Increasingly Fortune 1000 organizations want to execute their strategic organizational goals using new software development methods and technology because they know the high payoff potential. We review this possibility for small businesses too.
Will the next software development spend predictably contribute to the strategic agenda? Will the next software project eventually generate targeted strategic outcomes – in terms of business process performance, customer value, and financial performance? You need to be assured of success.
Software Development Trends
Conventional software practice is optimized for quality, faster development, and reduced project risks, which is good. However, often using outdated development methods, such as the waterfall method, results in a poor contribution to the organization’s strategic agenda. As a fix, organizations have tried improving IT governance, such as agile development methods that are in line with CIO roles and cross-discipline harmony between business and technology folks.
While this is good, the problem is in software practice. The problem with software practice is that there is no explicit strategy translation activity first to convert the strategic agenda into an architecture. Conventional Discovery, at best, generates standard functional or automation benefits – not targeted strategic outcomes. And conventional Design deprives the organization of a purposefully constructed business-centric architecture.
Strategy-driven discovery and design: Strategy translation is possible only through strategy-driven discovery and design. Strategy translation must deliver an architecture that blends software and business change. This allows organizations to actually see a strategy-embedded architecture before they make further investments in technology and business change implementation. The oil-drilling model is a method for strategy translation.
Opportunities: Opportunities for strategic contribution abound. Although we use the term “software” for simplicity, we’re not limited to traditional transactional applications. The corporate world is getting increasingly digital, and therefore the input to your project could be any of a wide range of software-based or digital things.
It could be something that’s part of the customer experience or something that’s internally used by the organization or something that straddles both.
What’s in it for stakeholders
CEOs, CSOs, CIOs, CMOs, and business heads should expect the following when using new software development methods to achieve strategic organizational goals:
- Both top-down situations (strategy looking for ideas) and bottom-up (ideas looking for strategic fit) situations
- Integral discovery and design of “stuff” with strategic potential, where “stuff” is a combination of technology and business change.
- Quick prototyping showing business/technology innovation at multiple levels.
- The resulting architecture “embeds” targeted strategic outcomes
It is critical to note that stakeholders, project managers, and developers must embrace the idea of failing fast if a development activity does not meet expectations. This will serve to save money and keep the new project on the timeline.
The Role of Service providers To Execute New Technology
Client-facing folks such as client partners, account managers, and software project managers should expect the following:
- Capability to deliver customer’s targeted strategic outcomes (rather than just technology)
- Strategy translation into implementable architecture
- Decisive business phase with rigorous and proven business-centric techniques and tools
- The upgraded SDLC is ready for today’s business outcomes focused BT (business technology) era
- Tech-spend viewed differently by customer organizations as the new investments are for “proven” strategic initiatives
The Essential Role of Business analysts To Execute
Experienced business analysts who upskill in strategy-driven discovery and design should expect the following:
- Empowered to make the higher-value contribution of strategy translation
- Integral discovery and design means the power to bring one’s ideas to life
- The method works with other business tools like a balanced scorecard
- Career advancement and fulfillment
- Use of analytics and big data solutions to drive better management through measurement.
Business situations Dictate Software Development Methods & Technology
Organizations that invest in technology may want to accomplish one of the following: Validate proposed software for strategic potential Discover-and-design combination of software + business change that has strategic potential Make software build/buy decision-based on strategic potential Design business for strategic integration with vendor product Validate in-use software for strategic contribution.
Regardless of the above business situations, the organization faces now, a strategy-driven discovery-and-design method and corresponding skills are needed. Pradeep Henry brings these two and empowers organizations, service providers, and business analysts. Check your software practice for strategic readiness Organizations need strategic outcomes predictability – before they invest in software and business change implementation. Do you have the method and skills to discover and design an architecture (comprising software and business change) that “embeds” targeted strategic outcomes?
six questions to ask to see if you have the capability
- Do you have a rigorous method to discover a combination of business processes with potential strategic outcomes?
- Does the method help discover the correct software from that combination?
- Do you have a rigorous method to design a combination of software and business change purposefully to “embed” the potential to generate targeted strategic outcomes?
- Does the organization have a rigorous business process-centric method to design the software’s business side (business process to be encapsulated in the software and UI)?
- Are the above discovery and design methods integrated, that is, performed in a single phase by the same team?
- Do you have access to an experienced professional who has the capability to translate strategy into an integrated business architecture through discovery and design?
Final Thoughts on Achieving Your Strategic Organizational Goals
You may be closer if you have four or more Yeses, but note having strategy-driven design capability. Still, no strategy-driven discovery capability means you could frequently be designing right the wrong software.