Recently I thought about the Test & Learn approach in these modern times.
Traditionally I see customers wanting a ‘waterfall’ (or some slight variation of) approach in solving their immediate business needs. Whether it’s enabling better mobile workers, faster reports, interactive information and systems…. the list goes on.
The typical approach would be:
- IT assesses suitable software packages to solve the job.
- Business decides based on IT’s supplied information.
- IT skills up and provisions the server environment.
- Business generally doesn’t have more functionality than IT is across.
- Business goes rogue and uses Excel everywhere – great tool, flexible and does what they want.
We then have Agile (or some variant of) which focuses on delivering exactly what the business wants via a MVP, where both the execution, development and business teams all work together constantly refining a targeted outcome. Great stuff!!!
But what about the rate of change… blockchain for e.g. (Azure is bringing an implementation out as a service shortly)
When do the Solution Architects, Designers and so on reach the end of their limits? Businesses just want to ‘look and see’
Typically, we’d jump in and do a 3-4 day proof of concept to explore whether the problem could be solved without significant investment.
Enter Test & Learn – designed to be for small throw away learnings. The key is getting the team in a room and nut the problem space out together. Think back to the Apollo 13 movie where all the engineers were in a room trying to give the astronauts 2 hours more air….
Test & Learn is a pretty powerful methodology – gets you into the problem space straight away. Will learnings be made…absolutely!!! (Why do we hire people with practical experience and not just PHD students? – experience)
I originally thought Test&Learn was something that will pass until a wide range of customers began entertaining the concept – from banks through to manufacturing and healthcare.
Stay tuned to how the next chapter of this story goes…