Transformation to Continuous Innovation and Optimization
Businesses have always had to transform to find better and more efficient ways to deliver value faster to their users, customers or consumers. The motivating factors are shorter lead times, automated and streamlined value flow, as well as reduction of overall costs and bound capital,requiring enterprises to transition to a continuous innovation and optimization model.
Prominent examples can be found when studying the last decades in the automobile industry with Toyota and their way of optimizing and automating their end-to-end manufacturing process. It is also the most referenced story I hear when researching IT and Digital Transformation stories. The DevOps movement as well as literature around Continuous Integration, Delivery and Deployment all draw the analogies to the manufacturing world and explain what the software industry can learn from it. Studies, such as the Puppet Labs State of DevOps Report conducted with Gene Kim and others – show that it boosts business outcome:
Besides the reference to Toyota I personally keep referencing one other industry that has transformed significantly over the past 10 to 15 years, and had an impact on most of us. It is the photography industry, and the digital transformation it experienced. The “Lead Time” from picture taken until holding the print in your hand used to be weeks or even months. This ihas been reduced to seconds with our mobile phones or digital cameras. I typically use this story as an example of how our software delivery process has already, or is about to, change for many companies that rely on software to power their business. It boils down to faster lead times but most importantly it will lead to continuously innovating and optimizing the value generation process for our end users.
Waterfall Model with Lead Time Measured in Weeks or Months
I am sure most of you remember the times when you had your Kodak (or other vendor) camera (#1). You went on a family trip and started taking pictures. You were really selective in the pictures you took because you only had 24 image per film roll. If the film roll wasn’t full after the trip you also didn’t just waste the remaining photos. Instead you waited for the next trip to…