Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Template for workshops using Osterwalder's Business Model canvas.

I have been evangelising Alex's work on this simple but highly effective technique for over  a year now and so many delegates love this technique. The creative commons license attributed to this work makes it easy to  use distribute and develop; well done Alex. This open model actually works in his favour in my belief and has to be one of the reasons , beyond its excellence , why this model is so wide spread. As a result Alex must gain substantial income from book sales, workshops and speaking which he wouldn't do if this approach hadn't been taken - very forward innovative thinking.

He has launched a new proposition development tool in "partnership" with Steve Blank, another useful character. The two of them with this collaborative approach are far more creative and successful than if they kept their ideas close to the chest.But this is a subject for another post another time!

I do muse about an old chestnut of mine DSDM Atern which does the opposite taking a protective stance, particularly around training; heard of DSDM Atern? well probably not - I wonder why!

Any way back to topic. I have built a simple template for use in Conceptdraw Pro Vision (Conceptdraw Office) as the only application currently available is an IPAD app which apparently is good, but I don't have an IPAD and need to do some on screen canvasses via windows.  Alex offers a Pdf template, on his website,but it is a bit grey and difficult to read with small fonts so I needed something a bit more useful in workshops.

Why choose this package instead of something like MS Visio which to be fair is more common?

The reason for me is the integration between the mind-map tool, diagramming tool and the project management application. You can move material simply from one form to another saving vast amounts of time re-factoring information e.g. from a mind map to a power-point deck to a mind map. Create a mind- map and then the content can be exported automatically to power-point to create all the headings for your slides or word headings for that matter ; saves loads of time and increases consulting productivity. http://www.alexosterwalder.com/

Saturday, 20 October 2012

One Day Business Architecture Overview Successfully delivered

Short courses are always a worry and this one was no exception. A banking client wanted to have a delivery of an overview course on business architecture which we delivered in London earlier this week.

Having attended our normal 3 day event the senior manager wanted to to create awareness of the role of business architecture across his organisation as a whole; but due to time constraints wanted a distilled bespoke and targeted delivery.

There was a lot to get through and, although and I did have some initial concerns of "compressing" the content, this " Yellow belt" type course in business architecture was well received.

The practioner attendees, as opposed to the executive types however did say that more time on practical workshops and case studies would have proved useful; but that comment is not unexpected as in reality it takes at least three days to show how people to build "Target Operating Models", rather than just give an overview. In fact I am commonly told by delegates that they wish their companies would book four/five days to allow for more working through of examples; but costs and time constraints rarely allow such extended events in today's environment.

There is a trend for organisations asking for byte sized training driven by a reluctance to release staff for multiple day training events rather than cost. Most teachers/trainers worry on the effective learning of such short sharp events, as the reflection required to gain learning benefits is difficult to embed and develop in short course. However, like in this case, if the content is well designed and carefully delivered then the downsides of short training can be mitigated to some degree; particularly if backed up within a e-learning programme residing on a learning management system (LMS) as we provided in this case.

The real problem though lies in the trend for very short sessions of just an hour, perhaps over lunch; and the jury is still out on this type of delivery and whether this is good value for money or just an excuse to reduce cost and work place disruption rather than good learning development. I think with complex topics this is really difficult to do justice to.

Anyway another delivery and another happy client who can ask for more!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

CCPPOLDAT proves popular yet again!

The dreadfully sounding acronym CCPPOLDAT  initially puts people off but this surprisingly simple approach, when explained and trained properly, is nearly always one of the most popular tools and techniques of delegates on our business architecture training courses.

Again at last weeks delivery of the course in Salisbury the method of cross functional slicing that CCPPOLDAT provides was one of the most popular techniques of the trainees. Its simple approach, that is clearly understood by business stakeholders, gains much more ground and enthusiasm than EITA frameworks like TOGAF 9.0 which seems to send delegates off the opposite direction creating not much excitement from the floor!

It is clear in business architecture that we need tools that speak to business stakeholders in language that they can relate to rather than alienate them; CCPPOLDAT as an approach clearly does this, as many analysts and business change people on my courses tell me. It is a shame that the acronym,when first presented, doesn't pave the way well but when the substance is explained then all is OK.

One point that gets made on the course  is if you use CCPPOLDAT to inform TOGAF,  and therefore support the underlying "Enterprise I.T. Architecture" (EITA), then this is a successful partnership. Our technology friends need TOGAF for I.S. planning and by using CCPPOLDAT, as a business facing front end, the best of both worlds can be achieved. With this "methodology marriage" true enterprise architecture can be achieved.

Acknowledgement is made to Computer Science Corporation (CSC) who originally developed the predecessor POLDAT many years ago.