Just finished listening to Alan Cooper’s excellent presentation, ‘It’s all us’ on creating the model or “balanced” team for software development. It’s interesting that his opening talk was primarily about vision, organisational design and culture rather than design process.
The “balanced team”
Alan described his initiative and working party to design the software team of the future. The balanced team is only complete through close collaboration between agile development and interaction design. This is a response to what he sees as a broken management model for development which has its origins over a hundred years ago.
He argues very persuasively that the old industrial model of “command & control” organisation and management, which essentially separates decision making authority (white collars) from the making and doing (blue collars), is broken in digital markets (making things from bits, not atoms). The command & control model has created enormous value and prosperity in the industrial age but is now out moded where long-term value will be driven by companies making products consumers love for what they are, not what they cost. The team members of the future are the “no-collars”.
Effectiveness versus efficiency
The idea that organisations need to shift the focus from cost reduction (making things cheaper) to being more effective (creating better products and services) seems intuitive and obvious but is at odds with how many big service based organisations and corporations organise and run their businesses.
The big challenge
Alan speaks to the heart of where we see the next competitive advantage for business - customer centred change.
Extending Alan’s model of the balanced team for software development to how organisations build and manage and evolve their digital channels and customer interactions is the next competitive advantage. The big challenge is creating the next generation of business leadership and management to develop new balanced teams inside organisations such as banks and government bodies.
Hopefully some of these future leaders and managers are sat around me in this room.
A great opening to UX London.