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Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

7 Ways to Take an Outside-In View of Your Group

7 Ways to Take an Outside-In View of Your Group

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I was helping a mentee take a new view on their business, so they could transform their business to compete in a new arena.   Here are the 7 ways I outlined for them to get a better view on their business to shape significant change:

  1. What are the key deliverables that the company cares about? (Who are the stakeholders and why do they care?)
  2. How does the money flow? (Who funds and why?   If they gave you more money, what more would you do? If you got less money, what would be cut?   This gives you a fast business sense)
  3. What is the cadence of your deliverables?  (Do you ship 3 big thingies or 30 thingies per year? .. what would a “fast” cadence look like?   More importantly, what would people value?  For example, can you focus on 3 big wins each quarter that have high impact?)
  4. What’s the roadmap look like?  (Can you put it on a one-slider to show the big impact in a way others get?)
  5. What are the critical few KPIs that tell you whether you are keeping up, falling behind, or changing the game?
  6. What is your unique set of capabilities of your product/service?
  7. What is the unique set of capabilities of your people?

If you can answer those without a lot of work – congrats!

The above lens gives you quick insight and a critical view into the customer, the value you provide, the cost, and the capabilities you can use to drive meaningful change and transformation.

To put that into context and apply it, when business leaders look to shape a business, they tend to look at the capabilities.  They want to know what’s unique and what’s redundant.   If you can’t differentiate at your capabilities, then you have a problem articulating your unique value.

Capabilities help give you a simple language for talking about value and unique strengths.  They are also a business tool for consolidating and improving efficiencies by maturing or outsourcing capabilities.

Use them wisely.