This time of year is always a busy one for CIOs and Application Delivery professionals - new budget years are upon us, peak trading looms large in the distance and its often a good time to reassess the ways software programmes should be approached, taking an ‘outside-in’ perspective to deliver the best results for users and customers alike.
Over the past few weeks in talking to CIOs at retailers, finance houses and global manufacturers there seems to be a real appetite to inject (or re-inject) best-in-class engineering principles into software delivery to edge closer to the nirvana that is quality at speed.
Few people believe that this can be achieved overnight, many understand that it’s a journey - but one that’s well worth embarking on as applications are often now the first way customers and users interact with a company.
Data from our own CIO survey which was taken recently, has shown that many organisations have some way to go to achieve true software delivery excellence - which means lots of exciting ways to learn and improve.
Over the next few weeks in the lead up to our next CIO Spotlight, we will be producing a series of posts that highlight a number of important factors, namely;
We’re starting at the top - looking into the importance of organisational alignment and there are a few areas that warrant our attention:
Build consensus about the opportunity to improve across all parts of the organisation - including what it will mean for customers. Start to think in terms of customer value streams and identify the processes and people that are core to delivering value for each one. Every business will have a variety of contributors to a software value stream - the secret is to orchestrate and align to drive positive business outcomes
Funding models need to adapt to ever-changing customer needs. This means budgeting and allocating funds dynamically - with an ability to adjust and align if needs be. This new approach will allow for small tasks to be done in parallel, with an emphasis on speed, flexibility, autonomy, and high tolerance for small failures.
Governance must also be reassessed to ensure consistent value delivery. Typically, governance focuses on ensuring that projects are on schedule and in scope, coupled with a fixed budgeting cycle. This is often why business units think about technology management and software delivery organisations are viewed as cost centres rather than value creating entities. Successful organisations shift governance to focus on optimising the value delivered for the business; they put the business in the driver’s seat of projects in order to prioritize a minimum viable product that addresses customer needs and business priorities.
Streamline business processes to optimise value delivery. To improve or transform customer experiences is not a case of tagging new applications to existing processes. Applications might be developed to deliver a new way of doing business, supporting new processes and changing existing ones. And it doesn’t stop there - companies drive improvements in their customer experiences by thinking about the whole chain of interactions with customers - including their phone systems, call centres, and written communications.
Here at ROQ we know that traditional methods are too slow, too costly and too risky. Modern consumers have high expectations and have become particularly picky and impatient creatures. Delivering something that malfunctions or that is sub-standard is a sure-fire way to attract negative attention. Which is why we’re excited to be hosting a roundtable discussion on this subject for leading CIOs on the evening of Thursday 28th June in Manchester. Here we hope to be able to gauge the readiness of modern organisations to embrace practices that give rise to continuous value delivery. If you’re interested to join the discussion, visit the CIO Spotlight page to read more about the CIO roundtable and you can also register your details to be included on our invite list.