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Today, attended a very enlightening talk on ‘Innovation’ from Dr. Jay Rao of famous Babson University. Meeting him in person was a great experience, I found him to be an very energetic professor with warm in-person touch. Though, this session was of a short duration, but we could get good glimpse of his body of knowledge. Amongst many thought provoking interactions during session, I could jot down few of my observations from my notes.
Need of Innovation:
With information revolution taking place in early 90s, there comes the era of insecurity for big corporations who, till now, maintained their kingdom by withholding expertize, experience and knowledge of their products/services in tight grips. But, internet brought that knowledge to everyone in the world to make it flatten plateau of equal opportunity. To this there was varied response, many didn’t care about it and didn’t decided not to change a thing, resultantly, they perished to become dead meat for crows. Few embraced the path to peruse more expenditure on Research and Development to stay competitive but could not achieve desired benefits.
Flaws in Implementation:
Many of organization thought that this was an additional expense which they have to live with to compete in market. So, they defined their Innovation Strategy as an additional expense in RnD. During start phase, approach succeeded, but failed at later phases. Following this, they started to wonder the correlations between R&D Spent & Innovation success as well as relationship of R&D effort with ROI timeline. Perhaps, there was no such formula to arrive at an academic approach or some scientific formula to tap into Innovation.
Major Reason of Failure
However, they could nail down few major reasons of its failure. Although, many organization persevered to their innovation efforts, their efforts fell for most obvious trap, Lack of Funds. With quarterly pressure of performance and profit, many innovation research were scuttled due to budget constraints. Some of remaining research effort, which could manage this budget hurdle, failed to convince stakeholders for additional time. Despite having enough time and budget, remaining fell due to running either in wrong direction or with wrong strategy for long duration. It was not just the profit loss, but also the loss of moral of its Innovation leaders.
Real Core of It:
After doing all deliberation on all cause, one fact came out very strong, it not about process, people or practice to enforce innovation but the core culture of organization. Experimentation and Failure of two side of Innovation and one can’t ignore other. It comes together as we proceed with it. And the culture which encourages Experiment and takes Failure in its stride, are the ultimate champion of Innovation. Organization need to ask a question before embarking on this journey, “Do they have War Chest to take Failures?”.
Innovation is a Discipline:
As we understand, Innovation is about an application of Idea to create a new useful product/service to order to provide greater value to its customers. It is a deliberate application of 3Is, namely, Information, Imagination and Initiative. Moreover, this is a risk taking initiative to uncertain outcomes and unknown customer behavior.
Professor reiterated, Innovation was a discipline which could be learnt, practiced and mastered in a structured fashion but differed on its measurable aspects. He argued, if objective was just profit, measurement was easy, if objective is for Social up-liftment or urge for Creativity or need of Independence, etc., same might be difficult.
Innovation could be of two types. One Evolutionary and other could be Revolutionary. Evolutionary is is more like Continuous Innovation which gives Linear Growth but Revolutionary is driven by Continuous Experimentation of disruptive in nature and gives possibility of Non-Linear growth. Prof stressed, for successful practice, it could not be either of them, instead it had to be both of them together.
Innovation has been the buzz word for sometime now, yet, there is no definite and established practice for it. Innovation, as a discipline, is at its nascent stage to become a practice just like we had Marketing and Quality in 20-30 years back.
As IT industry is going through its churning stage to find a new growth path, there is a lot of buzz around “How to Move Up the Value Chain?”. Concept of Service Productization offers new avenue. But, I scratched my head on this a lot and could come out with my 101 notes on Service Productization.
What is Productization?
- Productization is a practical and systematic methods to implement product-like features and characteristics into a service and package it into a more manageable and understandable object.
What is Service Productization (SP)?
- It is packing a Service offerings into a product bundle to deliver a domain solution with better cost, lesser time, better quality and higher predictability than Pure Service model. It is a complete domain solution full of methodology, framework, accelerators to
What are the Differences between Service Productization and Service Model?
- Based on configuration rather than customization.
- Loaded with features rather than requirement gathering.
- At end, Not a project model but a product.
What are main Characteristics Productized Service?
- A pre-defined and clear offering or deliverable
- A consistent standard delivery methodology
- Supporting tools and templates for executing the service
- Consistent knowledge and skills required to deliver the service
- Quantifiable costs and demonstrable value
Why should we productize services?
- Sophisticated client base demands constant proof of repeatable and demonstrable value. Fixed-time, fixed fee and shared-risk engagements represent about half of all the work performed by Project
- Executive Group nowadays. Therefore it becomes increasingly important for us to structure our work in a way that offers clear deliverables with pre-defined scope, methods, skills, time and cost.
- A standard service methodology delivers significant improvement in revenue, pipeline size and utilization.
Why is it called Blueprinting of Services?
- Yes, it is a blueprint of end to end domain solution using services. If compared with Template, it is just about time and resources. But, Blueprints is about adding additional views of complete guides, deliverables, required authorizations, historic effort and other critical information.
What are critical success parameters of a successful SP?
- To Build a successful productized service, it has to address following two aspects:
- Commercialization – A SP has to offer both most common and most appealing demand but in this, it should not loose sight on Cost Structure. It have to show one big price for full offerings but allows flexibility to change it by configurations based on customer requirements.
- Standardization – Success of SP is purely based on standardization of each service in its portfolio. Surely, this comes with experience, but a model can be placed to keep it standard across offerings.
- To Win in Marketplace, it is required to come with flying colors on following parameters as well.
- Customer expectation -In this, It will be about Ability to size the Customer expectations and ability model in SP offering is critical to success.
- Ability to deliver – Having modeled a fantastic SP, delivering it on promise is second most critical factor for continuation of success.
- Service proposition – Should continued to have its Service flavor to it to provide Customization flexibility.
Can any domain problem be consider for SP?
- No, bear in mind, that SP is only beneficial in solution domain where there is high volume of work from multiple clients.
Just now, FB and G+ updated its app on my mobile and now it take 10+MB of internal storage.
With Apps are getting fatter, my Nexus One is running out of Internal Storage. I never imagined, that this sweetheart will become absolute obsolete within 2 years. Somehow, I dont prefer to chase every new device for few additional feature. My rule of thumb is to have it, if it has good fundamentals (platform & Ecosystem). But it missed one layer down, future of FATTER app and underlying hardware capacity. So, time to change it…. Waiting for right to switch!!!
Wow, really impressed me…
Few take-away from his talk
- Drama Creation is all about keeping the anticipation going in audience mind.
- Story is an art of reaching conclusion by going though heap and bound of road leading to it.
- Audience watches drama for problem solving contently. Anything static and just happy happy don’t fly long, that is why we have Villain and Hero/Heroin with Villain characters.
- You should give clues to audience to allow them to their conclusions along with clues of doubts to hinder their progress and keep the suspense of story.
What I like most about it, the end!!!
“Whatever you are good at, it should be worthy a second chance given. “
Last week, I attend a training session on managing large customer account, delivered by IIMB Professor DVR. It was impressive but what I liked most was his step out session in which he enlightened us on his philosophy of life and happiness. Although, he gave long and impact full description of “Ways of Happiness”, but following image is crisp depiction of his intellectual.
Last week early morning, I was watching a TV program for which I missed the starting part. So I can give any reference here.
During that program, those gentlemen were discussing about ‘Regrets of Life’. They argued, at the death bed, everyone had to go through same regrets just before last breath unless its a sudden accidental death or individual is wicked creature. These regrets are broadly categorized in three questions, such as: ‘Did we Live enough?’, ‘Did we Love enough?’ and ‘Did it Matter enough?’ This is where we wish, we could live again.
At the end, they gave very interesting suggestion by proposing a philosophy to avoid these regrets. They said, if we ask ourselves these questions everyday, automatically, we will ensure that these does not come back to us at the day of reckoning.
Following image is capture that questionnaire.
Just read couple of stories in “Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish” book. It is a fantastic book and I would recommend. Here is my crack on it.
According to book, there are four major aspects to any successful entrepreneurship. First is financial where individual has to deal with its Security and Support. Second is Focus which is that individual’s desire to Do It and his/her capability to perform. Third is ability to Ideate a solution with future vision. And last is social ecosystem to support and complement the effort.