If CIOs of large and mid-market enterprises want to achieve more value from less spend, why do they engage IT services firms and digital agencies on a billable hours basis? All this model does is incentivise suppliers to maximise the time it takes to deliver digital innovations. It becomes Complex Thinking, when it should be Design Thinking.
There is a better way. It's called Fierce Reduction. This means simplifying everything that is IT. Do not leave any stone unturned, and crucially, make sure you engage your IT solutions provider on a Deliverables, Not Hours basis. This is how I lead digital innovation engagements: being willing to be paid - as a team - on what we deliver, not the time we spend doing it.
There are three key elements in Fierce Reduction engagements, as illustrated above. It starts with Mutual Value Discovery. Here, I apply Design Thinking to take all stakeholders in the business through achieving a better understanding of what matters, and in which order should we be addressing problems, and simplifying IT, as a way to achieve a more for less outcome.
From Discovery comes a pragmatic capture, in the form of a Statement of Work (SoW). In turn, the SoW clearly states the Deliverables per Sprint (Phase of Work, typically 1-4 weeks duration) and related Acceptance that the customer signs off on, to complete payment - hence Deliverables, Not Hours, because my team absorbs any risks related to underestimating effort of typically, the designers, developers or project managers engaged.
As we go through the Design Thinking-based Mutual Value Discovery, we apply Empathy Mapping in a series of Workshops. This enables our team to better understand and play back to all of the customer stakeholders what Fierce Reduction actually looks like for what eventually becomes defined as Deliverables in the SoW.
In summary, let me provide some common themes of what typically leads to Fierce Reduction in large and mid-market enterprise IT environments I have worked with:
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