JD Meier has a new blog post titled Business Value Generation is the New Bottleneck. His piece got me thinking about how all of the new capabilities and re-imagining of IT is opening up new opportunities. When you have the following available, the constraints are really in how you are using these trends to grow your business and add new value.
- Cloud. Really big computing available at your fingertips.
- Big Data. Anything, person or activity can be recorded and stepped back through thanks to endless data banks.
- Mobile. Doing things is no longer tied to a place. A consumer example of this is that movies no longer just at the movie theater or living room. Thanks to tablets and phones, movies are on the subway, in the waiting room and any other place.
To drive more value and increase the velocity of driving more value, JD says that the following has helped him.
- Proven practices. Having a repository of available options and artifacts of knowledge that can be browsed and retrieved.
- Shared language. Make sure that people are communicating and hearing the same thing. How do you talk about things so the team understands, instead of each individual pulling an analogy out of their personal history and pushing it to the group?
- Mental models. Context is kind, because relevancy is king. How do you frame the problem and also how do you frame the potential way you are going to address the problem? Sometimes businesses take the problem as a given and do not do the due diligence of properly framing the problem itself or evaluating different ways of framing the problem. It’s straight to the solution for some. This can be costly though. Also, how do you frame how you will address the problem? Are you going to address it with a Minimal Viable Product (MP) or are you going to address it with a solution that fits this one customer’s every desire exactly? Are you going to frame the solution in terms of patterns and have discussions around WHY certain patterns are being chosen? Or, are you going to spend time discussing how long it is going to take or how hard something might be?
These are definitely important things that when approached diligently and thoughtfully worked through as a team can increase the velocity with which the business can delivery more value. For example, maybe your business has a bottleneck in creating value because instead of framing the problem, experienced staff are taking the problem as given and prescribing a solution right away with a technology they have been using for the past 10 years. Maybe reframing the problem would lead to deeper discussions that will grow the business by offering a new service in the cloud that requires less time to integrate client-systems with.