You Are Either Adding Value – Or You Are Not

And that is a problem. Not … could be a problem.

Adding Value – like beauty – is in the eye’s of the beholder. That’s part of the Problem. Only part of your Problem with Adding Value. But it’s critical.

And in business, the beholder cares about their CBIs – their Critical Business Issues. Not yours.


They care less about YOUR CBI or CBIs than they do about THEIR CBI or CBIs. Unless your CBIs are in the way of addressing their CBIs. It can be that simple.

And … some want immediate satisfaction on several, competing, CBIs – all at once.


So it can also be quite complex and demanding.

Back to Adding Value…

To quote my friend and colleague from my Professional Home, NSPI now ISPI, Dale Brethower, Ph.D.:

“You Are Either Adding Value or Subtracting Value”

To me – you cannot get to the point of adding value if you are not properly aligned and resourced. It just can’t happen.

Alignment is key.

But alignment to what … and how?


I tried to portray its importance – and the teaser for the what and how – via my graphic for the cover of my 2001 T&D Systems View book…

2001 TDSV Book Cover 1

… and … in this graphic …

TDSV w Callouts

The move to an alignment approach to governance might cause some some or many “stops and starts” – as the Enterprise takes the reins/ wheels/ keyboards – and learns the ropes. And they’ll make mistakes..

Such is the life of being aligned in complex and/or fast moving Enterprises and their key functions IMO. You get whipped around a bit. You need to deliver quality and be nimble and be quick.

When aligned more formally than not – the business itself can be assigned with making the ISD/PI assignments – picking the projects and goals – and the ISD/PI functions can go about executing their best practices – in a business like manner – and in enough control – to guarantee the quality of their output in cooperation and coordination with the customer and other key stakeholders.

They can also help the other organizational entities or groups that need to be involved – if asked to do so. They might not be asked. They might not be assigned that role. Don’t assume the role – but be ready to take it on if asked. Or no one else goes for it. Or unless someone went for it and it failed – or is failing.

Often, CBIs are going to take the coordinated efforts of many functions. If not always.

Are you ready to respond – and lead if needed?

Do you have the Processes, Infrastructure and People in place – well enough?

Start there – with your in-house efforts – and get your act together – as you work to help your internal clients.

Practice what you would preach.

That book … T&D Systems View … offer a process-orientation to your self assessment and improvement effort – all focsed on ROI. Not improvement for improvement’s sake. Improvement for the sake of the shareholders and stakeholders.

Stakeholder Hierachy Example 1

The clients you serve likely have stakeholders that can be framed and assessed via some model similar to this.

The framing using a hierarchy – implies that certain stakeholder’s REQUIREMENTS might over-rule another stakeholder’s REQUIREMENTS.

It happens, and your people might need to know how to sort thorough these kinds of dilemmas – quickly.

And it may help you in your focus to get after the right CBIs – and get aligned.

Here is one model of alignment – from the T&D Systems View book.

TD Gov & Adv Structure

Why Bother?

Why bother?

You wouldn’t bother – unless you were attempting to improve your own organization’s maturity.

Effectiveness and Efficiency.

ISD Maturity Model

Unless you believe that every response to a need should be free form, artistic in nature, and should just flow naturally in an unplanned manner.

But you would have bailed by now.

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