This article is also an old one dusted off and improved, but a critical consideration if you want to be agile or use Agile, DevOps, or Lean!

To a large extent, a traditional industrialized worldview drives the makeup and use of conventional financial metrics, which is an ill-fitting match for agile environments. This challenge is not new to agile environments but quickly became apparent when organizations started embracing Lean in the 1990s.

Why are traditional financial ratios so problematic and often misleading in Agile, DevOps, and Lean environments?

Some background to the conversation is essential. Although some evidence of the…

Governance is a word that is bandied around frequently these days, but we realized that the scope of what people mean by using the word governance is quite broad. Allow me to define what I feel is the correct interpretation of what governance is.

Governance is a system used in organizations to ensure that the organization fulfills its purposes and reach its goals and objectives. Nothing less and nothing more!

You may say, but is it not about compliance?

Well, let me put it this way: do you think we will reach our goals and objectives if we don’t comply with the necessary legislative or fiduciary compliance requirements?

Surely not; we will run into problems very quickly and fail (or at least fail partially) in our…

Some anti-patterns to look out for

Although we teach people Agile and DevOps techniques and help them get to grips with the impact of new ways of work, I realized that we have no sales literature on the topic of application. Yes, we have course brochures but that is not what we do as consultants.

Informing customers on why maximizing agility in operations environments is more tricky than deploying a DevOps toolchain and thinking about producing sales literature is proving just as difficult.

I wrote this article in lieu of creating a DevOps consulting brochure, and I hope that understanding some of the challenges faced when…

A series about using jobs-to-be-done to innovate — Part 1

The origin of Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) can be traced back to Theodor Levitt when he said that people don’t buy ¼" drills; they want ¼" holes. It was, however, Peter Drucker who first use the term when he wrote:

Some innovations based on process need to exploit incongruencies other than demographics. Indeed, process need, unlike the other sources of innovation, does not start out with an event in the environment, whether internal or external. It starts out with the job to de done. P Drucker, Innovation and Entreperneurship, 1985

JTBD, as…

I’m one of those people who need lots of personal space, mentally, socially, and especially physically.

Some would argue that using the word ‘need’ is a bit exaggerated, and maybe I should instead use ‘want.’ After all, I would not die if I don’t get it — what do they know?

I want lots of personal space — there you have it! I want it, I demand it; because I actually do need it.

And then COVID-19 happened.

All of a sudden, all the space in the world — what a relief! I could breathe. …

Antibodies attacking neuron

A discussion about innovation and the organizational immune system

So why is disruptive innovation so hard? Well, two reasons:

Because it means radical change, and

Because your organization’s immune system is programed to protect the status quo!

The immune system in our bodies is a collection of structures, processes, and other controls designed to protect against potentially damaging foreign bodies, which are typically the cause of diseases. When functioning correctly, the immune system identifies various threats and kicks in to fight off foreign invaders.

I will not go into the detail of innate immunity and adaptive immunity, except to say…

Your product strategy describes (at a high level) what you hope to achieve with your products, who your products are for, and how they will benefit by using your products (and services).

Thinking about the product’s lifecycle is key!

“Knowing is half the battle.” GI Joe

The other half is doing something about it; it’s time to make a plan and getting it done!

Just as you need to define an overall strategy for your business that helps you achieve your Purpose and Aims, so too must your product strategy.

Product strategies answer questions like;

  • Who will buy our products, and why will they do so (value/outcomes/jobs)?
  • How will we position and differentiate our products, or what is our unique selling proposition?
  • The company’s business aim with the product?
  • How will we…

Things you can do to make sense of data without being a data scientist.

In the previous article, we talked about collecting data and using it to make better decisions. Data analysis can be complex, but it does not have to be. This article will show you examples of simple analysis techniques that can give great insights that everyone can do — even if you are bad at math.

Note I’m not saying this is what you should do; it’s rather an example of what you could do. Your context will determine what types of insights would be most valuable for you. …

Stay true to your purpose, take honest stock of your current position, and have good enough data to see how best to make a difference for those you serve. If you do this, you cannot but win.

This is as true for a digital transformation strategy as it is for any strategy.

“Strategy is a pattern in a stream of decisions” — Henry Mintzberg

When I published ‘Understanding innovation and the product lifecycle’ on June 16th this year, it was not meant as a stand-alone article. Instead, I wanted to set the stage for what is to come, defining a customer-centric (digital transformation) strategy.

The next few articles should be read in sequence, and this is number three in the series, actually! The first was ‘About Customers, Products, Markets, and JOBS.’ …

How thousands of organizations have a false sense of security about their future!

A while ago, I was one of the lead authors of a digital transformation approach called VeriSM; we draw a distinct difference between DIGITIZATION of a business and DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION.

With DIGITISATION, the business essentially doesn’t change; it’s only the methods used to deliver products or services that change. With the second, the business MUST change (transform). This includes a fundamental re-think about the nature of the organization, its strategy, and how it interacts with stakeholders — otherwise, nothing transformed.

Far too many digitization efforts are branded as transformational but have fundamentally no effect on the organization's culture, values, principles…

Johann Botha

Johann Botha, a digital change provocateur & getITright® CEO. Transform & build organizational agility, & digital-age capabilities. Consultant, speaker & author

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