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  1. Change Executors vs NaySayers

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    In running your business, project, or strategy where do you focus:

    1. Time

    2. Energy

    3. Rewards

    4. Attention

    5. Resources

    So this is a fundamental path you and your company are going to need to examine for moving into the next evolution of business.  Will you be accepting mediocrity, status quo, and “well that is just the way we do things here” if dedicating too much of your focus on the NaySayers in these areas…YES!  Business leaders, workers and agents of change really need to start looking at these fundamental activities to get desired outcomes.

    Or will you be focusing the above things on the people and teams that demonstration:

    1. Curiosity

    2. Plan the Work, Work the Plan

    3. Willingness to change

    4. Bring solutions or options to the table

    5. Want to be accountable and responsible for a body of work

     

    By refocusing the attention, energy, and rewards to the bottom list you start getting in return the desired outcomes.  Too many times I see the Naysayers winning in this game and then blown away when the leadership makes demands to have the bottom list. You can only wish in one hand for so long without cultivating and rewarding people and teams for the desired outcomes.

    In my book if you don’t have something  documented, modeled out, or dates and activities planned out you don’t have accountabilities and if you don’t have accountabilities you don’t get a say. Hence Naysay all you want you, I do not understand the words that coming out of your mouth!

     

    This was just swirling in my head past few months. You did notice I gave NaySayers second billing in my title, right?   What do you think?

     

  2. Planting the seed for 2012 Organizational Planning

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    So I have worked at some really large companies here in Minneapolis and have come to realize they move slow towards change, so I decided to plant a seed for planning in 2012. Since planning for 2011 is already in the books!  Try this approach for your BIG reorganization in 2012 (seems like this BIG organization changes .  Because let’s face it at least 50% of the fortune 1,000 companies will do one of this in 2012.  The only problem they have been doing it for 50 years now with similar or worse results.

    1. Survey your employees, shareholders, and customers and ask them this question:

    What is one problem we have?

     

    2. Again survey your employees, shareholders, and customers and ask them this question:

    What would be one thing you would innovate within our company?

     

    Now gather up all this information and pick the Top 5 problems and Top 5 Innovation ideas.  Now the next thing you do will sound absolutely crazy and a lot of work, but that is ok that is the purpose!

    Next post Top 5 Problems List within your company and ask all your employees which one they would like to solve and ask them to put their name next to the problem solving initiative.  That is it.  If the employee has some skills, passion or purpose wanting to solve it they will put their name next to it.

    Next post Top 5 Innovations List within your company and ask all your employees which one they would like to tackle the innovation and ask them to put their name next to the status quo breaker or catalytic mechanism initiative.  That is it.  If the employee has some skills, passion or purpose wanting to innovate they will put their name next to it.

    There you go your top  10 projects for 2012 and the resources and organizational structure to go with it. Yup you have a problem solving organization. The company moves away from the silo’d business structure of Marketing, HR, Customer Service, IT, Legal, Merchandising, Distribution, etc. and builds teams with this eclectic group of skilled people to solve the problem they signed up for!

    Now in these new problem solving departments or project teams you have all the experts, roles, and titles banded together to solve the problem or problems. No duplication of people or roles across silos,  problems get solved,  people are happy they are doing what they want to be doing, problems get solved, cost are reduces,  produce more revenue and profits, and unfortunately you may have to reduce staffing levels, but this may help reduce costs of products or services good for consumers. The reason the last one happens is every silo today have similar problems but duplicate the solution and tools across those silos.  This typically happens more when trying to innovate, but happens in problem solving also!

    End result of this planning is 5 Problem Solving and 5 Innovation Implementing Organizations.  The company is no longer structured around industry specific silos, applications, or skill sets. This is no way to say companies still do not need these skill sets, because companies do.  Companies still need HR, Marketing, Technology, Supply Chain, PR, Communications, Business Operations, Customer Service experts, they just need to be deployed as ecosystems to solve problems or innovate.

    So if you have some leadership authority at your company start suggesting this now and then by 2012 you should be able to execute! What do you think the hurdles will be?  What behavior characteristics are going to be evident when proposing this?  How do you think leadership organizations will form around this idea?

    It would be pretty interesting see this initiative come across your email inbox, intranet or enterprise social business application, hey! Would you participate?

  3. Want your Social Business Group to succeed, report to the C-Suite

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    We have begun the era of businesses turning the corner of complete change in the way they are managed internally to be more affectively run externally for their customers, investors, and communities.  There are many blog posts, articles, and conferences being dedicated to this very topic.  Since it is relatively new on the business management landscape, people and companies are trying to figure out what works, what does not, and what does the future hold.

    I decided to take a stab at the actual organizational setup, roles and types of people that will strategize, plan, operationalize, and support the social business structure.  The one common sentiment that appears quite often is “how do we get buy-in from senior leaders and the c-suite”  I think the best way to get buy-in is to have direct reporting and governance over the organization, people, goals, objectives and measurement of success.  This gives the senior leaders direct line of site to the people and structure for it to succeed.


    Wikipedia Definition of a Social Business:

    social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective. The profits are used to expand the company’s reach and improve the product/service. This model has grown from the work of Muhammad Yunus and others.  Social business is a cause-driven business. In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point. Purpose of the investment is purely to achieve one or more social objectives through the operation of the company, no personal gain is desired by the investors.

    I really like this approach to the definition of a Social Business!  It seems a more practical and applicable to most business settings today, whether it is a private, public or non-profit type of organization.

    Peter Kim of Dachis Group

    Its goal: helping organizations improve value exchange among constituents.  Social Business Design uses a framework of four mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive archetypes: ecosystem, hivemind, dynamic signal, and metafilter. This model can be applied to improve customer participation, workforce collaboration, and business partner optimization. Doing so provides insight to help measure and manage business to produce improved and emergent outcomes.  To learn more, I encourage you to read our complete thinking behind the concept of Social Business Design.


    Here is my diagram of an approach to structuring your social business group organizationally. This will be the basis of the ideas below:

     

    Org Chart Social Business Group

    Org Chart of the Social Business Group


    There are some main components for this structure to be affective and effectively run. The following will be discussed in this post:

    1. Planning

    2. Business Metrics

    3. Get the People out there

    4. Eclectic Group of Roles and People

    5. Solid Line and Dotted Line Management

    6. Reverse Mentoring


    1. Planning

    The planning is a critical function of the Social Business.  The planning has to have an understanding of the collective needs and wants of the organization.  A centralized function around planning will provide an enterprise view of all the competing needs and wants of the organization. What the Social Business Group will have the ability to do is collectively prioritize all of these competing needs of all your organizations.  One of the byproducts of this centralized planning of the internal and external social business is that silo’d organizations start to share goals, objectives, and measurements of success.

    The planning also leads a more collaborative effort to tactical and operational execution of these needs and wants.  The Social Business Group will have the ability to flow work back and forth between their group and organizations that will more than likely have the people to execute the tactics.  Depending on the needs and wants the Social Business Group can execute for an organization, which allows organizations within the enterprise to expand and contract based on the needs and wants.  This cuts down on hiring for duplicate resources for tactical execution.  The Social Business Group can synthesize organizations inside the enterprise to leverage one resource for these execution tactics, instead of 4 organizations hire 4 people and they end up all doing the same thing and costing the company four times as much.  This group ensures the planning and execution of the social business both internally and externally.


    2. Business Metrics

    The Social Business Group is driven by Financial and Non-Financial metrics.  This group will be responsible for continually monitoring the effectiveness of the needs and wants based on pure financial returns, non-financial activities that will help drive financial return, and reviewing short and long term course correcting success.  The Social Business Group will be held responsible for reporting the success and or failures of executing needs and wants.  This group will be held to review activities in the future.

    So if the need or want has a business case of a return of financial investment in 3 years, when that 3rd year rolls around the group will be responsible for reporting on these numbers.  If the numbers are not reached there will be accountabilities and responsibilities that will need to be explained and corrected to find a new program to find that return or documented so history does not repeat itself.  There will be a repository built for keeping track of these programs.  The following areas below could be some areas that the Social Business Group will be responsible for planning, executing and supporting on an ongoing basis

    a. The hiring and retention of employees

    b. Finding leads to and tracking the success of closing for financial success

    c. Increasing customer satisfaction

    d. Increasing market-share for a product or service

    e. Increasing spend within the current loyal customer base.

    f. Decreasing expensive Call Center phones and leverage more online customer service channels

    g. Drive purchasing on niche markets with niche ways of marketing and advertising.

    h. Decrease operating costs by reducing duplication of efforts across the silo’d organizations.

    These are just some of the financial and non-financial accountabilities and responsibilities the people, processes, projects and technologies will have in this group.  To achieve any of these metrics the Social Business Group must be sharing, collaborating and ensuring people and technologies are working together to achieve.  The days of silo’d achievement metrics are over if you want to succeed.  Success is NOT derived in silos anymore.  Unless there is a group fully dedicated to ensure shared metrics are achieved then they really are never achieved.  Look at your goals and objectives for 2011 see any shared goals with other silos and your bonus tied to if achieved or not…….didn’t think so.


    3. Get the People out there

    The Social Business Group does not sit in cubes all day long taking orders or waiting for the next project come in.  They are fully integrated with all business functions throughout the organization.  They need to seek out the individuals that want to energize the company using new collaborative processes and technologies internally and externally.  Most businesses are operating outside their firewall with business partners as well as consumers and investors.  This group is always seeking ways to understand the flow of information for decision making and moving the organization and its people forward.

    This group is responsible for making sure there are seamless leveraging of the processes and technologies. This group is held to a make sure groups are interacting sharing and collaborating to ensure shareable metrics achievement, sharing of successes and failures, and reusing as much process, information and technology as possible.  This cuts down on 8 monitoring tools for 6 different organizations and 6 different groups managing their business and people in a silo.  This is complicated and not much costly.  The organizations cannot honestly report if they are being successful for the organization as a whole without the infusion of the group ensuring cross collaboration and initiative completion.

    About 60 to 70% of these folks will have community management in their DNA.  They will always be seeking out people, technologies, and paths to succeed.  They will continually look to help, but within helping discovering new ways the organization or people can achieve success.  This group of folks will be involved and engaged behind the firewall as well as beyond it.


    4. Eclectic Group of Roles and People

    The Social Business Group looks very different than most traditional organizations within the enterprise.  Since the group will need to be proactive as well as reactive when it comes to technology, people, problems, issues, and solutions, they need to have this eclectic look, feel and interaction, mainly between the people and technology.  Organizations will no longer have the ability to isolate the process from the technology or the people that asks for technology and the people that deliver technology.  This group will be a reflection of the mantra “Business is IT and IT is Business”

    This group will have marketing, business technologists, subject matter experts, project managers, art directors, call center operations leaders, interactive technologists, “infrastructurists”…..This will be an eclectic group of individuals working together to make the group be efficient and the enterprise to be efficient in the execution of needs and wants.  This group will be responsible for blending all things traditional with new,  this silo and that silo and business and technology in specifically in the areas of:

    • Marketing
    • Advertising
    • Public Relations
    • Customer Service
    • Knowledge Sharing
    • Communication
    • Initiative Management and Metrics
    • Product\Service Management


    This group will keep the ecosystem of internal and external in balance and understand when it is not in balance.  They will have the ability to understand and react because the relationships of trust have been built with key partner groups and issues or innovations can help efficiently because the time and people were involved all along the way.  The only way to achieve this balance is to have an eclectic team working for the betterment of the organization as well as themselves.


    The following picture shows the different roles or titles that will reside inside the Social Business Group for the enterprise:

    titles in social business group
    titles in social business group



    5. Solid Line and Dotted Line Management

    The solid and dotted line organizational structure is the most interesting of organizational design.  The solid line gives you control and dotted gives you influence or responsible for execution.  Both of these relationships are completely necessary for this organizational structure to work.  It essentially boils down to top down and bottoms up meeting up for organizational success and execution.  The dotted line provides visibility and shared responsibility in making sure each organization is successful on its own as well as part of the whole organization.

    Having the dotted line to these organizational units shows solidarity with these organizations as well as a shared responsibility that if this organization needs to be working with another organization or an organization could use another organizations resources or help; this group ensures and communicates these actions.

    With the solid line in place to c-suite this group is responsible and accountable for organization goals, objectives, mission, metrics and return. There is no red tape, there are no trickle down or roll ups, there are just direct line of site of investment and return for the whole organization. This essentially becomes an strategy, planning, operations and tactical execution area for the executive office and officers.  Being that most Executive Offices represent the whole organization, they should have a group dedicated to making this a reality.  A SWAT Team for the Executive Office of real hard core business and technology planners and executors that are flexible and adaptable  for real return for the organization.


    6. Reverse Mentoring

    The senior leaders of most companies need to be brought up the digital and community interaction landscape. By leveraging the solid line organizational structure the Social Business Group is responsible for training and educating of the people they are reporting to. This will help with vision, business direction, business decisions, and investment.  I have found once you unlock the navigation and using the tools within internal and external communities, senior leaders feel a part and then take the responsibility for furthering the execution and success of the Social Business structure for their organization.  Once the senior leaders can see how shared goals, responsibility, and information are used for true financial returns they cannot get enough of the interactions with the people and tools.

    This is for the betterment of the organization and the people.  The one thing I would caution against doing is isolating this group from the rest of their people while they “get up to speed”.  Building “walled gardens” for them to play to learn will have adverse affects when trying to integrate back into the fold of the whole company.  In their “walled gardens” the senior executive WILL NOT get the sense of all perspectives from top to bottom, because they are only learning from their peers.  The public learning together does a lot for building trust and relationships in an organization at all levels.

    So what do you think?  Will this work in your organization?  Do you see any other benefits to this centrally located organization? Please let me know in the comments.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not going to be easy.  This one won’t be just snap together a org. chart on a powerpoint and it happens.  This one takes into account the people and behaviors that will need to change along with this.

    Like I infamously put it at a #jmu612 event here in Minneapolis “We are fundamentally changing the way business has been done for the last 50 years,  if you try and take this on yourself or within one silo’d organization, it’s like climbing Mt Everest in your boxer shorts, you’re never going to make it!” You need a team, you need buy-in, you need technology and you need new ways.  Without it,  good luck….

  4. Your Org Chart is killing your Project Success, No really it IS!

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    So I bet that headline grabbed you right!  Over the years I have been noticing the sheer mountain moving that has to be done to successfully move projects, initiatives, changes, and or innovations forward.  Ever tried moving a mountain before….talk about a workout!  There are two common areas I see being a root cause of these mountain moving activities

    1. Organizational Charts

    2. Manager responsibilities for developing People.


    Yes I said it managers developing people.  I also said organizational charts too.  I know this may offend some people right off the bat, but give me a chance to explain and present an alternate idea and you may want to change your business to actually get projects done.

    So before we begin I want to present a model for designing a new business model to actually solve the problem most businesses are having in the areas of getting projects done and developing people.  Below is said such model after the model I will explain the components that make up this model:


    Initiative Based Business Structure


    The People

    Now lets get into the good part the people development side of the problem.  The way our organizations are set up to day is that most managers are strapped with moving projects or initiatives forward as well as developing employees, the real backbone of your organization.  Most managers that are put in these positions are ill equipped  for the job.  Now I don’t place all the blame on the managers themselves, but more on the organization that  have put these managers into positions with very little initial or ongoing training to build up this hard and soft skill. Additionally there may be some issues with the  cultural and political factors of  moving up the ladder to manager, but we will leave that for another post.

    Mangers need to get back to moving initiatives forward!  This is really what this role is intended to be doing for your organization. Now to solve the void by removing people development from their job description you need to activate a whole group of people that have gone to school, received training, and have sharpen the people development skill down with art and science.  Who are these people you say, they are your Human Resources, Recruiters, Organizational Effectiveness, and Talent Management people.  Yes they have to be activated to begin the true transformation of getting your project work done and developing the people at the same time. Get the managers back to getting projects, initiatives, and innovations implemented and your “People” departments back to developing your people (or if you are a buzzword addict Talent). The model above shows that your People Developers are assigned 5-10 people to manage their development.  They are responsible for training programs, reviews, long and short goals, hard skill progression, and soft skill proficiency.

    Unfortunately, in today’s world we strap the manager with initiative implementation and people development.  Now don’t get me wrong about 10% of our managers can pull these feats off with eloquence and grace, but that does not seem like a high percentage for running an effective organization.  If we get the manager and workers back to delivering initiatives and people developers back to developing people, most organizations will be unstoppable around producing for their employee, customers and shareholders.


    The Organizational Chart

    Secondly, lets look at the organizational structures of most businesses.  Each focus area is usually placed into a macro-silo such as HR, Marketing, Customer Contact Centers, Product Sales, Legal, IT, etc. and within that macro-silo many micro-silos breakdown into smaller chunks of work.  I have even seen micro-silos within micro-silos.  Try this activity on to see if this perspective fits your company.  Take all your micro-silos for a particular macro-silo and place them along the top, then along the side place another macro-silo that you have to get projects or initiatives done with and it’s micro-silos. Now each box in the grid represents processes that need to get done.  Start picturing the grid below and this gives you the visualization of inputs to outputs of each intersecting box. You thought rush hour traffic in LA was bad, try gaining approval for adding a process or field to a screen…..

    Goal Achievement Grid-Lock

    Goal Achievement Grid-Lock


    Now that was two macro-silos for one project or initiative.  Multiply that by 10 to 14 times and you wonder why projects or initiatives take mountain moving efforts to get done.  That is just the structure I haven’t even sprinkled on top Goals, Objectives and Metrics for success. Typically each macro-silo is held to four or five of these, then each micro-silo is responsible for coming up with their own Goals, Objectives and Metrics for success that help accomplish the macro-silos Goals, Objectives and Metrics for everyone to receive their good review scores and bonuses.  Now in most cases one Macro-Silo’s Goals and Objectives are in direct conflict with another Macro-Silo’s Goals and Objectives.  This usually turns people development and initiative success into one big hot mess of  “Your Goals are not My Goals!”  This has to be solved!  The “Same Goal” circle is very rarely achieved and even rarer of intersecting that smooth within the current business structure.  Typically I see this happens on skunk works projects or proof of concepts, but usually are not scalable for success across a whole enterprise.

    In this new model an organization’s macro-silos would turn more into a communities of practice.  With a community of practice individuals within these practice areas share role expertise, skills, and subject matter expertise.  When you center all these people together and sharing is the rule of the day and resources are rewarded for this activity, you have communities of resources that are activated for initiative or project work when their skills are needed! When Managers that need to get an initiative off the ground and implemented they go to these Communities and build the project or initiative implementation swat teams.

    These community members are 100% dedicated and are there from the start to implementation.  They bring their expertise as well as the expertise of the community. These individuals are there from start to finish and finish means transitional points to operations then support. The main problem it solves is the initiative or project team in dedicated to getting the initiative implemented for the organization and not in it for this macro-silo or that macro-silo and avoids the “Your Goals are not my Goals” gridlock! The teams are in it for making the organization successful for the employees as well as their customers.

    Now put all this together and these are big changes for your organization, but lets face it the last 50 years of the same structure has not really systemically harnessed all the potential intellectual horsepower people have,  that we definitely need going into the next 50 years.  I know this always sounds scary, but we have to completely revolutionize our markets, products and services. This structure will allow the right people doing the right things based on what needs to get done for the organization. This can work for any initiative marketing, HR, technology, operations, support, supply chain, consulting services, logistics, financial services, etc.

    The one area I am still investigating and gathering information are the areas of operations and support.  More of these types of organizational structures need to centrally focused and not moving around from initiative to initiative to initiative.  They are definitely vital to the initiative or project success to be involved from day or step one though.  They will provide information for transitioning, training, user acceptance, etc.  They are just not 100% dedicated because they have to be 100% dedicated to business operations and support.  More to come on this subject too.

    Please provide your thoughts, challenges, questions, and out right your Wrong comments below! Looking forward to see what happens.

  5. “My Boss Is an Idiot” post in Social Media

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    So I have been reading a lot of articles about people expressing discontent for their direct manager, supervisor, boss or boss’ boss across the social landscape. These articles also chronicle the backlash that ensues from the companies towards these people. I see both sides of this argument! The question I have is post a reflection of the person that says it or the person they are directing the post at?

    I am not going to be wishy-washy on my perspective. I read and feel this is a reflection on the “manger” being called an “Idiot”. Yes I do take into account that 10% of the workforce does take up 90% of time with no real value (another post). So that means 90% of the employees are trying to make progress, add value, and truly execute at their highest potential for their company.

    For me it is my simple logic good, great, or inspirational leaders or managers (there is a difference) don’t get publicly scrutinized they are held up and interviewed or asked to do speaking engagements. When you are producing good workers, good working environment, and inspiring people you typically are not being a called an idiot in public (exception all people have their trolls).

    Which brings me to my question: “Which is worse for the company the one person that calls his or her boss an “idiot” or the boss that could be managing 25 or more people in said company?”

    Potentially you have a manager or leader with 25 people not executing to their fullest potential, 25 people lacking inspiration to do good work, and or 25 people not delivering to full capacity for their return on salary. This is “manager” is costing the company way more money than someone posting “My boss is an idiot” on a social platform. Not to mention it is quite expense to fire someone these days.

    So how did you answer that question? If you answered the guy or gal that posted it…..ummm you can stop reading at this point or you can read further and accept a challenge. Your choice.

    So next time if you are the person monitoring their employees and brand across the social platforms, you may want to come back behind the firewall and investigate the one being called the “idiot”. Really dig into what negative return on investment this manager or leader is providing towards your company. If you take it a step further, you may find your next inspirational leader or manager from the person that posted it (in most cases it takes a lot of courage and bravery to take this step). The other benefit of the investigation (with all like police dramas right?):

    1. Finding better ways to engage your employees.
    2. Discovering employees may not be in right seat on the bus (this is ok internal talent movements are cheaper)
    3. Finding new challenges for both individuals that benefit them as well as the company.

    These are all great opportunities to bring engagement and relationship building inside your company to a whole new level. This public information is a chance to engage in different ways than we have done so in the past. Seize the opportunity and move the needle for your company. We will really start to move closer to full employee engagement within your companies. If companies stop chalking everything up to disgruntled employees get rid of them, there are some real opportunities on both sides to learn and grow together. This is definitely not the easiest or smoothest of paths, but the payoff could potentially be huge for the employee and the company.

    I would really like people to weigh in on this one! I want to know if I am way off. If I am TELL ME! I like learning through discussion!

    Comment Lines are open and ready to assist you! Oh and it is free!

  6. Hey Don’t Overlook the GenX’ers

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    As you can tell by the title Yes I am in fact a Gen X’er. Born in 1973, smack dab in the middle of the Gen X’er category. So I have been a little miffed by all the recent articles about the Baby Boomers leaving, oh no the Baby Boomers are leaving the next generation (GenX) is smaller in population….”Oh whoa is us, What are we going to do!”  Oh I know lets go after the bigger of the two generations the Gen Y’ers and wow them with 42 inch plasma TV’s, 6 week vacation packages, and free lunches. Reason they are larger in numbers and are tech savvy………Only problem with this flawed logic?  Experiences

    The Gen X’ers have been working side by side with two of the greatest generations (WWII and Baby Boomers) that have dispensed knowledge, wisdom, and life lessons for free. We have been like sponges when it comes to this information. The Gen X’ers are here to lead and take the information that has been dispensed and run with the ball. We have been waiting for our chance to shine, but willing to wait because we know we needed to hone our common sense, street smarts, and experiences that it takes to lead.  We also realize it takes a lot more than a college degree, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles to get the job done. So the next study or article that is written lets take a look at the Gen X’ers in the context of being the next generation to Lead with honesty, integrity, knowledge, and wisdom.

    Because after all the companies around this nation are going to need less Leaders (in reference to being a smaller population in numbers), ever heard of  “too many cooks”, but these companies are going to need experienced leaders to lead them through this transition.  So next time companies are looking at 5, 10, 15 year strategy in regards to leadership take a look at the Gen X’ers we are here trained and ready for battle. We might not be as tech savvy as the Facebook Generation, but we are highly skilled and trained in leadership, business savvy, and we know how to mold technology into great business strategies, implementations and operations.

    Oh and one last thing we understand “Earning before Entitled” it’s our motto!  What do you think of GenX’ers?  What are your experiences as a GenX’er or Managing one.  I am really curious…..because if you look at the numbers it is our generation that is making this new world of real-time and social openness explode into real businesses.

  7. What does the C-Suite and other Senior Leaders value about a Business Analyst

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    Being that the Business Analysis discipline and role is becoming more standardized and consistent with the IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysis), BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®) and a Certification called the CBAP (Certified Business Analysis Professional™). What do senior executives and leadership feel about this discipline and role?   There is no right or wrong answers just starting a dialogue to find out the views and opinions that are out there within the Social Platforms community.

    Would also like to know how Business Analysts can play a vital role in the era of companies moving towards Social Business Architecture, Enterprise 2.0, Social Media, and Social Technology Platforms.

    I obviously have my biased opinions and views on the subject, but would really like to know other views.  Especially from the people that make strategic decisions about an organization.   They ultimately sign off on spending money on this discipline. I would love to get a cross section of senior leaders from the C-Suite to the Rank and File (which is where I am at on the ladder) to weigh in on this often overlooked or generalized role in most companies (believe me I have worked at many).

    The one main stereotype I am trying to break most of all is “Well anyone can be a BA, so just give them the title” Additionally, I am always interested in new ideas.

  8. The Adventures of Captain Client and Vendorman

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    As you can tell by the title I am going to take the approach of citing observations and readings about the landscape of the Client Vendor relationship dynamic and how it should function like a good Superhero combo not Hero vs. Arch Enemy.  Over the years I have been on both sides of the equation of this relationship and seen some pretty jaw dropping and eye popping relationship building interactions.  These situations usually end the same way, Clients dislike the Vendor and the Vendor thinks the Client doesn’t get it.

     

    The general dynamics of the current behavior of most business to business (B2B)  relationships fall into a similar pattern of interaction.  The interaction goes a little like this: The Client wants everything for Free and The Vendor wants to charge top dollar for every product and service. Does this sound pretty close to the 60-70% of the current relationship.  Inherently this relationship is doomed to fail. There has to be a better way right, there is!

    I think social media and the emergence of the social business design will start to help this B2B relationship to start functioning like the great super hero combos of history.  Clients and Vendors can really collaborate and develop strong partnerships in the public view, then together start helping consumers by their great superhero collaborations!  The Client and Vendor start to have a greater appreciation for where they compliment each other.  Where they are both going for 5 years.  If the realtionship would start off talking about planning and what can we solve or create instead of atribition, we can move into healither more socially and financially successful partnerships for each business and the consumers they serve.

     

    Now with social media\technologies\business design there is so much to gain from being transparent and honest in public, that the behind the scenes collaboration will be so much better. Then the consumers start trusting two companies they might not had even thought were partnering on things!  Now this does come with several layers of complexity, huge behavioral shifts, and open constructive communication, but I think there are huge opportunities for the B2B landscape to produce some really cool and innovative products and services.  Businesses will have the ability to expand and contract based on higher level of need around design, innovation, and consumer advocacy.

     

    These “collaborative” relationships can really help each side focus on their core business and have the confidence that their counterparts are in the game with them.  One area I see more and more examples of these great Client Vendor partnerships being executed well are in the SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS spaces.  I think one of the main reasons is operating in the Cloud is a completely different way of collaborating than build, install, or staff augmentation when dealing with a Vendor that provides these products and services.  Plus additionally I see this same mantra being carried into the app market for most mobile carriers.  Clients and Vendors are starting to understand the complimentary approach to each other not the competitive approach.

    So if  [Your Company] is Robin who is your Batman, if  [Your Company] is Superman who is your Spiderman (they teamed up a couple of times) If we are Captain America who is our Green Lantern……even Spiderman and a Ninja Turtle

     

    Let me know what you think will make these relationships get better.  What can we do on the Client side to shift our thinking?, what types of Vendor behaviors should we be looking for?
  9. The Business Analyst 3.0 Model

    9 Comments

    Yes the Business Analyst (BA) role is changing rapidly right before our eyes.  That is why I have reclassified myself as a Business Analyst 3.0.  I think BA’s really need to educate themselves on all the social technologies and software as a service models both from a external perspective and internal perspective.

    We will be called upon to integrate and implement these two worlds both from processes and functions seamlessly!  For the first time in technology history we as consumers and employees have better access to technology than our employers.

    We as Business Analysts better learn how our skills can help the business and technology groups converge on these platforms for quicker, more robust, and often ever changing technologies that can keep pace with the ever changing business environment.

    Expect the ever looming skill that needs to be there is curiosity and willingness to collaborate with all kinds of disciplines.  This challenge I think faces all disciplines but ours in particular because we need to make all the disciplines and information work together (biased perspective I know).  Soft skills of finding new people to interact with outside the typical corporate industries is where our learning and evolution as Business Analyst 3.0 needs to take place.

    For example check me out on twitter and the people that are following and interacting with me…..it is for the most part an eclectic group of individuals from a wide range of industries.  Which I think helps enhance my analysis and design skills as a Business Analyst!   I think the pendulum swung too far to Generalists then back too far to Specialists.  I am proposing a new paradigm Specialties.  This paradigm understands the fact of specialties each discipline brings to the table and learns how to work within the encroachments.  The “it’s not my job or role” mentality is out the window with the bathwater and the baby of 2009!  If you can not bring together strategy, process and technologies for problem solving or innovation, I would highly encourage to find those that can and learn from them as quick as you possibly can!

    Look forward to seeing more and more people within the SDLC community embrace the social scene online.  Look top left at the icons click on your favorite channel and let’s connect!

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