Academic and Student Affairs

Initiation – Elevator Statement




The term elevator pitch or statement refers to a brief sales pitch that quickly summarizes, defines, and highlights the value proposition of a product, project, or service, etc. in a crisp and succinct way so that others can easily understand it.  It derives from the idea of leveraging an accidental meeting in an elevator to generate interest or engagement from a key stakeholder or decision maker.

In the context of project management, an Elevator Statement can serve to focus the team on why the product or project is needed and what benefits it will provide the target customer(s).  It is a valuable tool throughout the project to ensure the team remains on the same page regarding who the project/project is serving and how.  This is particularly true when prioritization or making trade-offs become necessary; any decisions that drive product/project direction should tie directly back to values outlined in the elevator statement.

An elevator statement addresses the problem you are trying to solve, who will benefit, how you are going to solve it, and how your solution is better than the competition (even if that is current state).

  1. For (target customer/audience)
  2. Who (statement of the need or opportunity)
  3. The (product or project name)
  4. Is a (category)
  5. That (statement of key benefit or compelling reason to proceed)
  6. Unlike (primary competitive alternativenote: could be current state)
  7. Our Product/Service/Project (statement of primary differentiation)


Sample :
  1. For: UW current and former students and alumni
  2. Who: Need transcripts for personal reasons, job, graduate school, scholarship, internship and external institution admissions applications.
  3. The: Credentials Solutions
  4. Is an: External transcript service
  5. That: Provides an external self-service portal to obtain transcripts
  6. Unlike: UW processing the transcripts in-house
  7. Our Product: Provides students and alumni with a better overall user experience


  • Project Sponsor
  • Project Manager
  • Relevant Stakeholders
  • Core Project team


  • Initial project/product idea or concept


  • Discuss with a sponsor, product owner, project team, and other key stakeholders (as appropriate)


  • Completed Elevator Statement