This book is about how Bill, who is the acting VP of IT operations of an (Imaginary) company called Parts Unlimited, organizes work flow, streamlines interdepartmental communications and serves other business functions of parts Unlimited. Bill does this under the guidance of Erik , a prospective board member, and Erik’s mysterious philosophy called three ways . People who are aware of Eliyahu Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints, as expounded in the seminal classic ‘ The Goal’ will find themselves completely at home with the book.
1. To gain assurance for reliability of financial reporting
2. Compliance with laws and regulations, and
3. Efficiency and effectiveness of operations.”
- Health of Company
- Market Share
- Average order size
- Return on assets
- Health of Finance
- Order to cash cycle
- Accounts Receivable
- Accurate and Timely Financial Reporting
- Borrowing Costs
- Are we competitive?
- Understanding customer needs and wants: do we know what to build ?
- Product Portfolio: Do we have the right products ?
- R&D effectiveness: Can we build it effectively ?
- Time to Market : Can we ship it soon enough to matter ?
- Sales Pipeline: We can convert prospects to customers ?
- Are we effective
- Customer on-time delivery: Are customers getting what we promised them?
- Customer Retention : Are we gaining or losing customers ?
- Sales Forecast Accuracy: Can we factor this into our sales planning process ?
“ In these competitive times, the name of the game is to quick time-to-market and to fail fast. We just can’t have multiyear product development timelines, waiting until the end to figure out whether we have a winner or loser on our hands. We need short and quick cycle times to continually integrate feedback from the market place”
- The First way helps us understand how to create fast flow of work as it moves from Development into Operations, because that’s what’s between the business and the customer.
- The second way shows us how to shorten and amplify feedback loops, so we can fix quality at the source and avoid rework.
- And the third way shows us how to create a culture that simultaneously fosters experimentation, learning from failure, and understanding that repetition and practice are pre-requisites to mastery
- Business Projects: These are business initiatives, of which majority are development projects. These do get tracked typically by Project Management Office
- Internal IT Projects: This typically involves infrastructure or IT Operations projects that business projects may create as well as internally generated improvement projects ( upgrade OS, DB). These are not tracked separately anywhere and are subprojects of the Business projects. This creates a problem when IT operations is a bottle neck, because the capacity already committed and capacity available is never known.
- Changes: These are often generated from the previous two types of work and are typically tracked in a ticketing system , typically separate systems for IT operations and Development) The fact that two different systems exist to handle different parts of the same work does create problems when handoffs are required.
- Un-Planned work: These include operational incidents and problems, often caused by the previous types of work and always come at the expense of planned work.