Posted on July 21, 2015 by

Navigating the Path to Value

The business environment is changing at a much greater pace, from new payment mechanisms through to the Internet of things. Technology and customers are changing the very fabric of business, which is not only impacting new propositions, but also the way changes are prioritised.

To win in the new economy leaders must look beyond cost, and focus on the things that deliver the most value, ensuring they remain relevant in a crowded market place.

The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades

Now let’s be honest these things are not new, but yet many organisations are still struggling to keep up with the changes needed to stay ahead. Wave after wave of programs roll across the organisation landscape with little positive impact to customers or the business.

So why do organisations struggle so much with business change, and how can they overcome these challenges to make the crucial decisions, which will keep them ahead.

Change is hard

As organisations have adapted and grown through the years the ability to actually change direction or introduce new propositions has become even more complex. Launching any business change initiative has become almost as challenging as the need to change; most are fraught with complexity with many moving parts and interdependencies.

The starting point of any effective change effort is a clearly defined set of problems and outcomes

In most cases the actual purpose of the change is often lost due to the amount of detail and people involved. So its no surprise when projects fail to deliver or when customers complain due to the wrong things being delivered.

Step forward agile

To combat the length projects were taking organisations started to move towards a more agile approach. Agile is well documented so I won’t go into the approach in detail, but at its core it attempts to deliver something on a weekly basis. On the surface this seems like the perfect answer, however there are some issues.

The biggest issue is the concept of delivery over quality, which often results in a vast backlog of defects. It also becomes unclear who is benefiting, and what value is actually being delivered to either the business or the customer.

The Benefits Trap

Beyond delivery organisations often find themselves trying to justify either the success of a project, or the reason one should be started. What makes things worse is that people are often uneasy to commit to any improvement numbers a project may bring

Up to 70% of change initiatives fail to deliver on the benefits that they set out to achieve

Due to this benefits loop the real things that deliver the business benefits are often not considered, making management decisions complex.

So the question is how do we give management the lens to see the current and potential future, but also help delivery teams plan and execute the changes that will deliver maximum value.

Focusing on outcomes

Adopting an outcome driven approach forces people to focus on the things they aspire to be “able” to do for either the business or its customers. This differs from the traditional benefits view when stakeholders focus rather on solutions than on the needs of the end-users of the products or services they provide.

MC_Blog_Outcomes_1

The other beauty of outcomes is that we adopt words that people actually use to describe something they need/want to be able to do. This starts to break down traditional terminology barriers, and brings things down to real business and customer terms.

Outcomes lead to traceability & better technology choices

Outcomes (and value) can be linked from strategy to their supporting projects, providing traceability, removing duplication, but importantly enables stakeholders to prioritise the business outcomes that deliver the most value.

MC_Blog_Outcomes_2

Not only this but business outcomes start to also shape our technology choices, leading to better decision making, and importantly the selection of the technology that will deliver the maximum business and customer value.

MC_Blog_Outcomes_3

Holistic views of business outcomes will also lead to the creation of shared technology abilities, which can be accessed by multiple business units and customers.

Steve Jobs in 1997 made the case for designing from the experience first, and then using this as the basis for technology choices and design.  Adding the outcome approach to this mindset ensures the planning and design takes an “outside in” and “inside out” perspective, making the case for the right technology decisions.

A clear path to value

Through designing from the end we provide stakeholders the clearest path to value. Focusing on the things that truly matter leads to the creation of roadmaps of outcomes, which enable management to plan, and deliver the changes that make a real difference to the business and its customers.

3443e85

Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business

This focus starts to provide the agility needed to respond to the ever changing needs of customers, but also various other external factors. Ensuring that the business always remains relevant in the customers ever growing eco system.

Put simply it means we can finally achieve what the customer had in mind and we can demonstrate along the way (in business terms) which individual outcomes and their actions delivered business and customer needs.

The only question is what outcomes and experiences will you create today?

Full articlehttp://www.kipstor.com/blog/navigating-the-path-to-value