Posted on October 15, 2014 by Paul Ritchie
While I’m on a Henry Ford roll, here’s one about the dangers of simply taking orders from one’s customers.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
We now mock Ford for “any color he wants, as long as it’s black“; but passively listening to the customer is no good either. Long ago Ford understood the pitfalls of just asking “what would you like?”
This quote came to mind as I reviewed the predictions in the Pew Research report on Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age. Full disclosure, I don’t buy such specific predictions. I’m with William Schrader’s take on page 2:
Gigabit bandwidth is one of the few real ‘build it and they will come’ moments for new killer apps. The fact that no one had imagined the other killer apps prior to seeing them grow rapidly implies that no one can imagine these new ones—including me.
Many of the guesses are entertaining and may well be true. In the end, what struck me was how derivative nearly every prediction was. Most involved augmentation of current functionality: a variant on the “faster horse” desire. Some, like one librarian, were hoping for features that already exist: e.g., seeing recipes in a heads-up display.
Paging KitchMe and Google Glass.
Filed under: Business Case, Collaboration, Henry Ford, Innovation, Requirements Management | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 31, 2009 by Paul Ritchie
Emmanuel Gobillot commented on my post on self-organization (here). I liked his comment so much that I thought it was worth highlighting below:
I have found four conditions which need to be in place for communities to be productive. I called these
Simplicity (a coherent and simple way to engage),
Narrative (an underpinning story for people to align to),
Tasks (a clear set of tasks which participants can measure against their self image) and
Love (the willingness to commit to making others stronger).
These elements encourage emergence but are better designed. In many ways this explains the need for the famous “benevolent dictators” we have come to identify with emergent systems.
IMO, community-building often focuses on conditions 1&4, especially in knowledge management efforts. Addressing these topics seems to attract membership, but this tactic only meets some of a community’s needs. Without the structure and content provided by conditions 2&3, communities are only coherent and useful for those most interested in conversation and networking.
In my experience, very interesting conversations spring up in “Simplicity” and “Love”-centric communities. However, there are so many stories being told that it is hard to pick a single thread and follow it through to closure. Without an over-arching “Narrative” that values the “Task” work — something like “Community X’s mission is to create a knowledge sharing network and promote re-use of recommended practices in strategic topics A, B, and C” — the community becomes all talk, no deliverables.
Filed under: Collaboration, Knowledge Management, Methodology | Tagged: Emergence, emergent behavior, self-organization | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 14, 2009 by Paul Ritchie
We’ve just started digging into a large-scale re-architecture of our various methodologies. As you might imagine, the consequences of our approach include changes to the processes, people, and technologies behind content production and maintenance.
In particular, leverage social media to author, publish, and distribute much more content than we do today. We’re pleased with our technology direction. However, we are concerned about some of the organizational change management challenges ahead — for example, many potential contributors feel like their competitive advantage is what’s in their heads.
Are there any social media adoption strategies that work well when engaging constituencies that aren’t inclined to share?
Filed under: Collaboration, Knowledge Management, Methodology, Organizational Change Management, PMO, Web 2.0 | Tagged: blogs, wikis | 3 Comments »
Posted on February 20, 2009 by Paul Ritchie
During my keynote on “Lessons from a Mature PMO on Sustaining Success”, I spent a considerable amount of time discussing one of the pitfalls of success: becoming satisfied with what was already in place. For example, some global PMO services stopped evolving and improving. Our regions felt like they had to build their own improvements — even worse, we didn’t have a mechanism for leveraging these innovations.
Luckily, we did a some working models that we were able to formalize. Below is a graphic — with a link to a PDF — that outlines the basic concept and an example (WBS templates).
Filed under: Collaboration, Innovation, PMO, SAP | Tagged: co-innovation, Enterprise PMO, Global PMO, PMO governance | Leave a comment »