Trying to avoid falling off the cliff before you start - with good planning and measurement!
Whilst I was on holiday I decided to pick up an old book which I was given a few years ago about technology companies and why many of them fail, but for a few they manage to succeed and flourish. Many of you may be familiar with it; It’s called “Crossing The Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore and it really is a fascinating read. Written in 1991, it has withstood the test of time and whilst some readers will say the ideas are rather “old school” for me it has loads of great observations particularly about the small number that do make it across the chasm.
Not least because I recently met a CIO friend of mine, Ian Cohen who gave me an insightful view of the challenges which many of you are currently experiencing and the book seemed to be full of similarities. My CIO friend commented that CIO’s are really pushed for that most precious of commodities, time and how every part of the role means there is less of it. Alongside this are the demands of the board which are saying “we must go digital” whilst at the same time worrying about “how to keep the lights on”
All start-up companies are constantly worrying about cash, marketing and surviving. As the book gradually reveals, the companies that do well are those that listen to their customers and develop a clear strategy with measurements all along the way. Moore describes “the whole product concept” which is key to producing a great company as it consists of a number of different elements. He goes on to highlight the demands of the pragmatist customers, those who want the whole product ready from the outset. Does anybody recognise this board like behaviour?
Moore’s theme throughout the book is about planning measuring and ultimately knowing your customer and how they are behaving. Designing and building a successful “whole product” company is a complex process and a digital transformation journey is no different which is why I think you will find the book most useful.
Which brings me back to Ian Cohen and his comments about “legacy” and “new”. One of the biggest challenges we see is the ability to carry on managing and measuring your existing technology whilst looking at the new digital stuff. How do I manage Microservices when things are moving so fast? How can I make sure that as I move across the chasm I can measure my progress and keep track of new technology at the same time?
This is an area we are seeing rapid change and why we are launching a new e-book on microservices and how you manage these better. It won’t help you cross the chasm on its own but it may assist in measuring your progress towards the end goal of arriving safely at the other side. In the meantime, if you do get any spare time please do try and get a copy of "Crossing The Chasm" by Geoffrey Moore.