Isn't this new way of working only for ICT?

04 May

Business versus IT?

If this is your starting point, you will see only minor progress and I fear your expectations will not be met.

The former names, such as business and IT, were pronounced as if they were opposites, which are difficult to understand each other and in which an unequal position of power has already existed for decades. For a long time I thought about what could be the cause of these contradictions, why ICT is only seen as a 'cost center' and can only distract its strategy from the business strategy. Sometimes it felt like I was living in an environment where apartheid and xenophobia prevailed.

Also vice versa, the business was often in need of an urgent delivery or fix, which could not be delivered according to the planned expectations, causing damage to the end customer, internal users, reports that gave wrong figures, lost opportunities ... Let's go but not convert this into financial figures.

This may sound very melodramatic now, but I think many of us reading this now understand what I mean. Everyone felt or knew this situation and accepted it because there was nothing to do against it. It is precisely this attitude that ensures that people do not fully exploit their opportunities today.

Fortunately, I also got to know other environments where there was better cooperation and where discord is disappearing more and more. In these companies there was both the urgency and the awareness that they had to change or otherwise not be able to meet the desired expectations with regard to its shareholders and end customers.

The work flows smoothly like water within pipes from start to finish

If one were to place hatches everywhere within the framework of the pipes through which the water flows to stop the water, the time from the starting point to the end point would be a long time coming. If there is a difficult collaboration between business and IT and people have to be counted on to evaluate whether the work can go ahead and thus throw it over the wall to the next party, one can believe that the end customer would not be satisfied.

It is therefore possible to work on the processes, mindset and organizational structure within the company so that the 'water' flows more smoothly. Within this metaphor I place the power of the kanban system that ensures that people can visualize the 'flow' of the work. Secondly, a visualization of the 'cycle time' and 'lead time' within the "value chain" is a value not to be underestimated, because it allows the blockages to be identified and resolved.

Time-to-market is readily accepted and everyone is aware that this is one of the main concerns within companies. In order for the 'flow' of the work to move quickly, a step-by-step approach should be used to accelerate this process step-by-step. First, start mapping out where the value stream of your product is being slowed down or blocked and make sure this is correct. In a further phase, automation and collaboration (DevOps) can accelerate the value stream even more. As you can imagine, the awareness of the people involved is steadily growing to ensure continuous improvement of the value stream through creativity and entrepreneurship. Strangely enough, I now suddenly get an image of a waterfall in my head that continuously drops its water at an immense speed, without any interruptions as if it were an industrial freight train whose brakes have broken loose and cannot be stopped.

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