Traynor Guitar Amp

How accurate is your testing routine?

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Methodology, Service Redesign, Transformation

Testing is not just for software, but for the business processes, organisation or service that you’re implementing? I’ve seen many test routines that are too artificial, too removed from the reality of what the users will go through. Fortunately this factor has improved over time, especially with more focus on user stories. Let’s consider one of the best examples of testing I’ve ever seen. Guitar amps are generally fragile. They’re usually robust enough for scrapes and minor bashes as you’re carrying them through doorways, but they don’t survive being dropped down stairs very well. One amp manufacturer had a test routine of removing the glass valves (they’re replaceable consumables) and then throwing the test amp from the roof of the building to emulate the journey that some amps go through. On the ground, they inserted valves and powered it up […]

RigourAndCreativity

Art requires rigour, science requires creativity

Posted Posted in Articles, Facilitation, Methodology, Service Redesign, Strategy, Transformation

I heard this quote the other day, but I didn’t catch who originally said it. Art requires rigour, science requires creativity The first point is that it’s contrary to the standard view. The second point is that both perspectives are valid and that there shouldn’t be that much of a difference. It then made me think of typical transformation programme roles and the relation between creativity and rigour. Most roles have a balance between the two, with that balance changing according to the standard role and, at times, according to the demands on that role. For instance, process analysts should generally follow a set of standards. Business Analysts have to be more creative, but still have methodologies to follow. Service Designers have less rigour methods, usually a composition of tools and techniques rather than the standardised methodologies of previous decades. […]

Fax Machine

The Parallels Between RPA and Fax Automation

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Service Redesign, Strategy, Transformation

There are times when the cheap and nasty solution is so economically efficient that it can preclude doing it properly later on. Background – The Fax Just under a decade ago, I was working with a local authority client and their NHS hospital partner. The interpretation of the law at that time was that email was considered a non-secure channel. Fax was at the time the chosen channel since it was considered to be secure. So documents were sent from the hospital, via the fax machine to the fax machine in the social care offices. Continuing Health Care panels met to decide on whether the NHS or the local authority paid for the care, based on whether the primary need was a health need or a social care need. That’s simplifying the logic behind the process and the decision but it’s […]

A Fabricated Example of Using OKRs with Archimate

Using Archimate to model OKRs for Business Motivation

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Service Redesign, Strategy, Transformation

Following the theme of moulding different modelling languages, methodologies and toolsets together, I want to take a look at how to model OKRs in Archimate. Once again, I’m using Archi (or ArchimateTool) with the Archimate modelling language. OKRs do not cascade Just because the diagram depicts a hierarchy, doesn’t mean that the objectives cascade down the organisational hierarchy. Following the logic in OKRs don’t cascade, I’ve taken the approach of the depicting the hierarchy, rather than how that hierarchy is achieved. In the article, Felipe mentions that objectives should not be cascaded down the organisation. Instead, objectives and key results should be discussed and agreed at each level. The resulting picture is the same either way, but the content of the objectives and key results may be different depending on the route. Contributing Goals Depending on the level of the organisation, […]

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Look at the Evidence – the Spike and Delay Pattern in Social Care

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Problem Solving, Service Redesign, Transformation

A number of years ago, I was transforming a city’s social care directorate and, as part of that transformation, we aimed to reduce the time it took to do anything when interacting with the service. The transformation was based on a more fundamental need to free up workers to be able to do the work they were meant to do rather than having to fight the fires caused by delays and resulting failure demand. I instigated a methodical approach for identifying which cycles to focus on first. As the team progressed through the cycles, I noticed a pattern; it’s the spike of activity followed by a lengthy delay as discussed in a previous article. As we looked in particular at a few cycles of spike followed by a delay, I routinely advised the team to question the need for that common […]

speaker

The Delay Following the Spike – Issues with Cycle Time in Service Industries

Posted Posted in Articles, Problem Solving, Service Redesign, Transformation

How long does it take you to do what your customers want? Not just the first part, but the whole of it? 1. The Pattern I see this pattern commonly replicated across service industries. It involves a very short spike of activity (e.g. 5-20 minutes) followed by a lengthy delay where something is sent to the customer and the organisation waits for the return. This is followed by a 2nd spike of activity which in turn is followed by another lengthy delay. Depending on the bureaucracy involved, this process may involve several rounds of spike and delay, each adding to the overall delay in service for the customer and, most likely, increasing failure demand on the organisation. 2. Some Samples Let’s have a look at a few industries and see how this pattern plays out: 2a. Retail Industry Take for […]

Business Motivation Model for GDPR

GDPR: The White Knight or The Elephant in The Room

Posted Posted in Articles, Problem Solving, Service Redesign, Strategy, Transformation

I’m going to use GDPR as an example of how prioritised goals can make a big difference in how an organisation responds to change. I’ve no wish to jump on the consultancy bandwagon that is GDPR; I’m definitely no expert on the subject. However, GDPR will serve as a good example in this content as it’s a topical subject that many organisations are addressing and so should be at the forefront of many strategic and tactical discussions. A brief perspective on GDPR I have a simple view of GDPR in that it’s requiring organisations to be better citizens, i.e. to behave better with the data that they obtain and manage. While there are a those complaining about the effects of GDPR, I would first want to question the motives of the companies they work for. I would be looking to see […]

Checkout Till

Finding a balance between the needs of the organisation and the needs of the customer

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Service Redesign, Strategy

Some companies are immature in their approach to customer relationship management (CRM), but at the heart is a desire to get something for free. And that’s wrong. The scenario You look around a shop, you pick something up, take it to the checkout, wait in a queue. You notice that the queue is moving slowly, despite most customer only having a handful of items and then paying with credit card. Maybe the link to the credit card authoriser is a bit flakey today? It’s your turn at the checkout. Once the greeting and the small talk is out of the way, the dreaded question is delivered by the sales assistant “Can I have your email address please?” or some variant on that request for your email. This may be followed with “can I take your postcode?” or “do you already […]

Business Architecture and Service Design

How Might We Apply Service Design to the Enterprise?

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Service Redesign, Strategy, Transformation

I simplistically take the view that Service Design is the concepts and methods of Design Thinking applied to making services work better for their customers. It’s a definition that works in the circles I most commonly move in, i.e. directors, programme directors, etc. It allows me to set the stage in which service design and design thinking both play. However on the same stage, we commonly find KPIs, OKRs, Business Architecture, etc. And the stage starts to look crowded very quickly. We also start to see people pulling in different directions, like someone has let a mouse loose in the chorus of an Italian opera. Operas and plays have directors, often many directors each responsible for their own domain, but with one artistic director responsible for the overall vision. Envisioning Now imagine what would the stage look like if the […]