May 27, 2021
A New Way of Doing Things
Written by Shane Oswald, Director of Delivery
Ask the average person what comes to mind when they hear the word “Innovation”, and they’ll probably think of the latest smartphone, smartwatch, or smart speaker launch. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “Innovate” is defined as “To make changes : do something in a new way”. According to this definition, one could argue that the past year has been the most innovative period in recent history. We have all had to learn to do things in a new way; social distancing, collaboration on Teams/Zoom/Meets, at home distance learning, etc. We have seen innovations within our organization, with our project teams, and with our clients, above and beyond those that were required to get through the pandemic.
At Clientek, we encourage our team members to think of ways we can innovate. In some instances, this involves implementing a new process. Other times, it involves retiring an activity that no longer provides value. Throughout my career, I have often heard the phase “That’s just the way we’ve always done it.” as justification for a business process. I can honestly say that I’ve never heard that phrase at Clientek. We are open to trying new ways of doing things and adjusting quickly. Some innovative ideas bring value, some don’t, but we adapt quickly and embrace the change.
We encourage this same mentality on our project teams. At the end of each sprint, during the sprint retrospective, we try to identify 1 or 2 actionable, specific items that we could change or improve upon for the following sprint. The key here is placing focus on 1 or 2 items. Coming up with 10 changes will most likely result in nothing changing. Making small, focused iterative improvements over time, will produce performant, innovative teams.
Lastly, we have the privilege of working with our clients to innovate within their organizations. After all, each project we work on comes from the customer’s desire to make a change to how they are operating. One of the first activities we do on a new project is define the current state. We need to understand the current process in order to understand the impacts of any potential change that will be made. Then, we identify changes that could be made to the current state that would meet the business objectives of that project. Finally, we prioritize the order of implementing those changes based on what delivers the most impact to the business objectives.
What is your organization doing to innovate? With 29 years of proven experience implementing change, we can help.