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Architecture without Coaching leads to failure! (Part 1)

Sogeti Labs
November 19, 2018

Result is the only thing that counts, or is it?

Are you willing to fire your business & IT employees, and replace them with top players? Are you willing to replace yourself with someone who can do a better job?

If your answer is ¨no”, consider the following:

There is always someone who is better at the job than you! Why are you blocking the winning result for your company?

If you follow this logic, you risk getting into a never-ending loop of finding better people to get the desired result. Here, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself: ΅”What is the result that counts?”

What is the result?

Is it the result that has been delivered which counts in the end?

Is it not the real result, that “thing” that delivers value to the one that receives the result?

Are you still with me? The previous statement is the big “mind” shift that makes all the difference.

The Result is an added value

The result is just a “means to an end”  where the end is the value that it delivers.

The Value Proposition Canvas by Osterwalder visualizes this. For the customer, the result is the shifted balance between pain & gain, and a positive change is the only thing that counts.


Value (perception)

So when the result is just a “Means to an end” with the end being the value that it delivers,

what is the value?

Is value not the difference in (value) perception of a person between the current situation and the old situation?

Or as Wikipedia defines it:

“Value is the difference between a prospective customer’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of one product when compared with others. Value may also be expressed as a straightforward relationship between perceived benefits and perceived costs: Value = Benefits/Cost.”

The value in the now

On Wikipedia, the first definition uses the word ΅prospective” and in the second one it refers to the perceived benefits in the now. The current world is more agile because of the world shifting to a network society and thus developing at a higher pace. Enterprise strategies and programs with a scope of more than two years are getting very rare because it is impossible to predict what is happening. A rule of thumb, I use is that when you have a project that cannot deliver value within six months, you are running a great risk of failure.

Value is about perceived benefits

When you consider that “benefit” is synonymous to improvement, we can state:

Value is about improvement.

We can safely say that result is about providing improvement and not proving that improvement is possible.

The key factor here is the word perception in the term “value perception”. Perception is something that is unique for every individual. This implies that when you want to define value, you need to take into consideration that there are various value perceptions involved. The most basic difference in perception is the value that one producer perceives and the value the one customer perceives.


The best result is a never-ending value improvement

So when the result is just a “means to an end” with the end being the value that it delivers.

And value is about improvement, which is a perception of an individual, then we can reason the following;

If we want to optimize value for a person, then we need to continuously improve the value perception.

Following the reasoning above, I think that this implies that the essence of every request for the result is the request for implementing continuous improvement.

I am starting to be convinced that every other approach in the creation or change process leads to failure.

Static goals lead to a static perception of reality

When you do not aim for continuous improvement, but only for a one-time improvement,  you are aiming for a static result.  This static result can only be achieved when you freeze the system of value perception and the various persons that perceive.

You cannot freeze time

Since everybody and each of their contexts are changing non-stop, this freeze is impossible. When you do not aim for continuous improvement but only for a result in the form of a product or “thing” then you know for certain that every person involved will perceive the added value as less and less when the time continues.

The reason for this decline in value perception is that people are getting used to the image of the presented goal. “Seen that, been there” will be over time the overall unconscious perception of the people involved. This is natural behaviour of people to get used to situations in general.

Stay tuned to learn about Continuous Improvement in the realm of IT Technology

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


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