Books

Where Do I Learn? – Part 2 – Books

Posted Posted in Articles, Mentoring and Training, Methodology, Service Redesign, Startups, Strategy

If I’m driving, I’m listening to podcasts. If I’m travelling by train, then I’m reading. I typically read books that don’t directly relate to my profession, but those that I hope will change my approach to how I work with clients. For every client I go to, I end up mentoring business analysts, business architects, programme manager, project managers and other change programme staff. So I’ve kept a list of references (not just books) on Evernote and I tailor it to the person I’m mentoring at that time. Here’s the list of books that I recommend: 1. Lean 1.1. Womack and Jones: Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation http://amzn.to/1sCHWwD This is the book I recommend to anyone trying to understand lean for changing services and organisations. However, once you understand, you’ll start applying it to other areas […]

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Charging Admission as an Example of Changing Strategy

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Service Redesign, Strategy

We should all look at the thinking behind this article in Business Of Fashion; there’s a lot we can take away from it. It shows a level of innovation and shines light on so many values that we take for granted.   The Premise The author writes about the shift of a fashion store to charging customers a fee to enter the store. The argument is that the store is an entertainment experience and that we expect to pay for other places of entertainment, e.g. theatres, cinemas, etc, so shouldn’t we also expect to pay to go to fashion stores? So instead, we could charge admission not for the store but for the experience which happens to be in a store. There’s a distinction there in that most stores will not have an experience worth charging. Indeed, as the author mentions […]

The Kano model can operate in reverse: exploring the travel industry

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Service Redesign, Strategy

You may have come across the Kano model before. It’s an analytical technique for understanding what your customers want and, importantly, what they’ve come to expect as required. Exploration I was travelling on a local train last week with a largely empty carriage. I had the choice of seats. I am familiar enough with these carriages to know that there are heating vents in blocks underneath every third row of seats, so I didn’t sit behind one of them. That way my feet would have somewhere to fit. So I a seat two rows behind. Then I noticed that my knees didn’t fit. Actually, couldn’t fit. I was seated as far back in the seat as I could go and still my legs could not fit straight in front of me. I had to resort to man-spreading (the shame of […]

Sheep

Black sheep or Shepherd?

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Service Redesign, Strategy

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 […]

Idea Post-its

Business Architect for Free*

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Mentoring and Training, Methodology, Problem Solving, Service Redesign, Startups, Strategy

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, […]

Post-it Notes

Confirmation bias in design thinking

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

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 […]

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How a Simple Change Can Bring Multiple Benefits

Posted Posted in Articles, Innovation, Service Redesign, Transformation

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 […]

Ladder of citizen participation

Where Organisations Go Wrong

Posted Posted in Articles, Service Redesign, Transformation

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 […]

Automation of White Collar Jobs and Process Debt

Posted Posted in Articles, Service Redesign, Startups

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 […]

3 Reasons for Running Sales Campaigns

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

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 […]