Friday, December 08, 2006

Service Planning

Geoffrey Moore, How to Find Your Competitive Advantage (CIO magazine, May 2006).

At Domino’s Pizza, customer delivery is core; at Pizza Hut, it’s context. At Volvo, safety is core; at Ford it is context.

I think it is a fairly clear consequence of Moore's thinking that you cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach to service planning. A service portfolio that is right for Domino's Pizza is not going to be right for Pizza Hut.

How does the IT person know whether he's working in a Domino's company or a Pizza Hut company? Moore suggests a set of questions that helps the IT person find out about the company strategy. In terms of a more formal method, I think these questions can be understood in business modelling terms - in particular, mapping the business capabilities to the business goals.

This is the reason why business modelling is important. And why you can't just go to IBM or SAP, and they give you the standard functional decomposition for any generic food services industry.

I do have a problem with the fact that Moore tends to describe these strategies very much in either/or terms. Either you are Volvo or you are Ford. But what if you are both? We have to be able to provide advice to the kind of CIO who is forced to support both Volvo and Ford, with as much common/shared services and infrastructure as possible.

This comes down to a question of scope. If you are doing a service portfolio for Volvo alone, you may be able to base this portfolio on what is deemed core/contextual at Volvo. But if you are trying to do a service portfolio that will span both Volvo and Ford, you have to build in a much greater degree of flexibility, so that what is core at Volvo can be contextual at Ford, and vice versa.

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