Change & Delivery – Focus on delivering small packets of value regularly

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The Future Business Formula is my new book that provides insights into the changing landscape of business and how organisations can adapt to succeed.

In my latest blog in the countdown to the book’s release in May, I provide an overview of Chapter 8, unpacking why businesses need to focus on delivering small packets of value regularly.

Principle Eight – Change & Delivery

Formula 1 teams deliver measurable value every two weeks, facing 25 non-negotiable deadlines (Grand Prix) per year in a typical season. This mindset allows them to pivot quickly when faced with challenges.

VUCA – or volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity – is a military term now adopted for businesses in today’s fast-changing world. While organisations that were created 50 years ago focused primarily on efficiency, they need to shift to being more adaptive and effective to be resilient to today’s hyper-disruptive world. A key factor is the ability to deliver change and improve speed to value by embracing the principle of delivering small packets of value regularly. Mega sized projects are limited – they take too long and miss the mark too easily.

At S&S we have an accelerator for developing these new ways of working which we call The Glass Tube. You can see this concept present in F1 teams through innovation working groups who challenge established ways of doing things and generate new features that are designed, prototyped, tested, manufactured, shipped and installed by the next race. In essence, The Glass Tube is designed to move you from your current state of busyness to a new ‘Ways of Working’ (WoW) which is right for your business context, not one conveniently inherited from another company. When we help clients with The Glass Tube, we focus on delivering significant, tangible value within 90-days.

For example, we’ve helped businesses create new cross functional teams based around customer journeys that have fundamentally improved the customer experience in measurable ways. This approach helped them deliver large financial savings, CSAT improvements, automation of processes and improved the sales funnel and employee engagement.

Find the steel thread

Organisational change is a complex process that involves a lot of upfront work in building architecture, designing, planning, and prioritising. This can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process that can slow down the implementation of change. To avoid these issues, it is essential to focus on finding the “steel thread” of the project, which is the core idea that ties everything together. Instead of building a cake layer by layer, we create a full depth slice first.

The “steel thread” approach involves developing an Earliest Usable Product (EUP) that can be delivered to customers quickly. This product may not be perfect or complete, but it is a tangible product that can be used to gather feedback from customers. This feedback is critical in informing the emergent architecture, design, and strategy of the project. By using real-time feedback, you can avoid wasting time on theoretical design work and focus on creating a product that meets the needs of your customers. No-one likes the term Minimum or Viable (as in Minimum Viable Product). It may be the same thing really but language is important in getting buy-in.

Another concept that can help businesses to implement change more quickly is the Minimum Marketable Product (MMP). This is the minimum scope required to allow you to market the product to customers. By getting the product into the hands of customers as quickly as possible, you can gather feedback and make improvements that will help you stay ahead of the competition.

Is agile the way?

Agility is overused these days – at its basic level it’s simply a set of values and principles that can lead to real change in your business. However, with so many methodologies and approaches to choose from, it’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. You have to apply the values and principles in your own context and be prepared to adapt along the way. Try not to use cookie cutter solutions – they are mostly only good for cookies.

Agile won’t magically fix your problems, but it will expose them so that you can work on fixing them.

When we think about people change, there are three strategies: rational persuasion (we designed it, just listen), coercion (do it, or else), or a normative approach (let’s study the problem together and discover the problems).

At S&S we favour a normative approach as it involves people in the process of discovery, and when dysfunction is discovered, people become much more open to looking for new solutions.

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More reading:

Read Principle One: Strategy
Read Principle Two: Customer
Read Principle Three: Alignment
Read Principle Four: Leadership
Read Principle Five: Culture
Read Principle Six: Talent
Read Principle Seven: Innovation
Read Principle Nine: Simplification
Read Principle Ten: Organisation Design
Read Principle Eleven: Learning
Read Principle Twelve: Measurement
More information on The Future Business Formula

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Written by Adrian Stalham
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