Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Razor Blade Business Model

I have been printing today in preparation for a business architecture course in early February. I have been upgradng the printing and output quality by going down the colour printing route.

One aspect that is interesting is it is cheaper to buy a new colour laser printer with a set of cartridges doing a 1000 pages per cartridge than buying refills!

It also seems that cheaper printers give smaller starter cartridges and sell the printer cheaper to get you on the hook. A modern example of the old razor and blade business model.

Throwing out a printer because replacing cartridges costs substantially more than a new printer isn't very environmental either. Mad world.

Another feature I thought about was Dr Kano where colour printing of course material has become an example of a delighter moving to basic or hygiene. At one time , not that long ago colour output was rare due to the cost and now more the better -performer- or even expected- hygiene.

Mind you some organisations ban colour printing due to cost; having seen the Staples invoice I see why!

Expectations on handouts drive up the cost of production and therefore the training charge. Do you want lower day rates or higher quality output? Tell me.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Organisational Design and Business Architecture

I have reading up on organisational design recently particularly a couple of books written by Naomi Stanford.- Organization Design- Guide to Organisation Design- apologies for the "z" it is in the spelling of the title.

What was interesting was that these books actually described, in the main, a business architectural approach, with some HR bias naturally, but the phrase "business architecture" didn't appear at all.

So it seems when organisational design is carried out correctly the two disciplines are somewhat synonymous.

So why is it that in many organisations HR do org. design and compete with operations people doing process design and I.T. people doing enterprise architecture. In some organisations there is a business strategy group doing business architecture as well, with all these teams pulling in different directions and fighting for "turf".

The corporate world is so interesting is it not?

Friday, 8 January 2010

Business Process Maturity Model

I have recently revisited my Business Process Management Maturity model particularly as an associate started discussing with me the allied CMMI business process related models which rely on subjective questions posed in interviews from senior managers in process areas.

I quickly saw that the model I created and use was more objective being based on observational data i.e. Can I see evidence of things rather that a response to a questions posed in an interview "Do you have your processes mapped"? "Oh Yes" says Churchill!!

The first point is: does the recipient of the question understand the question the same way as the person who asks it?

i.e. Question "Do you have visual management in place"?

Does the person interviewed know what visual management is? or worse does he/she think they know what it is and say yes, or indeed yes it is there i.e. a white board with some figures on but in reality it is there for show not for use and has not been updated since last month when the divisional head was on a royal tour!

Secondly is the answer based on hubris and ego rather than reality; we all know that senior managers have a tendency to be "half full" optimists on occasions!

Surely it is better to go and have a look and see the reality rather than accept someones word for it however well intentioned they maybe? At least I know what I am looking for which is a start.

The model looks for features in lean-sigma and benchmarks your process management based on things the assessor finds - a bit obvious really and I am surprised this sort of approach is not more common.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

New White Paper

I have just been using these quiet snow bound days to write a new white paper, my first for 2010. It is all about developing business processes as business assets and gives focus to the use of tools and approaches.

I have used the IGrafx tool set as an example, which I am becoming increasing enamored with, to illustrate how tools need to be appropriate for a choice of process maturity allowing migration and progressed functionality. The white paper is about 2500 words or so, a bit big for on here.

If you want a copy it will be on the Dever Solutions website shortly or post a comment requesting a copy and I will send it on.