David Longman

Client Delivery Lead

Dave has over 20 years experience working in the software industry across a number of different technical and leadership roles. He has been pivotal in several successful agile transformation initiatives and is a vocal advocate of delivering high quality and easy to maintain code. He has spoken at a number of industry conferences on team dynamics and estimating and forecasting.

Earlier this year Gartner reported that businesses are shifting their focus away from revenue generating projects and onto organisational efficiency and optimisation projects. Businesses need to be able to scale without increasing headcount as leaders face economic pressures from multiple avenues.  

It’s easy to think that innovation is a game reserved for startups, disruptors and creatives with a stack of post-it notes and a white wall. But searching for process and service optimisations within your organisation still needs an innovative approach that results in implementable projects that deliver a return on investment.  

Navigating complexity 

Startups don’t need to contemplate or consider the complexities that come with innovating to enhance existing services and processes. In established organisations, innovations need to be able to integrate with your existing systems and operation and you need to be able to get things live and operational without negatively impacting business as usual.  

This added complexity needs to be considered when you’re looking at process and service innovations or productivity optimisations. It’s key that you make sure to have a diverse skillset in the room discussing and testing out ideas, including both higher level strategic oversight, technical knowledge and even representation from those on the front line with customers and clients. We call it a 360˚ solution, but really it’s about minimising your risks by minimising blind spots.  

Understand your vision and value  

Innovating existing processes and services doesn’t need to be approached as nothing more than a cost-cutting exercise.  

The end result might be a reduction in the cost of doing business, but equally it could be a transformation in service to a customer, protecting your ability to compete in the future. It’s important when approaching projects that optimise existing processes that you’re clear what your vision is for the project. Furthermore, defining what value looks like to your business will help deliver better outcomes for your project.  

Where to start? 

With all projects you’re undertaking, priority should be given to the things that are going to deliver value to your business quickly. Process innovations are no exception, and scoping roadmaps for the project should highlight the key features that drive most of the early value.  

Expect there to be areas of uncertainty that will need additional testing. Create the opportunity for testing your hypotheses. 

Innovations that result in new products and experiences are fundamental for businesses looking to achieve growth. But using an innovative approach to optimise your existing operation can also lead to significant cost savings, efficiencies and improvements to your services.  

While economic pressures and uncertainties remain, now is the time to tighten up and optimise. 

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