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6 field time analysis change portfolio Customer Journey value flow

Then what? When in time are we?

So I have showed how the Milky Way can be useful to see and understand all the perspectives in play. When we talk about the perspectives we refer to them as the three eco systems in play.

  • The external eco system with the customer, supplier and other relevant external actors and their interaction with our enterprise,
  • The internal eco system with all the internal business capabilities and how they interact to create value
  • The product/service eco system with the products, value streams and the building blocks, product components, needed to configure the wanted products/services.

But the insight of how the eco systems are interacting and together creates value is not enough.  There is a time and development dimension missing.

Chris Potts coined the expression “Enterprise Inertia” and I can really see how slowly changes are taken from an idea, to discussions, to planning, to actual change initiatives and finally to the actual way of working. This dimension, time, is also one we need to navigate in.

We use this map, (6 field time analysis, in Swedish “6-fältaren”) when figuring out “when” in time we are with our Milky Ways.

6F  6F - S

By using this map we want to speed up the flow from an idea to it being release in to the current state, (the red arrow above). We are also aiming for a flow with less conflict and surprises and more learning, cooperation and innovation.

Usually when starting to make a Milky Way we start with the current state of the enterprise, what is it we do, in what order, what IT systems do we use when doing what we do, etc…

The next step is to map all the ongoing initiatives to the Milky Way. This is often a view many find valuable and the effort of creating it is small since most organizations know what change initiatives they are investing in. This view can be extended in to the planned change initiatives, the back log, using different colors for the ongoing vs planned initiatives.

6F - start

To describe a wanted state is also not so hard. Highlighting the areas in the different eco systems then needs to function in new ways based on the strategies in play.

The hard part of getting a Milky Way accepted and used is to establish it as a valuable tool in the Gap analysis and the back log planning. This is where the politics and power games are strong and there is not always that a shared map is appreciated…

6F - politics

If we spend to much time mapping the current state, ongoing changes and the wanted state we might have a hard time getting invited to the actual decision forums. Our experience is that the sooner a Milky Way is used in the gap analysis, scenario creation, back log planning and as a basis for prioritization the better odds for the acceptance of the map.

In the process of getting the Milky Way established there is also a process of learning and uncovering how our Enterprise make decisions, what forums are in play, what dimension are valued, are there perspectives that lack representation. We then need to adjust the views to fit the questions and challenges of the different stakeholders and forums.

We also need to better understand how the development of new products, new customer experiences creates a need to change, improve or create new business capabilities in order to get the change flow going. The first step, we believe, is to see the different stages of the flow and what questions we need to answer in good ways.

If you want to read more in detail I really recommend the book “The Milky Way – map, navigate, accelerate” https://www.irm.se/produkt/the-milky-way-map-navigate-and-accelerate-change/ (available both in English and Swedish)

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