New Ways of Working the Human Component

The Agile20Reflect Festival will have created a great focus on the past, present and future of Agile in Feb 2021. Taking that impetus to the next level we want to think wider about how we can establish the principles of Agile and leverage them in organisational change and new ways of working.

This session is being set up to set out an agenda for change that is focused on humans and how they can remain central to the measurable success in organisations.

The first speaker of two will be Karl Smith who as been a consultant and innovator in Business Transformation and Human Centred Design since 1989 and in Agile since 2004 involved in supporting both business and technology in the adoption of Customer Centricity and Agility. His recent focus has been on combining HCD and Agile in Enterprise Agile Portfolio management as an extension of SAFe.

The second speaker is to be confirmed.

Attend here: https://www.meetup.com/new-ways-of-working-meetup-group/events/275079160/

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Combining Agile and UX in Organisational Design for Business Agility and Agile Transformation

Some things to understand before getting into the main article. Agile is based on some very human concepts around how to work and what to value. Some of these concepts are exactly the same as UX and are driven by the same desire for simplicity and functionality.

Agile in its most basic sense is about people, how they work with other people and how to maintain a continuous flow of transparent work. In Agile many people will focus on ‘continuous flow’ and ‘transparent work’ and forget the ‘how to work’ and ‘other people’ negating them to agile ceremonies, frameworks and practices. This of course creates an imbalance in organisations adopting agile, as their focus is not on how it affects people, their sense of worth, emotions and their carefully crafted mental models around work and colleagues as much as changing what work is.

Similarly in UX where once a holistic approach to defining the feature set of a product or service to align to the mental model of service consumers to business key performance indicators has become focused on user interfaces, the real value of UX has been diluted from solution creation to solution components. The combination of these two professional skills and others (as Agile Transformation is a team effort) in Organisational Design enables the delivery of Business Agility and Agile Transformation.

UX Transformation

Many people now working in professional areas of business may be unaware that UX has a transformational element and has certainly been a major catalyst and change agent in ‘how people work’ and ‘interact with others’. Much of that function moved into Customer Experience (CX) and was always focused on the mixture of the strategic customer journey and the tactical customer interactions, which has now morphed again into Service Design. While these new terminologies have created focus they have also begun to reduce the overall impact and effectiveness of UX in delivering a ‘holistic ecosystem model’ as we used to describe the key outputs of UX Transformation.

Like many other areas of business UX had adopted but refocused methods from other professional arenas including Personas, taken from Marketing and upgraded with higher levels of quantitative data and demographics, with ordered and scientifically repeatable qualitative data. Customer Journey Mapping, User Flows, Cognitive Mapping (voice and AI) and User Stories were invented in UX and have now been adopted by other areas. This is a far cry from what is now practiced where Jakob Nielsen’s big business sell out 10 user rule is used to cripple to true value of User Experience and it’s potential to deliver groundbreaking innovation and sometimes complete invention from research. Accepting that this was beginning to happen and likely to become the norm for most digital products and services, I decided in 2006 to take the substance of UX on a different pathway and bit by bit focus it on Organisational Design through Agile Transformation and the now current terminology of Business Agility. This is the subject of my current Book, Agile an Unexpected Journey due out in 2021 Paperback: ISBN 978-1-8382370-5-9 and E-book: ISBN 978-1-8382370-4-2.

Agile Transformation

While there is now a huge body of work in regard to Agile Transformation much of it has been focused on ‘continuous flow’ and ‘transparent work’ leaving the areas of ‘how to work’ and ‘other people’ in many cases without guidance so they often create anti-patterns that ultimately undermine the Agile Transformations. So I’m not going to cover CI / CD here although I recognise there is an extreme lack of actionable tools to achieve actual automation and outcome measurement at release train and scrum of scrum levels. I’m going to focus on portfolio to value transformation (specifically the holistic lifecycle) and specifically economic ordering and value slicing in relation to how it changes ‘how to work’ and ‘other people’.

Communication is Critical

It is clear that changing how people work aids the organisations involved with deeper knowledge, flexibility and measurements of everything, what is often less clear is, how one more transformation benefits the workers. They have after all seen a continuous flow of ideas, some quite mad (like JIT just in time, which was call JOT just out of time by the participants, you can’t just translate a method without the culture) being thrown at them. Often in a half baked formats and are used to seeing them fail miserably and in some cases creating a nice firework display as their proposers are escorted from the building.

So few Agile Transformations are transparent themselves and I don’t mean sharing confidential HR material which are critical parts along with regulatory compliance and Union engagement. The value pitch once made to the organisational leadership is not structured and communicated to other executives, management and workers with effective points of reference to them in their work. Rather everyone seems to get the same messages that require a thesaurus to gain a meaning, though often the wrong one as geography and culture change the meaning of words.

Planning is Critical but Lightweight

While many consultancies love the idea of charging clients for large teams to swarm (for obvious reasons) over their organisations to understand the problem its not necessary to fully understand a whole organisation the start an Agile Transformation. In fact it’s a huge waste of money, unlikely to deliver any useful outcomes to the client or in fact be relevant to the final transformation. The simple reason is that organisations, their work and their customers are not static, while they may appear to be, they are in fact changing constantly. So planning is required but in a lightweight fashion, the focus should be just enough to be able to ask questions, what are these questions, well some of them are;

Is there a vertical product, service or regulatory compliance that slices through the organisation from the portfolio level, through solutions into development and provides a customer outcome that can be measured against the portfolio outcome?

Instead of transforming the whole organisation the focus in then to deliver one end to end service, product or regulatory compliance, that touches as many parts of the organisation as possible, a banking candidate would be MiFID II.

MiFID II is a legislative framework instituted by the European Union (EU) to regulate financial markets in the bloc and improve protections for investors. Its aim is to standardize practices across the EU and restore confidence in the industry, especially after the 2008 financial crisis. Investopedia.com 2018.

The essential point is that MiFED II is aimed at delivering client confidence which can be measured, it meets a critical path for Financial Services, it impacts all processes and cultural values and creates a very diverse ecosystem of touchpoints and data that can be used to set up the first versions of metrics.

And then ….

There is of course a great deal more in this than these two steps but as an experienced Agile Transformation Director, I hope you will contact me to discuss your programme of work rather than just lift things online and expect them to work without my expertise.

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What is Human Experience in Design?

Excerpt from Designing for Human Experience, republished by permission of Polymath Knowledge 25th Nov 2020

designing for

TDP – the design process

IA – information architecture

CA – content author

PD – product design

ID – instructional design

U – usability

A – accessibility

CHI/HCI – computer human interaction

UX – user experience

UXS – user experience strategy

CX – customer experience

UCD – user centered design

HCD – human centred design

SD – service design

DT – design thinking

ST – systems thinking

PX – pervasive experience

IoT – internet of things

DT – digital transformation

AT – agile transformation

OD – organisational design

SA – scaled agile

BA – business agility

human experience

This is a short glossary to cover the now myriad of terminology related to designing for humans. I expect there to be more as time goes on humans do seem to love reinventing the wheel and then renaming it.

TDP – the design process

The design process goes back hundreds of years and really goes back to how humans solve problems. The first annotated materials I can see regarding a process are from Leonardo de Davinci in 1452 – 1519. Personally, I utilise the materials from the Bauhaus from 1919 to 1933 which is incidentally also responsible for the structure of all modern University and College modular learning. It is a fallacy of the human condition that people will constantly rewrap the design process as their design process, this is noted later a few times. The most common components of the design process involve defining the problem, carrying out research (who are the users, how do they think, what is the market, etc.), creating a few solutions, testing those solutions with users, refining the solutions, selecting what gets built (with why and due diligence), build a model, test the model, refine the model, build the product or service, deliver, get feedback, upgrade then start again.

IA – information architecture

Wikipedia describes “Information architecture (IA) is the structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability; and an emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design, architecture and information science to the digital landscape. Typically, it involves a model or concept of information that is used and applied to activities which require explicit details of complex information systems. These activities include library systems and database development”. However, this description misses out some essential facts and complexities around the use of the term information architecture.

The Wikipedia description is the European description in the USA until fairly recently an IA was in fact a UX person, confusing I know but an important part of the evolutionary history of the field. A while back I was a member of the Information Architecture Institute in the USA, its focus was information science while the US job market was looking for UX skills.

In my work IA has been focused on Taxonomies and Ontologies to support the creation of context focused navigation including government standards, narratives, search engine optomisation and information schema for content design.

CA – content author

Content authors are professional writers who produce engaging content for use online. One of my friends used to call this work being a Word Smith which is quite accurate given they must reshape words and narrative for each use. Examples would be the use of common English for a general information location or technical English for specific subject audiences. This is also the area where content object models should be created to support the objectives of different personas and outcomes. Certainly, I have created multidimensional content objects to facilitate golden source data systems for six primary audiences in 114 countries for global enterprises. At this sort of scale, the content authors role will be critical to ensure that the content is engaging for each specific audience. This role is often not filled by a professional and dramatically reduces the customer engagement and experience.

PD – product design

Product design is the process the businesses use to blend user needs with business goals to help brands make consistently successful products. Product designers work to optimise the user experience in the solutions they make for their users and they support their brands by making establishing the features and capabilities that are communicated though marketing communications, analyst communities and shareholder engagement.

ID – instructional design

Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional materials using a focus on how people learn and instructional theory to ensure the effectiveness of instruction. It combines the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. It is commonly associated with enabling the completion of complex tasks by humans including anything from white goods installation to rocket systems and everything in between. It requires the ability to think like the intended users and to test the instructional materials with the intended audiences. I will often include the need for an engagement with a content author to set the tone of voice in documentation and create writing guides.

U – usability

The earliest reference I can find to usability is from passenger liner design from the 1940’s describing the usability of corridors for infirmed passengers who may need the use of a wheeled chair. I suspect usability is considerably older than that as a way of thinking about designing for human use. The adoption of this way of working into software solutions is still sadly ongoing, User Experience is the solution side of Usability though many seem unaware of this close connection.

I was a member of Usability Professionals Association UPA which was not at that time interested in the design aspect (solutions to usability problems). As a member I suggested adopting Experience Solutions and that if it did not move forward, I would start a separate organisation to cover that area, thankfully they saw sense and became the UXPA.

A – accessibility

Accessibility is the practice of making pretty much everything accessible though often associated with building, transport or technology access and usage usable by as many people as possible. Often it is associated with a narrow view of people with disabilities, however common things like 50% of all men are colour blind to some degree make the affected group cover most of humanity in some way. Accessibility is therefore more about inclusion and creating pathways to access features, capabilities and opportunities. Accessibility is a Human Right not a nice to have and should be a starting point for all solutions, it also creates benefits to other ways of working by enabling the adoption of mobile devices and people affected by the digital divide with costly access or slow access due to network connectivity.

HCI / CHI – human computer interaction

So there are two terms for the same thing here Human Computer Interaction, the British Computer Society term and Computer Human Interaction, the Association for Computing Machinery (USA), they mean the exact same thing being focused on the Academic and Engineering end of User Experience.

UX – user experience

User experience (UX) is about how a person feels, appropriates, attributes and generally thinks about using a product, system or service. A person’s experience is based in their mind and their emotions and can be established by both actual interaction and reflective (biographical experience) inputs. The current approach to UX is that it is the practical implementation of audience drivers, cognitive acuity, usability standards and accessibility laws with ergonomics (physical, contextual use) and anthropometric (digital behaviours analytics) measures. Creating an integration of business context into user context, to facilitate alignment, transactions and communications. User experience has four core components;

• Research from quantitative data to find out what is the problem or meet a demand
• Research from qualitative data to find out why it’s a problem or meet a demand
• Multiple solutions that may solve the problem or meet a demand
• Validation that it does solve the problem or meet a demand, from users (target audience) business that its sustainable (meeting business strategy and cost/benefits) and technology its possible (often within legacy and technical debt constraints).

There is more about this in the rest of the book.

UXS – user experience strategy

A user experience strategy is the plan and approach for a product or service. UX strategies are focused on mapping the whole user experience both withing the intended product or service ecosystem but also prior to entry and on leaving also. It maps human thinking, choices, impacts and the imposition of technology, policies, legal constraints, financial constraints and in fact anything that either directly or indirectly impacts customers, users, patients or any other term used to define the audience. UX strategies help businesses translate their intended user experience to every touchpoint where people interact with or experience its products or services. User experience strategy has become superseded by Systems Thinking and Service Design which has adopted customer journey mapping often to the exclusion of the wider and more insightful parameters of user experience strategy.

CX – customer experience

In commerce, customer experience is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. It has shaved part of User Experience related to quantitative data to make decisions, unfortunately quantitative based decision making is highly risky as it does not properly define the problem statement and is open to manipulation and bias by the exclusion of outlier data.

UCD – user centered design

User-Centered Design is a framework of processes in which usability goals, user characteristics, environment, tasks and workflow of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.

HCD – human centred design

Human-centered design (ISO standards) is an approach to problem solving (superseding User Centred Design in an attempt to focus on all users not just customers), commonly used in design and management frameworks that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process.

SD – service design

Service Design has superseded User Experience Strategy which has adopted customer journey mapping often to the exclusion of the wider and more insightful parameters of user experience strategy. Service design is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its users.

DT – design thinking

Design thinking refers to the cognitive, strategic and practical processes by which design concepts are developed. It is not in fact a design process it is an ideas elicitation and prioritisation process for executive management to properly focus the efforts of their organisations. The double diamond created by the United Kingdom Design Council, unsurprisingly others claim to have invented it and they themselves are extending it as an innovation process. It’s worth noting though that design thinking is not much different from the design process (though often excluding UX) it just has a nice graphic.

ST – systems thinking

Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems. A system is a cohesive conglomeration of interrelated and interdependent parts which can be natural or human-made. Systems thinking is another divergence from User Experience Strategy a lesser part like Service Design that is reinventing the wheel for a new generation of beginners.

PX – pervasive experience

Pervasive is an evolutionary UX that enables ubiquitous Open IoT Ecosystems through Human Centered Design HCD. Hands in the air I’ve done the same thing of defining by output a different focus for user experience strategy. Pervasive experience is essentially user experience strategy that involves IoT, AI and blockchain. Regardless of the marketing around these technologies they have major adoption issues, helpful like a hammer but not a humans first choice for activity, interaction or transactions, at least not yet.

IoT – internet of things

The Internet of things describes the network of physical objects “things” that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet. While machine to machine and automation are the driving force the human benefits have yet to be adopted and without pervasive experience they will forever just be seen as job takers rather evolving human living bringing us all into Smart Living.

DT – digital transformation

Digital transformation is the adoption of a new engagement philosophy with customer at the centre, a new way to communicate and get responses. It is often incorrectly focused on the adoption of digital technology that transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes. When it should be the point of change to abandon unnecessary, overly complex and damaging customer (staff, vendor, clients) experiences. For example, when the United Kingdom Government first adopted digital technologies like the world wide web to allow citizens to do their taxes, they mandated that the online experience should be an exact copy of the paper forms and that there should be no additional support provided through calculators or guidance. This has now thankfully changed yet the moving of pointless and unnecessarily complex experiences online or into software is still common in commercial companies and many countries governments, for example the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is truly horrific.

AT – agile transformation

Agile transformation is an extension of the Agile Manifesto https://agilemanifesto.org/ beyond teams, into teams of teams or slices of organisations it relates to designing the flow of work that support both customer and business values, through organisational design and for me is a natural progression of user experience strategy. I have certainly been involved in the application of agile in transformations since 2004 and it was my impetus for adopting agile.

OD – organisational design

Organisational design is finally moving on from the four standard structures into far more dynamic ways of working where staff are not just a resource but an impetus for new directions and opportunities. Classically organizational structure defines how activities such as task allocation, coordination, and supervision are directed toward the achievement of organizational aims. In my work organisational design is focused in agile transformation or the building of new capability, divisions or entire global companies, a slice at a time.

SA – scaled agile

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a set of organization and workflow patterns intended to guide enterprises in scaling lean and agile practices. It was developed by and for practitioners, by leveraging three primary bodies of knowledge: agile software development, lean product development, and systems thinking. It has become a catch all for frameworks and transformation, it is not proven to work in its entirety although many components work really well.

BA – business agility

Business agility refers to the capability of a business or its components to rapidly respond to a change by adapting to maintain stability. It is linked to Agile Transformation, Organisational Design but is more holistic than many Agile Transformations which until 2018 mainly focused on changing how Technology worked, it now includes every aspect and skillset that impacts customer and business outcomes and is focused on adding value not completing work.

So when reading the book and you read any of the job titles above please just swap them out for “designing for human experience”.

Designing for Human Experience Paperback on Amazon

Canada https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1838237011
Japan https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/1838237011
Italy https://www.amazon.it/dp/1838237011
Spain https://www.amazon.es/dp/1838237011
France https://www.amazon.fr/Designing-Human-Experience-Karl-Smith/dp/1838237011
Germany https://www.amazon.de/Designing-Human-Experience-Polymath-Band/dp/1838237011
USA https://www.amazon.com/Designing-Human-Experience-Polymath-Smith/dp/1838237011
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1838237011/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_zGXMFbME0P72Q

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The Autonomous Hot Tub and other moving Rooms

Humanity continues to make the same innovation errors in every generation, instead of finding out “how technology could evolve our human experience” they focus on how to upgrade or change our existing experience. This is most evident in autonomous vehicles and it has missed the essential point the if there is no human driver autonomous vehicles are moving space with humans inside them. If we considered travelling instead of driving, then using the time in a different way is understandable. It also perhaps changes what the purpose of travel from being destination focused to being movement focused.

Trusting Technology Autonomous or Not

It is startling that few people understand how much of their travel already relies on computers and automation. Autopilot on planes is the standard and they fly through three dimensions unlike ground vehicles in just two dimensions. It may simply be the psychology of control, few people currently control airplanes but many control cars and that loss of control may be the bases of fear regarding autonomous vehicles. Certainly mistrust of technology is pervasive yet abandoned when need overrules such concerns. It is common for people to give away their personal data in order to gain a service as is seen in social media and many service applications. It’s also worth noting that trust in technology is generational there are currently people in their 70’s and 80’s who don’t trust credit cards in online ecommerce, even though all transactions even in physical shops are online.

Autonomous Hot Tub

I have to admit that this is my prefered option, since we don’t all have jetpacks I’ll settle for hot tub vehicles, I will certainly arrive rested. And this is the point of autonomous vehicles they change the meaning of travel the options become endless.

Autonomous Hotel Room

What if our means of travel also became our meaning of staying. The vast expense of building static hotels would be removed and replaced with parking bays for hotel rooms, that are styled for the owner or renter. Parts of peoples homes could travel with them and their view and location will change but personal comfort won’t. I would be nice if hotel rooms could meet us at the airport and then take us on a tour of a country.

This may seem all too far fetched but consider that entire music or book collections now exist in subscriptions, how about autonomous meeting rooms that collect the participants, autonomous restaurants or bars. Perhaps we need to move away from reframing our existing world in new technologies and just change how the world works. We all need to let technology be the servant of humanity rather than its drug and get rid of pointless things so humanity can be inventive and creative.

About the Author

Karl Smith is a futurist and inventor with creative design, engineering and scientific backgrounds focused on how human life is evolved by technology. Karl Smith is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a member by invitation of BCS ELITE (Effective Leadership in IT) the CIO & CTO group and European CIO Association. He mainly works as an interim consultant, CIO, CTO or CXO but also joins companies on a permanent bases to deliver the change they are seeking.

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Amateur Business Agility or Ways of Working will cause Business Carnage

No one would let someone have a go at Brain Surgery yet Company Boards will let both large Blue Chip consultancies (supposedly to manage risk) and Internal Staff (to save money) have a go at Business Agility (Agile Transformation, Ways of Working, Operational Transformation or Optimisation). 

No one would let someone have a go at Brain Surgery yet amateurs are playing with the future of many Companies and Organisations

Karl Smith, 2017

Things to consider in hiring Business Agility “expertise” which should be interrogated

The first and most important thing to recognise is that Business Transformation is the skill and Agile is the passion. Hiring Agile Coaches to do Business Transformation is business suicide. Likewise hiring Business Transformation people with no experience of Agile Delivery is also business suicide. Lastly business people need to accept they will be challenged by an actual expert, they will listen and try to evolve the organisation, not break it to make it, but build on what’s there. They won’t try and do what they have done before they will first try to understand your business, your objectives and strategy and then create a proposal on how and where to start. They won’t go big bang, they will propose a pilot of an end to end function that cross cuts the organisation to test what can be done and what level of benefit it will offer.

Business Agility is slow before it gets fast, small before big and wrong before it becomes right.

Karl Smith, 2018

No Business Agility programme is 100% successful 

I worked on a programme where a very well known Blue Chip consultancy claimed 100% success on a previous Business Agility programme. We asked for the name of the client and a contact, neither were available. They arrived on site through a business unit who had read their sales pitch online and believed it. We spent 6 months trying to get them to understand the basic concepts of Business Agility however their mind sets were toward creating standard patterns they could own and reuse, somewhat horrifically also reinventing Agile terminology to own it (it was very embarrassing). Due to their general ignorance on Business Agility they were on an outcomes based contract that could never be completed as professional Business Agile Transformation is not time boxed and outcomes are very hard to predict, as takes years to adopt in existing organisations.

Business Agility Transformation contracts cannot be outcomes based in the normal ways as the transformation is a mixture of mindsets and practices, artifacts can be created but they don’t denote DONE.

Karl Smith, 2017

No Business Agility programme is ever Complete

As with the previous section Business Agility, Agile Transformation and Ways of Working are all essentially the same thing. The transformation cannot be time boxed and in fact should evolve over time, adapting to meet the needs of the clients market and their business.

Business Agility Transformation is both an evolution and a revolution meaning that it keeps on going forever and adapts to enable the business to adapt

Karl Smith, 2017

No Business Agility programme is created by “Hero’s”

The notion that one person delivers Business Agility is a total fallacy, it’s a team activity where every person willing to participate aids the outcome. Avoid Agile Hero’s it’s unlikely they understood what it took to deliver Business Agility and would not be able to replicate it without their previous team.

No Business Agility programme is focused on one part of an organisation only

It’s a little odd but there is a lot of NIMBY’s in Transformation. The ‘Not in my backyard’ is quite prevalent in enterprises. Executives and Senior Managers are happy for someone else to change but are very unhappy at being asked to change themselves. Impacting their carefully crafted careers often meets extreme resistance. So Transformation is often focused on the path of least resistance.

Business Agility only works when the board, finance, legal, HR, portfolio, programme and project levels embrace it too, everyone is changed

Karl Smith, 2017.

Because Business Agility is totally interconnected, there needs to be an expectation that both Business Agility and Current Business practice will run at the same time. This will mean that Risk Management will require two taxonomies and two different processes to be run at the same time. This is essential as in flight work cannot be stopped while transformation work is piloted and then launched as the standard practice. Long term work may not also be converted to a new way of working so the management and structure of it may persist for many years until complete. Selection of these long term programmes would require a risk assessment againsts agreed deadlines or regulatory compliance.

No Business Agility programme was universally liked and did not have “Rebels and Dissidents” who were very senior

Change is unexpected in hierarchical organisations, in fact people have over the years fended off a lot of transformation and change. People have become adept at swallowing up the transformation funds and ensuring the delivery of nothing. Transformation and change are for very many organisations counter culture, to be endured till they run out of money or patronage so that the old order can reassert itself in a very public way.

There will always be rebels and dissidents in the situation of transformation and change so the question is not how to discover them but how to mitigate their impacts. In my previous experiences we have set up a taskforce to deal with the impacts of rebels and dissidents. Like them direct action is not the way, in fact we created broad strokes with wide transparency to deal with misinformation so that the purveyors of such would cripple their own networks with obvious untruths (against the now public truth). This is one method of around eight functional mitigations. If you want the rest, Business Agility as a service is available through Paradigm Interactions Inc. globally.

No Business Agility programme did not fundamentally change portfolio management 

While the primary focus of many organisations is their output it is impossible to improve this until the input is transformed also. You can’t change production or delivery of services or products until you change how its led, managed, funded and how people are contracted or valued.

No Business Agility programme did not fundamentally change how finance works

If your funding for work is based upon supporting specialist based departments being funded or portfolios with programmes and projects being funded, then Business Agility changes both these models.

No Business Agility programme did not change the contracts for all staff and vendors

Moving from a specialist based department or programmes and projects system changes what people do for a living, where they work, how they are assessed and how they are valued, hence paid.

No Business Agility programme did not create a work type taxonomy

I think many people will be asking “what is a work type taxonomy”, well its a description of work that has value to the organisation a common taxonomy would be;

  • Business initiated work
  • Technology initiated work
  • Technology maintain and support work
  • Unplanned work

Hopefully your Business Agility consultants don’t broach this subject the day after this is posted on LinkedIn.

No Business Agility programme did not change the ratio of producers to non-producers in a positive way

Something quite shocking about how organisations have evolved since the second world war is that the number of people who make money or achieve the actual intent of an organisation ‘producers’ is dropping and managers and administrators ‘non producers’ is rising. In some organisation for every 10 people only 3 are producers in commercial organisations this 30% make all the money and deliver all the services that justify the 70%. A major outcome from Business Agility is the redistribution of non producers, refocus or their loss. Most organisation have large administrations functions that can be reduced by 90% or more by the implementation of Business Agility. If you want to know how, Business Agility as a service is available through Paradigm Interactions Inc. globally.

No Business Agility programme increased the number of staff instead of redeploying them

The way most organisations deal with change and transformation is to absorb its funding mainly through hiring of staff. However in Business Agility most new staff are short term hires to deliver the guide rails for transformation and change or are converts from existing old ways of working, with the exception of a few specialists to support the transformation strategy.

No Business Agility programme was delivered by posers and playbook users

Three huge consultancies all failed to deliver on one programme because they were not focused on understanding and building the client company only proving they should be paid. We got rid of them, from the consultancy work and moved them to admin work in that they were not all that useful either.

No Business Agility programme was delivered by Agile Fanatics (Evangelists) and Framework users

Extrapolating frameworks into reality is rather difficult, but it supremely better than attempting to cookie cutter businesses or organisations into frameworks. A transformation is symbiotic not a replacement of one incomplete and nonresponsive working practice with another one. Transformation by its very nature adopts and adds to the existing, getting that balance is essential, least the essence of a business or organisation become lost.

Businesses and Organisations need some bad guys, that’s the role of external Business Agility consultants

Business Agility is Delivered by non partisan (not seeking to expand engagement) Transformation Consultants with a personal Agile story

These people are rather hard to find, impossible to find in large consultancies because this is counter culture. Staff in large consultancies infiltrate and spread it is essential to their business model.

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Ways of Working Business Agility and Rapid Innovation service offerings proposal for Partner Role

This is the Business Plan I wrote for a Blue Chip Consultancy to adopt Business Agility to deliver New Ways of Working as a new line of business and give me a Partnership. Naturally it does not say how it would be done and who my first clients would be. If you want that you’ll need to engage me.

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