textile

Enterprise Architecture as a household chore

Posted Posted in Articles, Methodology, Strategy, Transformation

If transformative change is the task of ironing, then Enterprise Architecture is the act of stretching the fabric across the ironing board beforehand. Ensuring that the creases that already existed are smoothed out, allowing the change to flow freely, instead of exacerbating the folds that were already present before the change. Experienced Enterprise Architects will know just how much stretching is required, how hot to make the change and, most importantly, when it’s done and it’s time to move onto the next item.

conference-room

What’s in a Role Name?

Posted Posted in Articles, Strategy, Transformation

How many people do you have in your organisation that produce the product for the customer and how many manage those people? We assume more people doing and fewer managing within an extended enterprise (allowing for counting those in outsourced functions). Background I was trying to find a new contact in a well-known company. One with a significant presence in the UK (might originally have been a UK company if I remember correctly). And I wanted to know who the relevant partner-relations person would be. You’d think that would be a public role and relatively easy to find. What I noticed as a I searched through LinkedIn and cross-referenced with Twitter was that everyone was a manager. I hadn’t selected any seniority level, the search results reflected all the titles in that company. So I looked a bit further down […]

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 […]

Shhh!

Is this a bad time to talk?

Posted Posted in Articles, Mentoring and Training, Services, Transformation

There are times to make people feel comfortable, to help them feel that the change is achievable. There are also times when we need to remove that comfort and destabilise temporarily, so that they can work towards a solution. We commonly reintroduce comfort, or better still guide the audience towards discovering the own new level of comfort. On a smaller level, that element of something not being on script can be incredibly useful. Context Think of those situations when someone has spoken out of character for the event. They’ve gone off-script and either talked about something not relevant or worse completely inappropriate for the situation. To borrow an example from the television series Frasier, I remember Martin Crane, the retired police officer, opening up a conversation at a dinner party talking about human entrails when asked about the buffet “Isn’t […]

Applying Different Categories of Knowledge

Posted Posted in Articles, Facilitation, Transformation

Introduction We should be careful when we judge the effectiveness of others and reflecting on this can in turn help influence us in how we approach change activities. I’ll use this chart (shown in more detail further down) to describe the differences. First Day Effectiveness On numerous occasions, I’ve seen people judge others by their effectiveness on the first day at work. In some cases that may be fairer than others, but let’s take the view of a clinician arriving on a hospital ward for the first time. That nurse may be one of the best nurses ever to have existed, complete with outstanding nursing skills and excellent nursing experience, but they may be judged overly harshly as being ineffective due to not knowing the location of certain items on that particular ward. It always takes some time to understand how a new environment works, whether […]

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 […]

Designing for Everyone

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

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 […]

Stakeholder Analysis

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

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.