What is the Goldilocks process and how can we apply it in IT? Information has it that the Goldilocks’ Principle is applicable to the earth, since geography and science has it that the earth is at the perfect distance to the sun. It is perfectly and precisely positioned such that it is the only planet that can support life. Well, if that is the Goldilocks’ Principle, why should not be applied in IT then?
The Goldilocks’ principle is about making the right choices. Here she is, she breaks in, finds three mugs of porridge. She sips from the first mug and finds it too hot. She sips from the second mug and finds it too cold, and when she sips from the third mug, she finds it just perfect.
When implementing new IT systems, there is always the fear that many users will not be able to harvest the full potential because they do not know how to use the system or simply because many people always oppose change, yet change is inevitable.
Should the IT team make the mistake of asking the users to submit forms with their concerns, they would get so many of them such that they would be overwhelmed in no time at all. You see, some of the users do not even know what benefits they are supposed to get from the process.
But there is a simple way for the IT team to simplify the implementation process in a way that is related to the Goldilocks’ process. How? By making sure that the solutions they offer are “just right”, not too little or too much, too complicated or too simple. Is that hard? No, it is not? Here is what your IT department should strive to do:
1. Simplify the processes
2. Remove all constraints
3. Avoid the process if possible
Simplify the processes
IT will not develop a new process, and that means new software, application, website or any sort of system unless it is absolutely needed. Therefore, whenever a request for software or application comes in to IT from any of the other department, the first thing is to find out whether it is absolutely necessary. If it is, IT will find the simplest way in which to implement it.
How will the process be beneficial to the business? What was it requested for and how? Did marketing encounter a problem that could not be overcome by the existing systems and so they had to ask for another one?
To find out all this information and more, IT will have to do surveys with the concerned users. But then, wouldn’t a normal survey elicit too much response? Of course, it would. Thus, we need to keep the process of getting information simple, you know, like one electronic form only, with a few fields to fill like text, email, name, department, operating system - that is it. If you make the process simple enough for the users, they will keep their questions simple enough.
Removing the constraints
Whichever way you look at the IT processes in a business, there are so many constraints that waste money, time and other resources. In fact, sometimes, there is so much red tape when the IT team wants to implement a new process such that it becomes almost impossible to get approval. For example, consider where the IT team has to get new equipments and then there has to be a purchase order signed for that by one or more managers, or when the IT team needs to implement a new application, there has to be permission coming down the chain of command, thus complicating the process.
Since IT has its own standards that it adheres to, then maybe it is time to get rid of all the approval processes, or make them shorter. If the CIO or the IT director, for example, could approve everything, the time by which new software and equipment are acquired would be cut by ¾. This would reduce the downtimes and add more IT value to business.
Avoid the process if possible
If it can be avoided, well, it should be avoided. But you will find that many IT processes cannot be avoided as they take too much time and if you can pick up the first red flags, then you will see that the process could have been avoided early enough.
Before a process can be implemented, it goes through quite a process, the appraisal, approval and things like that. Firstly, there is a call for a new initiative and the business is usually required to fill a long form with any new initiatives that it can think of.
Usually, if they can fill the entire thing, well, we can say that the business really needs this project. After that, the project will have to be approved by the senior management, costs compared to the benefits, business cases drawn and so on.
The IT department would never let a project get to this far if it is not a viable one. It would have been terminated in its conception. For that, it would take a very good IT department.