‘You’ve bought it now. The money’s gone.’ That snarky comment made by thousands of parents (mine included) to their reckless child encapsulates the meaning of sunk cost. Once you met the cost, it’s gone: sunk. You’ve sunk it into the investment for good or for ill.
This, then, could be the shortest Big Ideas article yet. Sunk Cost is a familiar and easy concept.
Continue reading Sunk Cost and the Sunk Cost Fallacy
You’re an Entrepreneur. Or you’re a Product Manager charged with launching a new product. But how can you know if your new product or service idea is a good one? How can you minimise the risk of an expensive flop? The answer is to build a Minimum Viable Product – an MVP.
Like some of the best of our Big Ideas, a Minimum Viable Product is exactly what its name suggests. It is the minimum product you could create that is viable in terms of serving its primary purpose. So, let’s put some detail on that minimum viable explanation.
Continue reading Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
It is a cliché to assert that technology is ubiquitous in the workplace. Yesterday’s innovations will eventually become today’s commonplace tools. So, we all live with and easily manage technology our great grandparents would have found strange and maybe alarming. But some of us are comfortable with the very latest creations – those that will only be deeply familiar to the coming generations. And we might describe these people as having a high TQ: a high Technology Quotient.
The Big Idea, ‘Technology Quotient’ takes its inspiration from IQ, Intelligence Quotient. But what does it measure and is it a useful concept?
Continue reading Technology Quotient (TQ): Measuring Digital Savvy
Movie stars, celebrities, and sportspeople have managers to take care of their business affairs. So, why shouldn’t a superstar product? And if every product can aim to be a superstar, then they will all need their own Product Manager.
And that’s what we’ll look at in this article; the role of a Product Manager:
- Why we need them
- What they do
- The breadth of their role
So, let’s dive into the world of Product Management.
Continue reading Product Manager: Strategist, Advocate, Keystone
Imagine an army of tiny robots. Each one can do one thing. It does it precisely and tirelessly. And when it completes it, another robot takes over and does another thing. This chain of ‘bots’ can together do what people can do. But without error, rest-breaks, or complaint. Welcome to the world of Robotic Process Automation.
Although it’s often abbreviated to RPA, we’ll stick with Robotic Process Automation. Because, if you’re reading this, you are probably not familiar enough yet, for the acronym to register easily. Because this article purports to be only one thing: a basic primer for the uninformed.
For more depth, you’ll need to seek out an expert on Robotic Process Automation. Maybe, by the time you read this, that expert will look like a little bot in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. And, sitting behind it will be a series of other bots. Collectively, they may be a robotic process automation that answers questions about robotic process automation. How weird would that be?
Continue reading Robotic Process Automation: RPA
A Business Case is a valuable tool. It’s the corporate world’s equivalent of the scales of justice. Like a mini adversarial system wrapped up as a document of record.
As a project manager, business cases are like mother’s milk to me. But they won’t be for everyone. So before I introduce yet another gratuitously clichéd metaphor, let’s explain what a business case is, and why you need it.
Continue reading Business Case: Investment Appraisal and More
Like many big ideas, the Internet of Things operates at many levels. It may sound frighteningly complex to you. But in fact, the core of the idea is very simple.
But, underlying a simple concept, the technology that makes the Internet of Things (IOT) possible is fiendishly complex. Indeed, it is really the convergence of many advanced technologies.
We shall not be taking a dive into the technology (you may be glad to hear). However, any well-informed manager needs to understand the big picture of:
- what it is
- what it can do
- where it is going, and
- the concerns we might have
So, in this article, we’ll give you your primer on the Internet of Things.
Continue reading The Internet of Things: IOT
What’s the biggest long-term competitive advantage an organisation can have? It’s the ability to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances. And for that, it needs to learn. That’s the Big Idea behind Peter Senge’s Learning Organisation.
The Learning Organisation sits at the confluence between two powerful forces for good:
- Individual learning, development, and personal growth
- Systems thinking that allows us to mentally connect up the network of parts into a complex whole
What it means is simple in concept, though fiendishly hard to achieve in practice. A learning organisation is one that continually develops and evolves so that everyone shares a consistent vision and collectively prepares themselves to meet the next challenge in achieving it.
Continue reading The Learning Organisation: Advantage through Adaptation
Time, cost, or quality. Choose one. They are the corners of the triple constraint. And this is the most basic, most important idea within Project Management.
Project Management itself is a Big Idea that we have already covered. But when you are leading a project, the triple constraint is your guiding compass. It gives you the bearing for every decision you need to make.
Continue reading Triple Constraint: Time, Cost, and Quality
Outsourcing feels like it’s been around forever. And doubtless, as an adjunct to business operations, it has. But, as a widely-used business strategy, it really only dates to the 1980s.
Since then, outsourcing has become a vital option for large and small business, and for many public services too.
So, what is outsourcing, why do organisations use it as much as they do, and what are the risks?
Continue reading Outsourcing: Outsiders Working for You