Insights

Transformation Starts with a Situation Analysis

March 26th, 2015 || No Comments

Regardless of industry, the need for transformation often expresses itself through the same, all-too-familiar client and employee pain points. There’s a general sense of increased difficulty in “working with the system.” To pinpoint the root causes, we start with a structured Situation Analysis to review these familiar signs and organize them into patterns that represent the organization’s current state. You Are Here Think of the process like walking through a large, unfamiliar airport. You recognize many familiar patterns—people with luggage walking or queuing to go somewhere, airplanes standing by outside the window and taking off or landing in the distance. Even if the signs are in an unfamiliar language (much like the domain knowledge of any company), it doesn’t matter…

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Synthesizer or Editor: Practical Application

March 10th, 2015 || No Comments

Part 3 of 3 – this is the last of a 3-part series. Visit the previous posts to read part 1 and part 2. Effective teams, career, and happiness So maybe you’re not da Vinci or a musician. Let’s make the small jump to the world of technology for real-world comparisons. The product manager, a skilled crafter of business models and product roadmaps, needs to be strong on synthesis, and supported by skillful editors, often business analysts, capable of delivering actionable business requirements. Take a look at software development: Technical solutions begin with some form of applicable technology structures, conceived (synthesized) by the technology architect. Initial concepts are skillfully and meticulously edited through the software development process via software developers,…

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Synthesizer or Editor: Practical Relationship

March 10th, 2015 || No Comments

Part 2 of 3 – to read the first article in this series, refer to this post. Does synthesizing always precede editing? Clearly, there is a lead-lag relationship between synthesis and editing, because the former begets the latter. Editing is the vessel that carries a process from concept to reality. It is that crucial aggregation of incremental thoughts and practical actions that continuously improves a synthesized idea until it becomes reality. If “Necessity (market need) is the Mother of Invention,” then I propose that “Editing (making it happen) is the Father of Invention.” Gates versus Jobs Let’s consider this anecdotal example of the synthesizer-editor dyad. The young Steve Jobs, then an unknown, synthesized his vision of a world where everyone would not only have access to…

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Are You a Synthesizer or an Editor?

March 10th, 2015 || No Comments

Part 1 of 3   What’s a fundamental difference between these individuals: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates?  Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo? Philo Farnsworth and David Sarnoff? When we think of industry pioneers and creative geniuses, we typically focus on their impact on everyday life, or their ingenuity for their era. Now think of them in a different way. How do their talents contribute to a complete creation-to-delivery process? What aspect of their quintessential being differentiated them from millions of others in their fields? Let me share my theory. Hypothesis Successful creation and delivery of anything new is inherently complex and varied.  However, I’ve discovered an undeniable reality: Creation consists of two fundamentally different, and equally essential, activities: Synthesis Editing Synthesis + Editing =…

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The Coral Reef Phenomenon

March 6th, 2015 || No Comments

The natural beauty and colorful vibrancy of the world’s coral reefs is undeniable; their visual appeal is visceral. Some would say we all have a primal connection to these complex, living structures. But what do these natural wonders have to do with information technology? Consider the anecdotally familiar attributes of coral reefs: Large, extremely complex, and very embedded structures comprised of the exoskeletons of countless microorganisms, layers upon layers over millions of life-cycle generations. An extraordinarily fragile monument of microstructures so brittle even the slightest pressure can crush it and kill its living micro-inhabitants. These organic forms expand randomly, without an intentional plan (or “architecture”), until an environmental or other force intrudes. Any attempt to landscape, modify, or move these…

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