 4 key players participate in the creation of a given Wave: analysts, research associates, vendor response team, and customer references.

The process to build a wave is in 3 steps:
1/ Preliminary Planning And Kickoff (Research the category and define the scope, Draft inclusion and evaluation criteria, Host a vendor kickoff teleconference)
2/ Gathering Evaluation Data (Distribute a questionnaire with the evaluation criteria, Hold executive strategy briefings and demonstrations, Interview customer references)
3/ Scoring And Reviewing (Perform a fact-check scorecard and vendor write-up review, receive the final scorecard, write-up, and positioning on the Forrester Wave graphic)

Given the impact the use of such a classic framework can have in purchasing options and market research/analysis, I have created 2 model templates in PowerPoint: one for pure Purchasing Options Market Analysis, and one for competitor analysis (where you can position, and quickly identify your own company). Indeed, why not extend this "Wave" framework to all possible markets that an analyst or Business Owner would want to look into?

The templates are fully editable and I have added a novelty with the option to position, thanks to an Excel Graph, actors on the Matrix.

The idea is to "mimic" the Forrester Wave™ presentation, and giving you a basic understanding on how you can build your own Wave for the market you wish to analyse.

Here are my own starting suggestions for the calculation of the score for both axis (which you change according to your insights, thinking and market):

✅ Strength of Strategy Factors (& Sub-Factors) - X AXIS - based on Donald Hambrick's and James Fredrickson's Strategy Diamond.
- Arenas (Product Categories, Channels, Market Segments, Geographic Areas, Core Technologies, Value Creation Stages)
- Vehicles (International Development, Joint Ventures, Licensing / Franchising, Alliances, Acquisitions)
- Differentiation (Image, Customization, Price, Styling, Product Reliability, Speed to Market)
- Staging (Speed of Expansion, Sequence of Initiatives)
- Economic Logic (Lowest Costs Through Scale Advantage, Lowest Costs Through Scope an Replication Advantages, Premium Price due to unmatchable service, Premium Prices due to proprietary product features)

✅ Strength of Offering Factors (& Sub-Factors), based on my own research - Y AXIS:
- NPS Scores (See here for NPS model calculation: or conduct customer interviews)
- Intrinsic Quality of Product/ Service (Degree of excellence of a product or service, Fitness for use or Fitness for purpose, Conformance to requirements, Freedom from defects or deficiencies, Totality of characteristics which act to satisfy a need)
- Price Adequacy
- Quality of Associated Services

The Best Practice is:
- an editable Microsoft PowerPoint Template Slide (2 Versions - with and without your own company - depending on the objective of the analysis you are conducting, competitor analysis or market analysis)
- 1 Excel Model to plot the graphs (with two tabs, one per option)
- with an online & offline 18 step-by-step methodology, with pedagogical illustrations for each step.

Should you have any questions on using this top tier purchasing and market analysis Management slide and framework, you're welcome to reach out to me via Private Message.

Good luck!
- Tim

More information about the Forrester Wave™ here:

To download the latest official Forrest Waves™:

Alternatives to the Forrester Wave™: Gartner Magic Quadrant (the most famous), G2 Crowd, IT Central Station, Experts Exchange, WhalePath, TrustRadius, Chaordix, Capterra, Comparz, GetApp, Ombud.

⭐️ Bundle of 8 Market Analysis Strategy Consulting Frameworks (including this one):

⭐️ Bundle of 7 Competitor Analysis Strategy Consulting Frameworks (including this one):

If you purchase this Best Practice you've got a special 50% coupon code included for your next purchases inside. ;)

This Best Practice includes
2 PowerPoint Template Models + 1 Excel Models (with two tabs) + 1 Online 18 Step-by-Step Methodology

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