It does not seem to matter what problem you are faced with, it pays to look at it from a variety of perspectives before jumping to a conclusion.
Over the last months, I have regularly been attending clinics at my local hospital following a shoulder injury last Spring, and what I have noticed is that my diagnosis can depend upon who I have seen and what their specialism is.
At one particular set of appointments to assess my post-operative progress, the lack of movement in my shoulder was diagnosed by the consultant surgeon (a specialist in shoulders) as a “frozen shoulder”. The treatment for this, I was told, could be a simple as an injection to relax the joint and get it moving more freely, through to more invasive surgery. This latter choice, is something that I am desperate to avoid, following two bouts of surgery during the last year which were not pleasant and took me away from work for the best part of 3 months! The notes were duly written up and provided to my GP.
My next appointment was one of a series with the physiotherapist. He had given me several different exercises to do, to try and stretch out several months of severe under-use in my right arm and shoulder. Let’s just say that I had been less than diligent in carrying out these exercises. I informed him of my meeting with the surgeon and relayed the “fact” that I “had a frozen shoulder”, which might explain why I still did not have much movement.
After observing me for a few minutes and getting me to stretch this way and that, the physio asked me about how the exercises were going. I confessed that I had been doing one quite regularly, but the other … not so much.
Slowly, he explained that in his opinion, my shoulder was not frozen – I had too much movement to conceivably have a “frozen shoulder”; that he had been in specialist physio, focusing on shoulders for longer than the surgeon had been practicing medicine and the problem lay in me not doing my exercises! I left suitably chastised, and later reflected on this episode.
Two things struck me, the first is that many clients ignore the advice of their professional advisors or they do not consistently put into action the recommendations that they have given. Yet, they still expect to see results and frequently come up with excuses as to why results have not been achieved (probably a topic for another post there!).
Secondly, there are obvious benefits in reviewing patients or clients by considering a number of different disciplines rather than through a single lens. If you take a multi-disciplinary approach, whether its a medical intervention, an IT strategy, business improvement or cost reduction; looking at the problem through a variety of different lenses, you are more likely to come up with:
- a better diagnosis,
- designs or conclusions that lead to a more valuable solution and
- identified ways in which the solution can be put into practice, be more likely to be adopted, and therefore more likely to deliver the value or result desired.
At Searchlight, we take a broad, inter-disciplinary approach to addressing business problems and to delivering business value from IT. By bringing to bear a combination of expertise, including enterprise architecture, business process management and a solid understanding of enterprise applications, we help clients to arrive at better recommendations and potential solutions.
However, we do not think that is enough. In addition to the solution, you have to think about:
- the business and strategic context in which the solution exists;
- how you will be delivering it and how it fits with everything else going on (project and portfolio management)
- how it will be supported (service management), and
- how you will get the business (and IT) to make the necessary changes and develop the capabilities required to effectively operate, utilise and exploit the new processes and systems (business change management and organisational development)
By taking a holistic view of a business problem you can do more to ensure that the value of your investment will be realised.