Digital transformation, IT is business, Practical examples

Why do digital transformation initiatives fail?

September 21, 2018

I’ve been looking more and more for reasons why Digital Transformations fail. Here I’m talking specifically about the steps regarding launching products straight related to experience. Many of the articles are too abstract saying that it’s lack of culture. The culture is hard to change, etc. Some of them are about lack of empowerment, but again it turns to culture.

After reading many of them (some of the most important listed below), I came to this conclusion: it’s lack of will. I’ll explain. Before everything, the articles:

 

They say it’s culture

The most present thing is always related to people. Culture, engagement, communication, expectations clarity, etc. I couldn’t find a single mention saying that the project wouldn’t reach the expected ROI.

Beyond the results that consumers can see, some of big companies’ moves went through internal automation and changes. The great challenge in these scenarios have been to IT and business areas capacities together. If one of the areas had the knowledge of both, they would be only one. This is Digital Transformation.

Clearly the suggestion here is to put them to work together. One cannot live without the other. But the main thing is to remove the competition between them. Now that IT saw that it can add value to business just like the product areas, a competition started. The shortest way to put an end to that: have a single manager. A CPO and a CTO working together, with different responsibilities but with the same results expectations, is a good match.

It’s an internal change

Ford is having issues to real engage with Digital platforms. Tesla is not. What’s the difference?

The will is one step before putting hands to work. When we are talking about the involved teams, the will is the output of contextualization and engagement processes. Leaders that didn’t buy the sponsors idea, won’t be able to pass it on. They won’t engage their teams properly.

Then many things may come to leaders and employees minds when acting in a new initiative. It’s all new for them. They don’t know what will come. Maybe nobody is sure about that yet:

  • Leaders and employees: afraid of what’s new. I know some companies that chill when they hear about agile development. They are afraid of that since the 90’s. Even after watching more and more successful benchmarks, it’s never enough for a real change;
  • Product areas: and that goes all around the company. The product areas don’t know the IT and fear their guys;
  • Operational areas: the operational areas, if aren’t properly engaged, will sabotage everything they see. Sometimes it isn’t even rational;
  • The board: the directors are afraid of doing a new investment that won’t bring the expected ROI, and for many times will decide to keep the organic growth instead of doing something that can be exponential;
So why it is lack of will and not lack of culture?

The will is base for culture. If the leaders are not convinced of going Digital, they won’t do anything. But I’ve already seen some people well convinced that this is the future, and even after that, they won’t make a thing. But if the needed leaders are well convinced, and willing to change, they will be able to change their own culture and their team’s culture to achieve what they are looking for.

Digital transformation, Innovation, IT is business, Practical examples

Health awakes for DT

September 21, 2018

During the past week I had the opportunity to attend to an important trade fair in USA for IT decision makers in midmarket companies. It was an incredible experience to talk to many people who are in charge of the future of their companies.  I got really impressed to know what they are looking for and what are their real concerns by the end of 2018.

Special mention:

Before getting to the real point of this article, I have to mention that I got to know many important and intelligent people. They were looking for the same old solutions to solve problems that were already solved a million times. I saw people looking for solutions that were created in 2007. That’s impressive but that’s also a sign that we all are inside a cycle. And we all are evolving. That’s the coolest thing about the event.

 

To the point: Digital Transformation one more time

It’s not new for everybody that financial industry is heavily affected by Digital Transformation. I can’t find a single bank that isn’t looking for that. Some of them are looking for experience enhancements; others are all about regarding automation. And the majority of big companies already past this phase and are already looking for omnichannel. It’s not that strong when we look for insurance, mortgages and some other industries. They have a different pattern. But they are all in similar situation: evolving.

Beside financial, we’ve heard some real cool moves from Amazon (a benchmark of course) in retail, and many others. But after financial and these moves in retail, it’s being kind of difficult to find the next industry witness for DT.

The health woke up

I had an incredible opportunity to talk to three chairmen for health. They are concerned about some things but they all mean the same thing. Their concerns were:

  •         Stop developing apps without previously validating if that is the real thing their end-user is in need;
  •         Generate business value from IT because of competitor’s moves;
  •         Take care of the little monsters that shadow-IT created and now they have to support;

If we look outside the box, those gentlemen were concerned about the same thing, as their next step for Digital Transformation: engage business areas;

Their initiative is great. But it’s also late. I’ve been discussing the third symptom with financial companies for the last 6 years. That’s always the same: an isolated initiative from a business area innovating creates something new that gets strength in the organization. But they are not IT. They don’t have the needed experience to support this new product/whatever else. Then the IT is called and they say: “hey, now you have to support this”. The nightmare starts. For the first two points, it looks like the company already got some good insights and is trying to actually act seriously towards DT.

What’s their scenario

Since they are looking for generating more value from their business areas, I thought quickly about some issues when I have to do something related to health, also did a very quick research (not more than 15 minutes – Forbes source) for the most common issues on health that now can be solved with IT and will to do:

  •         Disabled assistance: If there’s a disabled patient, let’s automatically call an Uber at the end of his appointment to take him home;
  •         Market knowledge: get to know what the clients are thinking. Let’s monitore social networks with AI and check if they are complaining after an appointment;
  •         Accessibility: a lot of paper is sent to people when they have to pay for health services or when they just use it. Let’s group all of that digitally;
  •         Accessibility: there isn’t a single repository that a doctor can access all of their patient’s history in diseases, symptoms and treatments. It forces people to carry a lot of paper whenever they are going to a doctor to talk about something recurring;
  •         Omni-experience (Forbes): I guess I’ve already heard that in financial and somewhere else. There it’s called omni-channel. And it’s coming to health. Here’s what it is: everytime your customer gets in touch with our brand, either online or offline, we must assure that he’ll have the best possible experience. Every point of contact matters;
  •         Health-techs: let’s connect to them. There are many coming and many more to come. Let’s send our doctor the information of our home-based check-up system. Blood pressure, weight and some other stuff can be checked remotely. And will mean a huge difference for some patients.

The same things that are very clear in financial are starting to happen in financial. The main thing is the mindset: having the will to solve the same old problems, digitally. Forbes says: it must come from above. If the health company’s sponsors don’t buy it, nobody will.

Digital transformation, IT is business

15 steps for digital transformation: a framework proposition

July 15, 2018

Everybody have been saying a lot about digital transformation telling that X or Y is part of the journey. But what should you do to digital transform your company? It’s related to culture. But it’s also related to the way people think. It also has a lot of technology around it. Anyway, there is not a formed opinion about what will make a company digital transformed. This article suggests 15 steps, as a framework, to look inside your company when moving towards the goal of digital transformation.

They are as generic as possible and each one is separated into three sights: 1) what’s the goal in the end – in few words; 2) what is it; 3) why should I care;

 

1 – The cloud move decision

The goal: Increase speed;

What is it: Moving to the cloud brings those well-known benefits: pay only for what you use, lay the security on hands of specialists, automation, document control, etc etc etc. But think about it applying to your business. Are you still running projects to update your email software? Are you still caring on which version of your software is running? Can your employees access their files when they are in an important meeting?

You probably have already heard about the Lean mindset. Inside it you will have to experiment a lot. Now imagine you have an idea with the potential of changing your entire business. You won’t ever be fast (Lean) on hardware investments if you have to buy machines, wait for them to arrive, install control softwares, and then deliver to who has a brilliant idea. Ok, let’s consider you don’t have this problem today and it your employees never spend time waiting for resources. Have you ever thought about how many time your support team spend being so agile to deliver that?

Why should I care: There’s no way to ignore cloud. You can start today (already late) or start more late. The startup which bothers (or will bother) your business model was (will be) born in the cloud;

 

2 – Start using cloud collaborative tools

51 Tactics for getting things done faster and delivering more in collaborations

The goal: Allow communication and access from anywhere;

What is it: You actually start moving to the cloud. This step regards how you store information and how you access it. Allow your team to access it everywhere they are. Never miss an important information again because of a policy forbidding people to access information after work-time. They also will want or have to work on their homes very soon. Be prepared for that. Let them work everywhere. Collaboration tools like email, calendar, voice and text messages must be on the cloud. Other tools for tasks controlling/prioritization and team communication must be there as well. It allows people to be fast. Beside that your data will be safe in the cloud. Never miss important information again. If your laptop is lost, just grab a new one and move on;

Why should I care: Start removing things that block your team. Let them grab information with them. Let them collaborate, communicate and create together;

 

3 – Agile 1.0

What’s the goal: Evolve people and team maturity;

What is it: The most important among the first third. If you jump straight to this step you will end up on deciding to take the previous two as well, based on new team’s decisions. People are the most important thing inside the company, and you will depend on their performance for everything. Let’s start evolving your teams maturity. The more evolved they are, the better they will think and the faster they will move and take important decisions. The agile methodology are just the first step to have good data-driven and independent teams. At least all the core areas must be addicted to it. The support areas can be added as you go;

Why should I care: People are the most important thing in every organization;

 

why more leaders apply data driven decision making

 

4 – Analytics 1.0

What’s the goal: Enhance the power of your decisions;

What is it: Start using analytics. Everyday you make a lot of decisions based just on feeling or on previous experience. But those who are important, those which can change big things in your organization can’t be taken based on memories. Having data to analyze and decide after it, can be turned into part of your culture and must be. You must have numbers to know what’s going on inside every area of the organization. Which product is bleeding to death? Which team has the best performance? Should we invest more on marketing projects? What’s the ROI got after turning on a new internal system? What are the teams doing to make things in new ways (to innovate)?

Why should I care: It’s one step ahead to give autonomy to people, and after that, have more people actually thinking on your business;

 

5 – Start with the automation

What’s the goal: Free as much as possible time of people;

What is it: Let’s start automatizing things. Process that can be done by machines must be done by machines. Let people spend their brain on what people must be involved. I’m using a DevOps image to illustrate the example on the development/operations area, but it’s just one of them. DevOps must be done because is spares times in many situations: the development is slower, but the time spent with issues in production, deployment crisis, infrastructure planning, etc etc etc go down the hills. In this average, your development cycle gets a lot of speed. But let’s also automatize financial processes, law processes, vacations, refunds for travels, production notes, booking hotels and flights, etc. People must be thinking on how to be ahead of your competitors starting from each area, not filling those sheets with useless information, that will be stored and nobody will ever look at it;

Why should I care: Right now you are spending people’s time and intelligence with tasks that will be repeated daily exactly the same way;

 

6 – Start using Design

What’s the goal: Have the best creations;

What is it: Put a heavy hand on design thinking, researches, user journeys, open innovation techniques, user centered, UX, etc, in your projects. Here the focus is to deliver more value to your customer. Design is an excellent way to think before taking business decisions. Its outputs will allow you to quickly decide where to invest money on your digital transformation changes. That regular analogic product can be turned into something digital? Or maybe some parts of it. Will it be easier for your customers to buy from you? They will be more satisfied when using your products? Or will them tell good things about your company? The design mindset will allow you to think like and to understand your customer.

Why should I care: it’s essential for a digital transformation strategy. One of the design outputs is the experience your customer is looking for. No successful digital product is launched today without a deep look at UX;

 

7 – Agile 2.0

What’s the goal: Evolve people and team maturity (continuing step 3);

What is it: Get teams working in different ways inside agile methodologies. Let them free to discover their best agile way. Again, it focuses straight on team maturity; Sooner or later someone will copy your disruptive innovation, it’s a fact. But they can’t copy your people. Because of that, people is the most important thing in the organization. And to let people perform like the most important part, we must conduct to a new mindset. They must feel free and unjudged to give their best. Once people, with the required maturity, (1) feel awesome, they will (2) deliver value continuously, inside a constant (3) experimentation and learning behaviour, having (4) safety (and security) as a prerequisite. You will notice that not everybody will reach this position at the same time. Some teams will be faster than others, and they may even jump some steps in this framework proposition here;

Why should I care: People are the most important thing in every organization;

 

8 – Finish the cloud move. Everything important must be on the cloud

What’s the goal: Increase speed;

What is it: Have all the important data/processes/applications/intelligence/etc on the cloud. The cloud will allow you to be as fast as the guys from step 6 and 7 are demanding. Missing a data from your analytics during that brainstorm late night? Waiting for next morning to the BI guy to wake up and send the information? Forget it. Access it right now and continue the idea creation. Looking for an idea sent months ago through email? Just type and find it.

There’s also a mindset to be changed here: want to create a landing page to check if your target audience will turn into leads? Just use an online tool and solve it now, instead of calling the development team. Will your cloud be private, public, hybrid? It doesn’t matter if it’s fast.

Beside that, all the applications that matter must also be released under APIs and services. The product areas must know it. Plugging essential services (like authentication, usage of X service, and security management) to that new product that’s still being designed, must be allowed very fast.

Why should I care: your business speed is increasing. You don’t want to be held by the IT;

 

9 – Analytics 2.0 – Data driven decisions

What’s the goal: Enhance the power of your decisions.

What is it: Take all the decisions having data to prove it. You may be thinking “I already use a BI for my decisions and everything is fine”. But what about the rest of the team? Do they have as much information as they need to take a trustworthy decision? Do they have tools? Does it gives insights about how to reach new customers? Is this commercial approach the best one to reach our customers? Let’s test it. Is this the product we should invest our money? Let’s find that out. Sometimes the information doesn’t has to be so deep like a BI. Just knowing who opened an email is worth to know that someone got interested in what you are saying. We don’t have to start buying researches like crazy people to solve everything. Sometimes just giving a call and asking is enough.

Why should I care: Better decisions are taken when we have data and stop using our imagination.

 

10 – All OPS automatized

What’s the goal: Reduce applications issues and its impact on your brand;

What is it: Since the technology is crucial part of every digital transformation, the OPS automation must be inside it. It is a natural step ahead of cloud moves, and a bit harder for private clouds. When you are inside a public cloud, this level of automation gets way easier, because every provider have its own set of tools for you to monitor and manage everything remotely. Everything that is important must have the OPS automatized. Zero production errors over your apps is your target. Now it’s basic. Can you imagine Google down? Their uptime is directly related to their reputation. Now imagine your bank down at the time you want to send money to someone. Scary right? Spending time on disaster recovery plans? Now they are small plans. Clicking buttons and watching things working. Database backup or rollbacks? Just click and wait. Or schedule and wait.

Why should I care: If you are heading for digital applications, and your system is down at 3pm, it’s like closing doors of all your stores around the world when your customers most want to buy from you.

 

11 – All DEV automatized

What’s the goal: Reduce applications issues and its impact on your brand (again);

What is it: In the 10th step we discussed about OPS. But the blue sky scenario won’t ever be reached if the Development of applications isn’t part of that. Environment setup, application deployment, division on micro services and testing automation are part of the DevOps as mentioned on 5th step. Automatize as much as you can to have more speed for next improvements. The automation itself brings speed. But the time you will spare spending with applications down just because you have automatically well tested it previously is countless. It’s time to plan for chaos engineering, stress testing, metrics orientation, continuous delivery, resilience strategy, deploy automation and tons of automatized tests. You are about to take only wise decisions (as of step 9). Since then you will need speed to achieve the goals. Stop losing time with bad developed systems; A SRE team is vital here;

Why should I care: You have to be fast to change your systems with new features and be recognized for that;

 

12 – Experimentation and design mindset

What’s the goal: Keep evolving and creating/updating products;

What is it: Have all your important projects and initiatives running over constant experimentation and design mindset. Never stop updating them while they are relevant; The shortest path is asking your customers what they are missing in your products. The normal path is doing that and many things more. Do your customers love your product? Or is it being used just because they don’t have other alternatives? Is it easy to use to everybody? Have you ever even thought about splitting it in two? One simpler to non-technical people and one for those who like details? Is there a way to cover people from different ages in this same product? How to reach senior people who aren’t well familiarized with technology as youngsters are? Try upselling, A/B testing, experimentation, questionnaires, in-loco researches, etc.

Why should I care: Sooner or later someone with better experience (aka care to your customer) or features will copy your product or disrupt your market. Let’s make it harder for competition to reach us;

 

13 – Top notch experience

What’s the goal: Ensure you have actually the best product you propose to have;

What is it: Start looking for omnichannel experiences. In digital applications, one key factor to success is providing good experiences to your customers when they are interacting with you. It doesn’t matter where they are connecting with you: the app, the website, a phone call, your physical store, watching your VP of trends speech, getting information with the guys in the lobby of your HQ, etc. The user will always abstract this as your brand’s experience. Making all this channels aligned to provide one single message to the user is the difference. Beside “just” doing what your application says it does, it’s time to add even more value to those who interact with your company;

Why should I care: Your customer will talk about you. It has to be something awesome;

 

14 – Market expansion

What’s the goal: stay ahead of competition;

What is it: As mentioned on 12th step, sooner or later your competitors will have great ideas and will launch them before you. Or even a startup will disrupt your market with new technologies.

Do expand market opportunities using design and the experimentation mindset! Insights from other industries are obligatory. Few examples: (1) Investment institutions are bringing e-commerce “upselling” strategies to their investment options. “Customers who invested in this stock have also invested in this new one here” (something like that). Innovative business models like (2) AirBnb (connecting demand and providers), (3) Uber, (4) Blockchain trials to bypass banks, etc, are already here. So, what you have to do is keep the innovative approach at every important part of your strategies. Never stop the cycle of feedbacks and evolution;

Why should I care: You don’t want to end like Blockbuster, Kodak and Nokia;

 

15 – Special Mention – Always look for new talent:

Right on the side of all the steps above, your top priority is always finding new and great talents. They are who will allow your transformations. Without them, you will get stuck in every single step. People have to want to DO the changes, otherwise finding barriers is easy. They have to WANT TO BE PART of the change. They have to be MOTIVATED. So lead them to find these new goals, make them part of the change, and the rest you and your team will find by yourselves;

Digital transformation, Innovation, IT is business

Focus on UX is excellent but not enough

June 19, 2018

When you are designing a new product to get that market share or add a new slice of target people to your company, if you are talking about B2C it’s not possible anymore not to look for user experience. But if you are already good on user experience experts, you know they aren’t everything in a project. Since UX is basic, I’m suggesting the experience and ease to use to be faced as a consequence of a good product design. It means that your UX can be the best in world, but it means nothing if the business idea isn’t good. But how to align your business design to ensure you will reach the expected result?

 

UX is not enough

Whenever a product lifecycle comes to end, and it’s time to design a new one, a lot of questions are made. For sure many things were tried to save that product. But the face the truth: the competition won the fight. In this time you have an opportunity to join the digital transformation wave.

Nowadays our products have to act like Google, Netflix, Apple and big experience brands because people don’t accept less than that. Regarding that, I’ve already seen some companies hiring UI/UX professionals to create the screens for their idea without knowing if the idea is good or not.

 

The whole process is the key

The differences between the traditional business analysis and the new business design focus on “how” to do things. Companies have been aligning their processes/journeys to decrease the risks based on digital transformation insights. But how is that made?

The comparision
Traditional analysis New Business Design
The analyst used to be the owner of truth. Responsible for taking the decisions and at hard times used to be the focus of pressure The business analyst turns into a facilitator. His mission is to lead people and collect their best thoughts and efforts to add to the solution. His hardest part turns into finding differences between the good insights and what is just waste of time
The analyst used to work alone, traveling around the world to bring insights and getting few (when getting) feedbacks about the product development The analyst will accept as many opinions he can. The more people he has with him, the more insights will come. The more free people are to think and imagine, the better the insights are.
Focus on the process to be solved. All the efforts were sent to look specifically to that process. The focus is wide (???). The focus is to create a new product, but not sticking to industry patterns or existing knowledge.
Knowledge restricted on the existing business. The focus were to make more money with low or no change on the business model Insights from a cross-industry mindset are a differential in this new team. Why not apply Uber’s business model to our hundred-years business?
Ideas blind love. It was common to fall in love with a product idea and close your eyes to what’s going on your side Stick to the process, not the idea. Test, validate and have a experimentation mindset is the rule. If an idea takes more than 1 month to be proven (and this is not the only one under evaluation), discard it.
Unproven decisions. Nobody could ask or speak their mind about the idea. It made many products be useless because of blind view of market. Everybody can make their own questions to the idea. EVERYBODY. If the just hired member of the area brings an insight that can turn the idea into waste, let’s celebrate! He saved us from spending money.

 

The challenge of starting

As always, the main challenge is to start. I’ve two suggestions that already worked on huge companies around the world:

  • Retrospectives: probably the hardest but if it work, your cultural change will be huge. Have mature people to conduct mature retrospectives to focus on what must be improved. Do that at every department responsible to product creation. After some time, people will reach the conclusions suggested on the paragraph above.
  • Cancer theory: create a new cell apart from the entire company free to work on the new model. There must be people with maturity and autonomy to apply the new methodologies that can come either from your team or a consultancy. When this team prove themselves is time to spread to the whole organization.
Digital transformation, Innovation, IT is business

Massification of user experience as a business strategy

May 24, 2018

This article can be faced as a step ahead of this one suggesting user experience as the main driver for successful business models.

The massification of good user experience is a trend and it makes a huge sense. Let’s discuss why and some opportunities we can easily see ahead.

 

People are demanding about good experiences

When you are planning a trip and want a flight with more comfort, it costs more. A special consultant to assist you during your buying experiences, will cost more (there are even stores that plan for times with closed doors to meet only one single and special buyer at a time). Product faster delivery? More money. When you want to visit a special beach in your vacations, and want a boat just to you and one more with you, it costs more. People with high acquisition power have it and look for it naturally because they can afford.

But everybody want good experience. Everybody want to feel they are different. They feel special when they receive unique treatments. But not everybody have enough money to pay for unique experiences. And it’s completely reasonable. Better experiences will require either more people involved or more specialized people involved to deliver that in a customized way.

Products and services’s experiences

It’s possible to deliver a better experience when we talk about products in an easier way. When you buy a product from Apple, the experience is incredible. It was designed by a group of high qualified people inside one of the most innovative companies in world, and then copied to everybody who buys the result. They think about the product in California (expensive), and produce it in China (cheap). When you buy a Tesla, the experience is also meaningful. It drives by itself, is secure, can be accessed through a mobile phone. No one has done that before. When you buy a piece of clothe from Nike, it is not very different than other brands, but you know it’s a Nike and you are wearing the same of many athletes.

When we talk about those services which require a lot of attention, the good experience gets way harder to achieve. Meals, travels, entertainment, financial services, in-store purchases and many other require more subjective requirements to show a good experience. And it does because trying to teach everyone inside your company to provide the same experience is the same of teaching them to be actors. Once you are delivering something from person to person, the best scenario is that (I.E.) the employee who got inside McDonald’s yesterday serve their customers the same way the owner would. The employee who was hired in the nails saloon won’t have the same experience of the owner who has been running the business for a decade. It’s impossible (for now). It requires experience and commitment to your job. Not everybody want to do that. Actually you could only hire the best people in world to serve your BigMac or to make you up but that would cost a lot of money.

Disney achieved that perfect scenario of experience in services and is a world benchmark. I can’t remember another one now.

Technology

When we start to think about how technology can assist that experience mission, some of these mentioned services start getting easier to improve.

  • How much money would cost to have thousands of movies available at your home? Netflix solved through technology;
  • How much money would you have to have to count with a special treatment from a bank account manager that will only offer you what is really interesting to you and not for his yearly goals? Digital banks solved that with technology;
  • How much time would you spend searching for a good price for your next trip going physically from store to store? Booking.com solved that gathering everything online. And did that in a cheaper way than the stores;
  • How much would cost you to have a personal consultant tracking what you like to say wherever and personalizing that to buying suggestions? Amazon solved through suggestions (AI) and Google by ads (BigData);

All the examples above used to be services that would require more time or money on customer’s side. Technology gives them autonomy to look for/do everything when they want. The autonomy is part of a good experience. The ease to use is important, the speed and all the steps required to reach a goal matter.

Opportunities
  • Why is it so hard to deal with flights miles in some companies? It should be all automated. We do have technology for that.
  • Cable TV companies could offer customized plans for people. This way people could buy only those 10 channels they are really interested in. Let’s put technology here!
  • Why can’t we design our own mobile phone plan? 1h of calls, more 10gb of internet and international usage costs you (fidelity plans here) only 50 dollars a month. Let’s try to measure usage in different ways.
Transformação digital

Como a Netflix atingiu o nirvana do ownership

May 15, 2018

Netflix não possui CTO (Chief Technical Officer). Ter um CTO seria sintoma de centralização de decisões técnicas. Na Netflix eles possuem apenas o CPO (Chief Product Officer), que é o chefe de produtos. Produtos e TI são a mesma coisa. A Netflix também é um dos times mais inovadores em tecnologia e proposta de valor no mundo. Mas como eles atingiram este patamar? O que os levou até lá?

 

Papéis e responsabilidades

Eles nasceram assim. Era um mindset simples de se manter enquanto eram uma startup em 1997. Mas este pensamento tem sido mantido ao longo dos anos com o crescimento da companhia.

Com uma série de benefícios para seus funcionários, que se traduzem simplesmente em liberdade para tomarem as ações que acharem necessárias, a Netflix compartilha suas práticas de gerenciamento e responsabilidade em seus discursos. A principal obrigação de um gerente é contratar as melhores pessoas do mundo. A principal obrigação de todos os funcionários é tomar as melhores decisões possíveis, tendo todo o contexto da empresa disponível para embasamento. Números de assinantes, faturamento, budgets de todas as áreas fazem parte da rotina de informações que os gerentes distribuem a seus funcionários. Gerentes solicitam que seus funcionários façam entrevistas em concorrentes pelo menos uma vez ao ano para garantir que seus times estão recebendo o valor de salário que merecem. Também não há gestão do conhecimento. Quando um funcionário sai da empresa, seus projetos morrem com ele. Não há níveis de junior, pleno e senior.

 

Nada de regras

A Netflix foge de regras e processos pois acredita que quando se diz às pessoas como devem agir, sua criatividade é restringida, e isto faz com que deixem de pensar em como agregar valor à empresa. Isto tem um custo. É comum vagas tomarem mais de 6 meses para serem preenchidas, pois requerem processos complexos de contratação e altos níveis de subjetividade na seleção.

Tendo alguns exemplos de benefícios como:

  • Tempo de férias indefinido;
  • Tempo de licença maternidade indefinido
  • Orçamento para assuntos técnicos ilimitado;
  • Recursos de hardware e software ilimitados;
  • Não existência de plano de trabalho: uma vez que você é contratado ninguém dirá o que deve fazer. Você inventa seu próprio projeto, trabalha, conclui, testa, e vai para o próximo. Neste ponto seu gerente ajudará a tomar esta decisão caso seja de seu interesse.

Esta liberdade passa por somente uma restrição: aja de acordo com os interesses da Netflix.

Desta forma a empresa, que se orgulha em atestar que contrata somente os melhores funcionários do mundo para as posições que abre, e que já conta com 4000 colaboradores, atingiu um nível de ownership difícil de se comparar. Cada um é responsável pelos seus projetos e possui propriedade para definir se ele é útil à companhia ou não.

 

O que isto gera?

Isto gera um ambiente de liberdade incrível para as pessoas produzirem o que consideram importante. Uma vez que cada funcionário é um dos melhores do mundo em suas áreas, entende-se que ele terá discernimento para tomar as melhores decisões. Isto gera mais de 100 projetos acontecendo em simultâneo vindo de todos os lados da companhia e sendo testados a todo momento. Nenhum projeto que interfira nos sistemas pode tomar mais de 2 meses. A cada 2h uma publicação em ambiente produtivo é feita, e nada é ativado sem passar por testes A/B.

O grande objetivo do ownership também é alcançado pois todas estas condições também têm a intenção de delegar poder. Todo funcionário da Netflix deve ser capaz de tomar decisões sem depender de processos de validação infindáveis ou opiniões desnecessárias. Atrelando liberdade, responsabilidade e poder, é como o Netflix atingiu e mantém seu nível altíssimo de ownership entre seus funcionários e continua sendo uma das empresas mais inovadoras desde o momento em que foi criada.

 

O modelo e como aprender com eles

Comparando outras empresas de diferentes áreas de atuação, entre as mais tradicionais como indústrias, até as mais recentes startups, a Netflix atingiu seu ownership através da soma de algumas coisas: poder quase irrestrito, liberdade quase irrestrita e senioridade/maturidade como premissa.

E este é um modelo único que não deve ser perseguido cegamente, mas sim usado como inspiração pela forma disruptiva que encontraram para gerenciar sua companhia.

Digital transformation, Entrepeneurship, IT is business, Office, Practical examples

How did Netflix reach the nirvana of ownership?

May 15, 2018

Netflix doesn’t have a CTO (Chief Technical Officer). Having a CTO would be a symptom of centralization of technical decisions. On Netflix they have just a CPO (Chief Product Officer), which is the chief for their products. Products and IT are the same. Netflix also is one of the most innovative teams on technology and value purpose on world. But how did they reach this point? What took them there?

 

Profiles and responsibilities

They were born this way. It was a mindset simple to keep while they were a startup in 1997. But this thought have been kept during the years even with company’s growth.

With a set of benefits to their employees, which can be translated simply on freedom for them to take the actions they think are needed, Netflix shares their actions on management and responsibility in their speeches. The main concern of a manager is to hire the best people on world. The main concern of all the employees is to take the best possible decisions, having all the company’s context available to rely on. Subscribers numbers, revenues, all the areas budgets are part of the routine information that the managers share with their teams. Managers require their team members to enroll to competitor’s hiring process at least once a year to ensure they are getting the money they deserve. There is no knowledge management also. When an employee leaves the company, their projects die with him. There are no junior, plenum or senior levels.

 

No rules

Netflix avoids rules and processes because they believe that when you tell people how to act, their creativity is restricted and it makes them to stop thinking on how to add more value to the company. It has a cost. It is common for hiring positions to take more than 6 months to be filled, because they require complex hiring process and high levels of subjectivity.

Having some benefits examples like:

  • Vacation time undefined;
  • Maternity leave time undefined;
  • Technical subjects budget unlimited;
  • Hardware and software budget unlimited;
  • No work plan definition: once you get hired nobody will tell what you have to do. You create your own project, work, finishes, tests, and goes to the next. At this point your manager can help you taking the decision if you want.

This freedom goes through only one restriction: act like Netflix interests.

This way the company, which is proud of saying that hires only the best possible people for their positions, and that has more than 4000 employees, reached a level of ownership hard to compare. Each one is responsible for their projects and has autonomy to define if it is useful to the company or not.

 

What does it generates?

It generates an incredible freedom environment for people to produce what they consider important. Once all the employees are the best in their areas, it is understood that they will have enough knowledge to take the best decisions. It generates more than 100 projects going on simultaneously from all company’s areas and being tested at every moment. IT projects can’t take more than 2 months to be finished. Each 2h one publication to production environment is made, and nothing is activated before going through A/B testing.

The great objective of ownership also is achieved because all of these conditions also have the intention to delegate power. Every Netflix employee must be capable of taking decisions without depending on endless validation processes or unnecessary opinions. Mixing freedom, responsibility and power is how Netflix reached and keeps his very high level of ownership among their employees and keeps being one of the most innovative companies since the moment it was created.

 

The model and how to learn with it

Compared to other companies on different acting areas, among the most traditional ones like industries and the most recent startups, Netflix reached his ownership through the joint of some things: almost unrestricted power, almost unrestricted freedom and seniority/maturity as a premisse.

This is a unique model that should not be pursued blindly, but used as inspiration to watch the disruptive way they found to manage their company

Uncategorized

Um bom exemplo de customer experience em vendas para a área financeira

May 7, 2018

Este artigo foi escrito por Eduardo Diederichsen, Felipe Lindenmeyer  e eu. Eduardo e eu somos líderes da área de desenvolvimento de software na ilegra, e Felipe é um account manager sênior. Todos estamos conectados diretamente às exigências de clientes.

 

Diariamente negociamos com muitos clientes. A parte mais difícil não é dá-los um preço ou conduzir uma apresentação com slides bonitos e muitas buzz words. A parte mais difícil é identificar se o cliente potencial possui um desafio real e como este desafio pode ser abordado pelo potencial, linguagem e visão de mercado de nossa companhia. Quando descobrimos, o cliente merecerá nosso mais profundo foco para termos um bom entendimento e oferecer algo que se encaixe perfeitamente a suas necessidades, mesmo que ele ainda não entenda isto, e então tentar ajudá-lo a entender.

 

A experiência

Mas o que faz a experiência ser tão perfeita quanto deve ser para que o cliente assine o novo contrato? Impossível dizer pois que compra qualquer coisa são pessoas. Pessoas se baseiam em coisas diferentes para avaliar suas experiências em todos os lugares, dando mais peso a diferentes pontos baseado na sua personalidade e nas influências que receberam durante toda sua vida.

 

O cenário 

Este recente novo cliente executou uma jornada completa, desde o contato mais inicial até a assinatura de contrato toda dirigia por eles junto de vários candidatos. No final do processo eles decidiram comprar de nós. Vou relatar o que foi feito e como as coisas poderiam ter acontecido de forma diferente.

O cenário do cliente

É um cliente da área financeira, então ele sabe que os clientes financeiros no Brasil são muito exigentes com relação a toda a UX e a flexibilidade dos produtos. Na área financeira, o Brasil é o país com a User eXperience mais desenvolvida em todo o mundo, então a competição e os investimentos por aqui são grandes.

Primeiros contatos

O que aconteceu: o primeiro contato aconteceu em uma celebração casual não relacionada a trabalho. O assunto no grupo se dirigiu a trabalho. Exploramos rapidamente alguns exemplos de como temos ajudado alguns importantes parceiros a estarem a frente de seus competidores. O que realmente aconteceu: a atenção foi pega e cartões foram trocados. Poucos dias após uma reunião foi solicitada a nós para falar sobre nosso portfolio e conhecer seus requerimentos e preocupações.

A reunião

O que aconteceu: aconteceu na sede do cliente. O objetivo era, como solicitado, falar um pouco sobre cenários em que temos trabalhado e as oportunidades que temos identificado e previsto como experts no mercado. O que realmente aconteceu: eles entenderam que tínhamos conhecimento para ser um bom parceiro, e que se contassem conosco teriam opiniões de especialistas no mercado. Então o próximo passo é enviar uma proposta e todos comemoram? Sim, mas não tão rápido.

Os desafios
  • Primeiro! O que aconteceu: este cliente é uma empresa brasileira muito conservadora que ainda não tomou iniciativas relacionadas a transformação digital e nem mesmo quer isto. Já nós estamos muito acostumados a trabalhar baseado em metodologias ágeis, abordagens Lean, testar e descartar perdas rapidamente, etc. Eles queriam que tudo fosse previsível com objetivos e passos definidos. O que realmente aconteceu: eles entenderam que seus concorrentes já não trabalham mais neste modelo e que se mantivessem aquela forma, se manteriam atrás no cenário de competição. Então formulamos um misto de práticas que dariam parte dos controles que eles estavam solicitando mas ao mesmo tempo deram partes da liberdade que este tipo de trabalho necessita.
  • Segundo! O que aconteceu: eles nos disseram que gostariam de estar a frente de seus concorrentes sabendo quanto isto custaria e quanto tempo tomaria. Bem… se nós tivéssemos estas respostas, nós seríamos um dos competidores. E é neste ponto em que o mindset Lean e de experimentação recebem atenção. As startups que estão incomodando gigantes da indústria não têm este tipo de respostas. O que realmente aconteceu: decidimos atacar um primeiro entregável (podemos chamar de MVP) e depois disso realizar uma nova avaliação para desenhar próximos passos.
Quando as coisas esfriaram

O que aconteceu: tivemos os passos acima, mas estava tomando muito tempo para uma decisão ser feita e as coisas esfriaram (más notícias). Nossa decisão foi de convidá-los para vir à nossa empresa para que pudessem ver com seus próprios olhos tudo que discutimos. Eles realmente se impressionaram com nosso escritório pois viram que é desenhado da forma que precisa ser para dar liberdade às pessoas pensarem e inovarem. Este foi um passo chave porque puderam falar com pessoas que realmente trabalhariam em seu projeto. O que realmente acontece: a negociação esquentou novamente.

 

O que será encarado de forma diferente por cada pessoa

Há muitas questões subjetivas na explicação das frases acima. Nelas não exploro linguagem corporal. Não estou explorando frases que dissemos uns aos outros e como nos portávamos durante as reuniões. Logo, não estou dizendo como a empatia foi criada aqui. Vamos dar uma olhada mais próxima.

O cenário do cliente

Algumas empresas podem ter receio de inovar. É um cenário completamente novo. Pessoas temem o que não conhecem. Elas não sabem o que está vindo, então ficam com medo e param. Para outras companhias, o desconhecido é entusiasmante e elas sabem que é do desconhecido que a inovação virá. Elas procurarão por isso rotineiramente.

Primeiros contatos

Uma vez que aconteceu em um evento social, o foco não era uma avaliação. A empatia veio facilmente pois falamos de nossos cases brevemente (sem mover o foco de toda a noite para trabalho somente) e humildemente. Se fossemos muito sedentos pelas suas necessidades, poderíamos ter transformado o momento em momento chato e perder a atenção conquistada.

A reunião

O objetivo da reunião foi mostrar nossas capacidades e também flexibilidade para entender as preocupações sobre modelos e o que estávamos propondo. Naquela hora nós investimos tempo explicando e desmistificando práticas de desenvolvimento de software como Dojos, Meetups, modelos de gerenciamento de times, nossas preocupações com relação a qualidade (Testes A/B, testes de caos, etc). E naquela hora um fato muito importante aconteceu: a empatia com um dos participantes foi tão grande, ele viu tanto valor na proposição, que começou a defender algumas das abordagens sugeridas aos sponsors do projeto de forma muito entusiasmada.

Os problemas

Tivemos de usar muito conhecimento para mostrá-los as diferenças entre a forma que estavam tentando abordar o problema e a direção que vemos que o mercado está tomando. Foi um trabalho duro entender como ele estão acostumados a tratar projetos e misturar a uma realidade que pudéssemos trabalhar de forma a ter certeza de que alcançaríamos os resultados que ambos estávamos buscando naquela parceria. Mas o maior passo alcançado foi o uso do mindset de experimentação para abordarmos a primeira fase. Eles optaram por dar um tiro inicial no modelo que foi sugerido. Esta é a chance de manter as coisas andando bem para construirmos ainda mais confiança.

Quando as coisas esfriaram

Esta foi a parte perigosa. Ligar e incomodar a paciência do cliente não teria sido uma abordagem eficiente. Trazê-los a um ambiente conhecido onde poderíamos falar novamente sobre alguns assuntos e remover as dúvidas e objeções restantes foi uma boa iniciativa. As pessoas não entenderão tudo na primeira vez que você falar ou apresentar algo. Você precisará repetir no momento perfeito em que sua explicação fará sentido a eles para ter sua atenção e interesse afetados.

 

Apenas mais alguns exemplos genéricos

Um cliente pode gostar de escutar mais buzz words todas pronunciadas em inglês. Outro cliente, vindo do interior, pode não gostar pois considera que isto só funciona em grandes companhias. Sobre a proposta: um cliente pode preferir um documento repleto de belas imagens explicando de forma mais abstrata o que será alcançado. Outro pode preferir receber um documento de somente uma página indo direto ao assunto com relação aos entregáveis, usando somente texto. É imprevisível.

 

Legal! Como posso aprender com este cenário? 

A boa CX (Customer eXperience) se torna mais desafiadora de atingir quando falamos de ofertas B2B ou B2B2C. Quando você tem um cenário B2C você provavelmente terá pessoas no fim do processo que você deve agradar com sua oferta e vantagens. É mais fácil perguntar: “hey, você gostou desta nova feature?”. Voltando ao B2B ou B2B2C as variáveis são incontáveis, uma vez que você precisará lidar com muitas pessoas desde o início da negociação até alcançar o fim do contrato.

 

Como atacar de forma eficiente?

Resposta rápida: esteja interessado. Resposta longa: Mantenha o conhecimento entre as pessoas envolvidas, use esta experiência, e esteja interessado sobre evoluir o processo e realmente aprender com as lições aprendidas. Tente entender linguagem corporal e psicologia, conheça mesmo quem está comprando de você. Esta pessoa escreve publicamente? Dá discursos? O que ele está falando/escrevendo/lendo/escutando/estudando que você pode levar em consideração para criar um momento para um contato rápido?

Customers, Practical examples

A good customer experience performance for sales at financial area

May 7, 2018

This article was written by me, Eduardo Diederichsen and Felipe Lindenmeyer. Me and Eduardo are managers of ilegra’s Software Development area, and Felipe is a senior account manager. We all are connected daily to clients demands.

 

Daily we do negotiate with a lot of clients. The hardest part is not giving them a price or conducting a good presentation with beautiful slides speaking buzz words. The hardest part is to identify if the potencial clients have a challenge for real and how its challenge can be approached by our company’s potential, language, market vision, and etc. When we find that out, that client will deserve our deep focus to make a good understanding and offer something that fits perfectly to its needs, even if he doesn’t understands it, but then try helping him understand it.

 

The experience

But what makes a experience as perfect as it must be so a client with sign the new contract? Impossible to tell because who buy from anyone is people. People lay on different things to evaluate their experiences everywhere, giving more weight to different points based on their personality and the influences they had during their whole life.

 

The scenario

This recent new client had a complete journey from the very beginning contact to signing a contract held by themselves in many companies. At the end he decided to buy from us.

The client scenario

It is a client from financial area, so he knows the financial area customers in Brazil are very demanding regarding the whole UX and the products flexibility. Brazil is the country with most developed User eXperience demand in entire world, so the competition and investments here are huge.

First contacts

What happened: the first contact happened in a casual party, not related to work. The subject on the crowd turned to work. We explored very briefly few examples of how we are helping some important companies in Brazil to be in front of their competitors. What really happened: The attention was caught and visit cards were given. Few days later they asked a meeting to talk about our portfolio and get to know their requirements and concerns.

The meeting

What happened: it happened at customer’s facilities. The goal was, as they asked, to talk about few scenarios we’ve been working and the opportunities we identify and foresee as experts at the market. What really happened: they understood we had the knowledge to be their partners and if they count on us they would have oppinions of a specialist in their market. So the next step will be send a proposal and everybody celebrates? Yes, but not so fast.

The challenges
  • FIRST! What happened: they are a very conservative Brazilian firm which still isn’t enrolled to digital transformation practices and doesn’t even want to get to. We are very used to work based on agile methodologies, Lean approaches, testing and discarding losses very quickly. They wanted everything predictable with very clear goals and steps. What really happened: they understood that their competitors don’t work in that way anymore and that working that way they would still be left behind in the competition scenario. Then we reached a mix of practices that would give them part of the control they were asking but giving the project part of the freedom that kind of work needs.
  • SECOND! What happened: they told us they wanted to be in front of their competitors knowing how much it would cost and how many time would take. Well, if I knew that, I would be one of the competitors. And that’s where the Lean and experimenting mindset gets the attention. The startsups bothering giant industries don’t have this kind of answers. They won’t have it too. What really happened: we decided to go for a first deliverable (We can call it an MVP) and a further evaluation after that to redesign the plans.
  • When things got warm: What happened: we had the steps above but it was taking too long for a decision and things got warm (bad news). Our decision was to invite them to come to our company’s headquarters to see with their own eyes everything we were discussing. They really got impressed with our office because it’s designed to give freedom to people think and innovate. This was a key step because they spoke to people who would actually work with their project. What really happened: the deal got hot again.

 

What is faced differently by everyone

There are a lot of subjective things in the explanation of the sentences above. I’m not exploring their body language, neither ours. I’m not exploring the sentences we told each other and how did we look during the meetings. So, I’m not telling how we created empathy here. Let’s get to things close to that.

The client scenario

Some companies can be afraid of innovate. It’s a whole new scenario. People fear the unknown. They don’t know what is coming and then they get afraid and just stop. For other companies, the unknown is exciting and they know from there the innovation will come. They will seek for it as a routine.

First contacts

Since it happened in a social event, the thing was easier. The focus was not evaluation. The empathy came easily because we spoke about our cases in a brief (not moving the whole night focus to work only) and humble way. If we were too thirsty about their needs it could turn into something boring and we could lose that guy’s attention.

The meeting

The meeting was all about showing our capabilities. With that being flexible to understand their concerns about models and what we were proposing. At that time we invested some time explaining and desmistifiyng software development practices like Dojos, Meetups, team management models, our concerns about quality (A/B Testing, Chaos testing, etc). And at that time a big thing happened: the empathy with one of the guys was so huge, he found so many value, that he started defending some of the approaches to the sponsors in a very enthusiastic way.

The problems

We had to use a lot of knowledge to tell them the differences between the way they were approaching the problem and where we see the market moving to. It was hard work to understand how they treat projects and mix it to a reality we could work being sure we would reach the results both of us were hoping regarding the new partnership. But the biggest step taken was the use of the experimentation mindset to go for the first phase. They wanted to give a shot at our suggested model. That’s the chance we had to keep things going well so we would build more trust.

When things got warm

It was the dangerous part. Calling and bothering client’s patience wouldn’t have been the efficient approach. Bringing them to a controlled environment was a good move. Sometimes people don’t get everything you say when you are presenting something. You will have to repeat it in order to get the perfect moment where your explanation will make sense to them and then their attention and interest will be caught.

 

Being more generalist here with a few more examples

One customer may like to hear to most recent buzz words all pronounced in english. Another client, coming from countryside may not like it because he thinks it’s something for bigger companies. The proposal: one customer may prefer a document with a set of beautiful images in a more abstract way. Another customer may prefer to receive a one page document getting straight to the point using just text. It’s unpredictable.

 

Good! How can I learn with this scenario?

The CX (Customer eXperience) gets more challenging to achieve when we are talking about B2B or B2B2C offers. When you have a B2C scenario you probably will have one person at the edge who you have to please with your offer and your advantages. It’s easier to ask him: “hey, did you like this new feature?”. Getting back to B2B or B2B2C the variables are countless, since you will have to deal with many people from the very beginning of the negotiation until reaching the final contract signed.

 

How to attack that efficiently?

Short answer: be interested. Long answer: keep the knowledge with people involved, get experience, and be interested about evolving in the process and the learned lessons. Try to understand things about body language and psychology, do know the one who is buying from you. Does that guy writes publicly? Does he give speeches? What is he speaking/writing/reading/hearing/studying that you can take in count to set up a moment for a fast approach?