Dec 032010
 

Under pressure from the continuing economic crisis, enterprises are struggling to maintain their level of competitiveness, or even remain in the market. What has been considered key to success will begin to shift, from the search for effective methodologies to the realization that innovation and value are the most important differentiators for success.

For many years, enterprises have considered effective management of scope, schedule, and budget as the key to success. This has been proven over and over to be incorrect. (Just ask the professionals you know. How many projects have they been involved with where scope, schedule, and budget were really effectively managed?) Furthermore, there are projects that accomplish this goal and still do not succeed. (Think “no sales.”) The success-failure reports from some well-known firms are misleading because they are based entirely on those evaluation parameters and continue to guide enterprises in the wrong direction.

One of the contributions of Lean and Agile has been the realization that emphasis on quality is much more important than the three parameters of scope, schedule and budget. More recently, attention has been brought to value to customer as the main driver to increasing the chance of success. These contributions are helping enterprises better evaluate what is considered success and what is considered failure. More successful products will be created as enterprises around the planet continue to adopt Lean and Agile. This success will not only help those companies flourish, but will also contribute to better the world economy. Observe, for example, the tremendous level of enthusiasm over Kanban and Scrum adoption in South America where the economy of countries like Brazil, Peru, and Chile is growing surprisingly fast. Entrepreneurs are seeing the benefits of Lean and Agile, and are adopting their methodologies at a rate that may match North America and Europe soon.

Innovation has been brought in as the newest player. Value Innovation puts innovation, quality, and value together to better both the customer-facing and the business-facing sides of the enterprise, with particular emphasis on the human factors of competitive advantage and enterprise success.

2011 will be a year of maturity in the way we understand success and the beginning of a change in direction to follow Value Innovation.

[Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]

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Masa K. Maeda

Masa K. Maeda is a Senior Consultant with Cutter's Agile Product & Project Management Practice. He has 23 years of experience in the USA, Japan, and Mexico.

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