Enabling Growth Through Business Architecture: Digitize

OpsVantage - Darker Water

This post is the fourth and final in a series on enabling growth through business architecture. In the first article we covered how and why to understand your business capabilities.  In the second article, I shared about the importance of establishing metrics and controls to understand and manage work. The third post was all about inexpensive and practical ways to train people involved in doing the brute force work necessary to scale, but has yet to be automated. This article caps the series off with digitization of workflows. Digitization is the automation of existing manual or paper based processes, by digitizing the information.  Even the most technology oriented companies face … Read More

Enabling Growth Through Business Architecture: Training

OpsVantage - Balancing Stones

This post is the third in a series on dealing with growth through business architecture. In the first article we covered how and why to understand your business capabilities.  In the second article, I shared about the importance of establishing metrics and controls. In this post we will make a pivot to discuss how you keep supporting growth while your organization works to digitize and automate for limitless scalability. By now you have an understanding of the capabilities, major functions, and the supporting processes. Beyond that, you now also have metrics to track historical performance and projection information that indicates where the scaling issues will be most severe. These scalability … Read More

Enabling Growth Through Business Architecture: Establish Metrics & Controls

OpsVantage - Road

This is the second post in a series about enabling growth through business architecture and we will cover the importance of establishing metrics and controls. In the first article, we covered the understanding capabilities, so follow that link if you want to start from the beginning. The management adage “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” is critical to organizations that are at the cusp of hyper growth, and setting metrics and controls early keeps you grounded when making business decisions. Now that you have a good understanding of capabilities, functions and processes along with the performance characteristics, you have been able to establish the hot spots within the organization. … Read More

Enabling Growth Through Business Architecture: Understand Capabilities

When a company has been successful and begins to scale, it is an exciting time and a validation of the product and the team. Investors are interested, customers are interested, and maybe even the media wants to learn what the secret to success has been. Congratulations, but it is time to think about the growing pains that will inevitably crop up. You will begin to hire new people at a rate like never before. How will you train all those people? Teams will buy new systems to support their goals, and data will be in silos. Those new sales people will be doing non-standard deals that you may regret later. … Read More

Maintaining team morale in the midst of uncertainty and change

Question: What is your most effective approach in maintaining team morale in the midst of uncertainty and change? I recently answered this question and with so many organizations undergoing change and working to more effectively manage the impacts of uncertainty on their workers, I wanted to share my response. Answer It depends on what type of uncertainty or change the team is going through, but are few that never fail: Honesty. People don’t expect you to know all of the answers, but they do expect you to be honest with them. Confidentiality must be observed but don’t hide information, especially information that will impact people’s livelihood. Empathy. Think about how the … Read More

Winterize your call center

OpsVantage - Winterize

Running a B2B call center in the winter can be tricky; customers rely on your software to run their operation and this means they expect the customer support phones to be answered regardless of how cold it is, or how much black ice is on the road between your house and the office. But on the other hand, you don’t want your reps risking their life to get into the office. What is the conscientious support manager to do? Winterize. Just like winterizing your car, there are steps you can take to make sure your call center is ready for winter, ready to serve customers, and ready to keep your reps safe … Read More

Keys to a strong steering committee

OpsVantage - Steering Committee

If you are a project manager implementing B2B software you know the importance of having strong executive support from your company and from the customer’s leadership team; but you also know that getting a strong steering committee established can be a challenge. Of course executives want the project to be successful, but they are exceptionally busy people and sometimes don’t understand or value the importance of their role in a successful project. You may have lead hundreds of meetings, but the steering committee is different. This is a room of smart people who are in too much of a hurry to wander around for an hour – keep it short … Read More

Decide: to make work better

Decision Time

Five frogs on a log is an excellent book by Mark Feldman and Michael Spratt about acquisition integration. The book begins with a riddle: Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? Answer: 5 Why? Because deciding and doing are not the same thing. The book builds on the riddle as a metaphor for fast action, I like the lesson that both the riddle and the book deliver, but there is that troublesome first step…deciding. More and more mid-size and large companies are struggling with indecision and it is vortex that drains the energy out of awesome people that want to do … Read More

Great products are built by great teams

OpsVantage - Great Products Are Built By Great Teams

The third annual study of product team performance is complete! Consistent with prior years, the results have shown that only a minority of product teams are performing well. Of course there are a variety of factors contributing to top performance, but one of five key finding from this year’s study was the important correlation between the role people play in creating a positive team environment, and positive results for the business. When asked to select which factors contributed to a positive environment for the team, high performing organizations give three quarters of the credit to just four factors: A common goal/purpose Effective product managers Skilled engineers Effective project managers/scrum masters … Read More