As a business architect, I feel like I’m sometimes the black sheep and sometimes the shepherd of the Enterprise Architecture function. The Black Sheep 1: Uncovering the rationale I feel like the black sheep because I find myself regularly asking why. Why did you make that decision? Why did you choose that approach? Why caused you to think that way? I tend to use different, phrasing which is more approachable and open, such as “tell me the story so far. How did we get to where we are now?”, etc. But underneath it all, I’m aiming to understand the motivation behind the changes that are progressing in front of me. It’s not so much a position of devil’s advocate, more of one of uncovering the rationale behind decisions and evaluating whether that decision is still a valid one. Many […]
I’ve got some time in between clients where I’d like to contribute back or pay-it-forward. I’d like to donate my time for free and raise a bit for charity while I’m doing it. What’s the offer? You get a Business Architect for free* *What does free mean? You don’t pay for my time. Instead, you pay expenses (we can agree up front and they could end up being zero) + you make a donation to a registered charity (I’ll leave the amount up to you). You’ll get me for up to a day, plus time beforehand over email/messenger to discuss how to use that time. Alternatively, if you just want a chat in person/over Skype, I’m happy to get involved. This is open until Fri 25th August 2017 to one more company or organisation initially. I have one already booked in, […]
Every few years another fad comes around. Look back long enough and you’ll see lean, systems thinking, TQM, CRM, structured systems and many, many more methodologies and/or approaches. The problem is in the delivery of the projects when the terms become more widespread. Background What we’re seeing is the climb of two methodologies: Service Design and Design Thinking. You can probably add in Human-Centered Design and Inclusive Design into that mix. Many organisations are adopting these methodologies to solve their existing problems, switching from a lack of methodology or from more formal, structure methods to ones centred around design. I’m increasingly seeing Design Thinking heralded as the way forwards, but there are some issues with that approach. To be clear, I’m a supporter of Design Thinking and many related methodologies. I’m not necessarily a supporter of how those methodologies are implemented in many […]
I’m often designing change programmes for large organisations. I’m an external consultant, an outsider coming into the organisation that already exists. There are already governance boards in place, whether for operational, financial or change governance. These boards happen on a regular basis, often on a set day of the month. As an outsider, I’m not going to be able to change those days. At most, I can influence the shifting of one or two on ad-hoc and in very rare occasions, the executive sponsor is senior enough to be able to change the day because it suits her as well. But remember that a lot of other activity is set around these events and most organisations will resist changing the day. So why do we need to change the day? If you think of a typical design sprint, then it’s […]
A lot happened in 1969. The moon landing, Led Zeppelin was released (the first LZ album), the maiden flight of the Boeing 747, and a paper by Sherry Arnstein. It’s difficult to say which is the most important of those above, but Arnstein’s paper is probably the least famous. Context I frequently speak with directors and project leaders who introduce their voice of the customer initiative as the way that they interact with customers. That’s the way the company understands what customers are saying, what customers want, etc. After some digging since it’s never completely easy to find the one team (often because they operate under a different name, but someone thought Voice of the Customer would be a good title for what they do), I find that the initiative is a survey with some analysis of the results. That’s […]
Background Business Insider published an article on how automation may remove the need for people in white-collar roles. While the context of the article seems relevant, I found the choice of example to be very odd. Specifically Deliveroo’s creation of 25 redundancies in their ordering process. In fact, I think it more likely that process debt had been accrued and then paid off as part of an improvement programme. Initial Thoughts I found it odd because to me that sounds like the original ordering process was horrendously inefficient. Automation was one tool that was used, but I doubt that it was the only tool. Better process design, streamlining and more intelligent analysis of the how the process worked were probably a bigger part of the result than the automation itself. The automation was just one of the enablers. Rationale The reason that I […]
Context A friend the other day suggested that he drop his prices for a few weeks and I questioned what the rationale was behind the intended price drop. I wanted to check that there was a valid reason and it wasn’t just a knee-jerk reaction that led to the idea of creating sales campaigns. I only know of 3 reasons for sales. I’ll define sales as campaigns based on a short-term price reduction, such as end of season sales, January sales, etc. To be clear, I’m avoiding discounting and similar activities to keep specific customers happy and/or make the sale which I see as a different set of activities. The 3 Reasons for Sales Campaigns 1: Due to Inaccurate Estimates The provider chain (including the parts supplier, manufacturer, distributor and/or retailer and any combination of the above) has inaccurately estimated the amount that customers will […]
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 number of years working in the health and social care sector, I’m well-versed in the practicalities of working with people with disabilities. But I still hate the phrase “people with disabilities” and every other similar phrase I’ve ever seen. I don’t like the word inclusion, not that I don’t like the concept itself, but that I don’t like that the concept has to exist. Hence the title of this article as “Designing for Everyone”. What’s an average person? I read The Atlantic’s article on how we’ve ended […]
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, you’ll affect some people more than others and some of those people you affect will have a greater opportunity to influence your progress.
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?