Getting those “important little things” done

Enterprises looking for ways to improve service/experience often go straight to Shep Hyken’s guidance on the “moments of magic” that turn customers into fans.

Whilst this is now a broadly accepted principle, many organisations struggle to understand how to make this happen in the real world of complex businesses with even more complex ICT environments. Those that do manage some success often see other undesired side effects from large delivery programmes used as the vehicle to deliver the “magic”:

  • Over budget
  • Too late to market
  • Outcome/expectation disparity

The challenge is often the approach to these programmes, with traditional waterfall delivery and budgeting models being the culprit.

Businesses are addicted to writing strategic goals and trying to turn them directly into programmes of work. The missing step is breaking them into smaller initiates that produce faster, observable results and are easier for tracking success.

For many, it is believed that this step is provided by waterfall project management, but this has it’s challenges and isn’t always appropriate. You need to ask how many projects and programmes have you allowed to fail early or change scope because they haven’t been delivering that “magic” in the expected way? Of course, that’s assuming you can get the right visibility of progress mid-flight.

You probably know what I’m going to say………

“Something about lean/agile again, is it?”

Yes

“But lean/agile is for startups and software teams….”

Not always

This isn’t a “how to” post, but I urge you all to consider the right model when embarking on a programme of change; one that allows your customers to experience those little moments of magics through continuous improvement, but also allows you to control budget and track success more effectively.

You could do worse than check out this link to the interactive model for “Scaled Agile Framework“.

Every business is different, but we all suffer similar challenges. Perhaps some of those more successful businesses generate fans through changing their actual ways of working, rather than just the veneer of PR.

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