, 27 tweets, 5 min read
i've been consulting for 15 years.... and honestly most people don't read the reports that they pay for. I try and make it mandatory that we do a debriefing with a presentation to cover the key elements from any project to make sure people are informed #consulting #truths
I once flew out to Helsinki to support a large scale PC refresh programme. the role for the few days was to answer questions from the customer which were covered in the migration guide...
Another great part of consulting is where you get to help people progress their own journey. I must have interviewed hundreds of people over the years and almost all the time their management haven't developed a meaningful (if one at all) training and development plan...
I've helped people get on the certifiaction train to augment their experiance, to move them forward often in scenarios where they don't have organisation support and backing (most of it is lip service and HR check boxes)
I also find patterns of behaviour in orgs, common phrases and ways of working which seem to focus far more on internal politics than delivering business value. People who support the idea of change but give a thousand reasons why they won't change themselves...
I call this a tumble dryer effect. I think alot of people get stuck in a rut, changing the status quo is hard and in some orgs feels impossible. But the reality is, most change isn't impossible but you do need investment.. often people want results without hard work...
the reaility is change is HARD WORK. you want to move a desk, its disruptive and causes impact. you want to MOVE an inrastructure or upgrade a business system, it's hard! want to burn down technical debt.... you need to be commited for the long game
one major barrier i see is people who strive for perfection over daily improvement. This mentality is severly limiting for enabling valuable and lasting change. Perfect doesn't exist and aiming for it might sound nice to a board (though most Cxx i work with aren't stupid) but...
the reality is you business case is going be massive, the investment alone will take severe work and then the delivery of a major programme is likely to burt its budget and hit political and organisational challenges. Seconly the landscape will likely have changed before value..
..is delivered. Things in the world change at a cazy pace. Some orgs have a slow model but even then the pace of technology change is incredible. This can have a direct and indirect impact on business TODAY.
a major challenge today is that the market is full of widgets. an app for this, an app for that. People get blinkered with the latest craze and bolt in widgets all over the place. But they don't invest the time and effort to ensure they have the right glue...
the right glue comes from inside. It's the people that govern, management and operate the services. Now you might cry that everything should be in house... that's not what I'm saying. but accountability can't be outsourced so you need to have a high skilled retained org at min.
the challenge here is that often that's exactly what you don't have. Think about the orgs you've been in, think about the buble effect that occurs. Inside the org you might know and see 'all' yet pop your head up a bit...
So we get left in the staus quo... we have orgs buying widgets (some widgets are fucking awesome, don't get me wrong) yet they struggle with integration and value enablement. Often a direct effect of the 'SYSTEM' they are deployed in. You can usually map this out on a pyramid.
The common root causes are linked to the lack of realisation of the reailities. People think that good comes cheap, fast and in the form of a magic wand. I get told (yes told) by people on a regular basis how long it takes me to do something (a task they can't do) and that....
things are simple! My firends here will all know they generally are not simple. Just watch processes and computers run at idle, things change they move they evolve. Then throw in the humans. Technology is complex and change is hard (not impossible).
that doesn't mean it can't be done. But i think people need to realise the old approaches aren't delivering the value they promised. This goes to consumers and supplier both. We need to evolve our practises to work with current times.
and here ends my morning random thread on some of the reailities of the world ;) i'm not negative but I do think the way 'we' work in alot of orgs severly limits our ability to enable value. There is a better way of working and improving humanity that doesn't start with 'but'
forgot about spending ;) so fek it thread continues on! so we've worked out change is hard, technology is complex and the old ways don't always fit. Yet, how do we change this? It's simple to say but we often hit a major barrier... MONEY! Not the lack of it per say...
but the way organisations budget and how people percieve value of spending. Let's take most orgs. Most IT orgs do a yearly budget. They split their budgets out into OPEX and CAPEX
OPEX is stuff like sallary, pensions, facilities, power, cooling, internet subscriptions, sofware subs, training etc. so stuff that isn't owned per say. it's consumed. CAPEX is for assets.
What often occurs is that as a CIO/CxO you are required to budget on a yearly basis (now when I do this i try and think in 3-5 year domains because well if u don't u have a problem). Now often these yearly budgets are done last minute (no shit I'm not lying!)
you get provide an envelope of money split between opex and capex and when this is done it severly pidgeon holes your budgeting. You get forced into a position to game your budgets to align to a policy. Why does this matter?
Well what you will find is that orgs often like stable opex costs, they see headcount changes and opex increases as risky. They don't however see as much of a problem with CAPEX, so you can already see a challenge here... why aren't teams trained and developed properly?
well the CAPEX budgets mean widgets are purchased, some portion of CAPEX can be used for installation etc. so orgs get a new widget, depoyed by a third party but without the ongoing skills to manage and maintain it.
now do this in a continual cycle with an overstretched internal team and you get huge levels of technical debt which no matter how hard you pay down, if the overarching busines process doesn't change then the cylce of outcomes doesn't. And here lies some of the problem with...
technical debt and some of the reason why alot of orgs have the current state they do! New ways require doing things differently, sticking with the same old approach gives the same old outcomes. ;) Work smarter not harder! work with ecosystems not for them
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