Capability Components

Pardon, which sector? – Xtech and Why I’m Fed Up with Tech part 3

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I’ve written previously about the issues with xtech that arise from applying -tech to the end of a sector such as healthtech, fintech, etc. And I introduced (and revoked) the idea of a -value suffix. Earlier this week, a conversation earlier made me think more about this and I want to explore the concepts of Business Capability and Capability Components further. The entrepreneur mentioned that he was in the finance sector. On questioning further, the offer was a financial app for any sector. There’s a big difference and we can explore that difference in a matrix between capabilities and sectors. At first glance, that looks like a contender for the world’s least useful matrix. On second glance, I’d also probably agree with my first impression. Not only does every cell in the matrix have a tick in it (so there’s […]

ecommerce

The Value Affix – Xtech and Why I’m Fed Up with Tech part 2

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I wrote in the previous article that we don’t need a separate xtech for any given sector x. Abstracting further, the focus should be on the customer, not the technology. We see healthtech, fintech and insuretech which indicate the use of new technologies to improve existing or introduce new business models. But technology is just one factor that could be changed. Historic changes to business models Instead we could be changing other elements of the business model. We’ve already seen the changes introduced during the shift from bricks-and-mortar to online. We stuck an “e-” at the beginning of everything. If it’s Apple-related, maybe an “i”. We saw segmentation and stuck a CRM at the end of it. And I still chuckle from hearing a supplier introduce “farmerCRM” at the time. In that room, we had all misheard PharmaCRM which made […]

Partnership Map 0_02

Partnership Map

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I’ve developed a Partnership Map, designed to help us think about which companies we partner with and why. With my clients, I’ve often found workshop attendees confused (at least initially) by the term partnership. If you use other well-known tools such as the Business Model Canvas, maybe you’ve encountered similar issues. We all use the term partnership, but rarely question what we actually mean by it. I usually revert to asking what the partnership entails. If it’s one company paying another for services, is that really partnership? Components There are two parts to the target The Map itself: designed so you can print it large and place your partnering companies on the map A table of the definition of the tiers. I’ll admit this is a very rough draft, but I thought it better to get it out in the […]

Books

Where Do I Learn? – Part 2 – Books

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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 […]

Zombie Hands

Be a Startup, not a Zombie

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I’m just catching up on an episode of The Salesman Podcast hosted by Will Barron. The episode is about being the first sales person in a new company. While I agree with everything Vinnie has said, one thing came to mind. If you’re the first salesperson and you’re conducting product-market fit conversations, then you’re working for a zombie, not a startup; it’s dead, but doesn’t know it. I can’t think of a more suitable activity for the founders before hiring anyone than to conduct those conversations themselves. The only exception I can think of is where the founders have zero business sense (think of the traditional, out-dated view of scientists) and need to hire to make a business. Think back to Steve Blank’s Customer Development concepts and subsequently, Eric Ries’ Lean Startup, checking whether the market wants your concept and whether […]

Revised Revenue Vs Confidence 4 box model

4 box model for deciding on the future – part 2

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I finished the previous part of this article with a four box model that had two quadrants with the same outcome. With that article, I’d stated that the outcome you may want to choose would probably depend on the lifestyle you want to lead. That still applies, but I want to show what I do with similar four-box models The issue I don’t like when four-box models show opposite quadrants with the same outcome. The reason is that the quadrants are an approximation so we’ve blurred what we do with data points that fall around the centre (like around a bullseye) of the model. Imagine a point of x=49 and y=51, why should that be treated different to x=51 and y=51? or x=49 and y=49? How to interpret What we recognise is that if the diagonally-opposite quadrants are more a […]

RevenueVsConfidence

4 box model for deciding on the future – part 1

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I regular make decisions about where I’m going to spend most of my working effort. A few years ago, I was sharing my ideas and potential options with a few friends and ex-colleagues. I used an extension to the typical four-box models. This simplified the thinking and forced me to recognise a few major questions that I’d been skirting around. I wasn’t short of ideas for businesses; some proven, some not. But I recognised I didn’t have enough time to do everything, nor enough available funding to pay others to do everything. Importantly, I didn’t have sufficient time or energy to chase funding to make all the ideas happen (and chasing too many would disqualify the ideas from most potential funders). Horizontal axis – annual revenue forecast I didn’t initially approach this in a mercenary way, but after trying a […]

Idea Post-its

Business Architect for Free*

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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, […]

Considerations for the platform of a new startup

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Background I’m seriously considering building my new startup on Microsoft’s Azure platform with the BizSpark programme and that’s a departure for me. I’m going to use the term “startup” loosely but at least 1 of the 3 conformed to Steve Blank’s definition, proving the business model worked. I’ll cover three of the ideas; 2 built and 1 about to be built. First Startup I’ve built my first startup on Amazon’s AWS. The 3rd party documentation on how to configure a linux instance to accommodate Ruby on Rails was a key driver in that decision. Incidentally, I was also new to Rails, so I had a double learning curve. The documentation was thorough enough and up-to-date enough that I was able to follow the instructions and maintain the instance for a year. I didn’t like the charging mechanics of AWS for […]

Automation of White Collar Jobs and Process Debt

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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 […]