Re-Think Time-to-Value




Brad Hudon


July 2023

Light vs. Heavy Solutions

Picture this scenario, It’s a late Friday afternoon and the boss calls a meeting to say that the price of gold is sky-rocketing. He needs a precious metal adder in the inventory system by next week to increase the margins on sales. Monday morning, the change is tested; by Tuesday, it’s implemented. 

Hard to imagine? That’s because that happened over 40 years ago. Now we’ve complicated a ham sandwich, especially in terms of the idea-to-execution timeline involving enterprise software. More often than not, the IT team will never get that Friday call. They no longer have a place at that table.

There are many factors that explain this change. In simple terms, the process went from light and fast toheavy and slow. Most of the best ideas for incremental improvements in enterprise software never get implemented anymore. Often, these ideas never even make into the IT backlog, or, worst, they’re never voiced in the first place, because the initial ideator perceives implementation as hopeless. 

You’re probably thinking that sounds bleak. But there is good news here. Companies can achieve the type of execution witnessed 40 years ago. They can even do so over and over again. The secret? Understanding your business and knowing where the strategic value of automation lies. You need to be granular, tackle challenges that often seem difficult, and list areas of improvement in order of priority. If you want to include and motivate the IT team—regardless of whether it’s comprised of one developer or hundreds—you need to be specific. Avoid confusing acro nyms: ERP, CRM, SCM, PLM, MES, etc. If the business user can’t be specific, don’t expect IT to be fast.

There is good news here. Companies can achieve the type of execution witnessed 40 years ago

You could call this a back-to-the-future transition, meaning we’re going back to a shortened time-to-value timeline and reverting to a rapid execution of ideas. It’s a reversal with a progressive outcome. Digital transformation is a common label for this type of process shift, often used by enterprises to imply that going digital will increase profits. Making profits for the shareholders, believe it or not, is still the reason most businesses exist. We can look at digital transformation as some future state never achieved before, which in the case of younger businesses, might truly be the case. In the case of older businesses, retaining the hard-won experience, but finding the lean-and-mean gene that drives rapid implementation of solid business ideas with the practical use of the technology available today. 

There are other ways to make this transition. If your enterprise is large with a lot of baggage, ie defined structure and processes that prefer the status quo over change, create a SkunkWorks project with an autonomous and well-supported lean team of bright people. Small to mid-size companies with a fairly flat organization can do the same thing. The team should be small and cross-functional; it can even be a “team” of one. If it’s impossible to find one person who deeply understands the business and what it needs to implement enterprise-level software solutions, then try to keep the team to two people, if possible. The point being to keep the team small. Secondly, use time wisely to manage execution. Regardless of your company’s size, set the time to value. 

For example, you have until next week to deliver all or part of a solution that delivers part of the business value. What does this have to do with T2VSoft? We can make it happen!

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