Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Does IT Lock or Unlock Knowledge?

In the emerging knowledge economy business models that unlock secrets succeed.  Business models that lock secrets away fail.  At Collaborative Construction we share the information about BIM, IPD, lean construction processes and everything else we know because we want our clients to enjoy success.  Our mission is to teach you to fish, not to spoon feed you.

In the built industry too many businesses fail or refuse to collaborate because they view their "secret sauce" as a competitive advantage.  In reality, the "secret sauce" is rarely secret and rarely rare.  The Looney Toon clip below illustrates the point.

Bugs fills Jordan's water bottle with plain water, but labels it "Mike's Secret Stuff".  The other Looney Tune characters clamor for a swig of the the "Secret Stuff", thinking they can "be like Mike."

In the built industry the secret sauce is as common as water - everybody has access to BIM, IPD, lean construction processes etc. etc. - but that doesn't mean everyone uses them or, more importantly, that everyone has a culture of innovation in place that enables the creation of the kind of team chemistry it takes to collaboratively succeed in a competitive industry.  Instilling a culture of innovation that takes advantage of the "Secret Stuff" in every one on your team is the key.

To that end companies in the built industry need to lead innovation rather than be led by innovation.  In other words, leverage the Secret Stuff you already know, which is that highly collaborative and integrated teams succeed while fractured adversarial teams fail.

The Thought Forge blog has a nice piece out that drills down through the concept of leading versus being led from an IT perspective.  It's worth a quick read.  Below is an excerpt and a link to the full piece.

Forrester went on to say that ‘While a business technology partnership model is best suited for matching service delivery capability to expectations, shops that engage in continuous delivery go beyond joint decision-making. They take an economic approach to managing their product portfolio services – one that’s based on data gathered from direct customer engagement.’. That’s what it means to be truly technology led.
Forrester also make the point that reduced cycle time from inception to production is facilitated by agile and lean, continuous integration and DevOps. It’s no coincidence that these relate to organisational change that spans the entire life-cycle. So if you aspire to be technology led your entire organisation must change focus, not just your technology organisation!
In essence the Thought Forge piece argues IT companies innovate more quickly and more effectively than companies in other sectors because the product life cycle involves intense collaboration between the IT department and the rest of the company.  The same lessons apply to the life cycle of BIM enabled facilities and infrastructure.  To deliver the best and most satisfactory product to your client you must listen to your clients and constantly improve.  Innovative use of BIM and lean processes fits this philosophy well. 

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV

Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446

Collaborative Construction Website

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