Month: February 2016

Strategy, Architecture & Problem-Solving

Enterprise Architecture in Startups: Is it relevant?

Practitioners of Customer Development, Lean Startup and Enterprise Architecture can all learn from each other. But they shouldn’t enforce their views on each other as there are some incompatibilities. Let’s see how enterprise architecture in startups can exist. Background The Startup culture and methods have largely been defined by Steve Blank who wrote The Startup Owners…
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Designing for Everyone

Whatever system, process, technology we’re implementing, shouldn’t we be designing for everyone? Or at least everyone in the target customer segment? Background In the last couple of weeks, I’ve read a number of articles that have consolidated and made me reflect on my thinking about designing for disabilities and what counts as normal. Having spent a…
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Stakeholder Analysis

This is just a brief introduction to a classic method for performing stakeholder analysis. It’s a simple concept and I’m including it since it’s another good example of a 4-box model. To misquote Helmuth von Moltke the Elder: No project survives contact with the customer Background Every change activity has to deal with people. Whatever you’re planning,…
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When is it Innovation?

The terms innovation and invention are thrown around with abandon. This is rife in the startup domain where the innovation is often relating to a business model and in ageing corporations where innovation is being used to revitalise the organisation. But when is it innovation? Or could we actually be thinking of invention, improvement or creation instead?

Using Four Box Models

What is a Four-box Model? It’s a simplified graph, depicting two axes and the four boxes start at the corners of the graph. There’s an example further down below. Why Use Four-box Models? I love four box models. They’re simple and since they’re simple, they force you introduce clarity where there may have been confusion…
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An Example of Bad Facilitation

The story listed below is one that happened to me late last year. I still remember it with a smile, partly because it shows just how unaware the people were in the room and partly because it’s a great example of how a meeting can waste time. So for me, it’s a good example of why…
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Rethink the Carrot and Stick

I remember one of my clients being confused when I mentioned the carrot and stick as we discussed motivation for change. Since then I’ve found it an interesting test to see how people think motivation works in their immediate team. There are two versions of the carrot and stick story. Both versions include a donkey.…
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The Wrong Quick Wins

A few thoughts from me on quick wins and why we go for the wrong type. Hands up if you’ve ever had a project sponsor say they needed quick wins? Usually, it’s about showing that you’re doing something to the company board so your project isn’t cancelled or it’s about showing you can make savings. Both…
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Innovation is not a Space

I’m increasingly seeing clients with innovation spaces and I’m seeing more of them on social media/news channels where companies are outfitting office spaces with fun decorations and repurposed objects (e.g. tuk-tuks as meeting spaces). This concept of an innovation space has been introduced to change the way that employees generate solutions. What’s the problem? The problem…
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