Carlos, my friend, partner and COO, is very concerned about the length of my posts. “Try to keep them shorter,” he begs. Well, I’ll do my best. For instance, I will try to refrain from talking about Carlos, his requests, and similar off-topics in this post.
Here we come to a very nice point in the history of this blog. I am going to tell you what Visibility means to me, and how it can help you enormously.
Our “official” definition reads: “it is the necessary information to control critical problems, inefficiencies, and bottlenecks in real time. It is essential for businesses to be agile and compete better, motivating workers, aligning silos, optimizing workflows, achieving Sustainable Compliance of Regulations, and continuously improving service.” Looks like a good thing to have.
Do you have Visibility in your company? Well, you may have some, but chances are you don’t have too much.
Why? First, you need to know your destination. If you don’t know the overall strategy, you can’t see the signs of progress.
Second, you surely have too much data. Useless data. Dated data. Here, less is more. You can´t see the forest for the trees.
Third, silos. Silos everywhere. You have technical silos, departmental silos, personal silos. They are not inherently a bad thing, but miscommunication among them is. Who is in charge of constructing a unified view?
Fourth, there is a whole market focused on selling you solutions that are the opposite of agile. I will get back to this in the future, so I´ll just shut up here for now (see, Carlos?).
To have real visibility, you have to be able to see what matters most in these four layers: infrastructure, the processes and workflows supported by this infrastructure, the user´s experience of these processes from end to end, and finally, the real outcome of all these processes and relevant contextual data (your market, your competitors, your overall industry) to understand the outcome.
And for each layer you need to know how well you are achieving your goals (call them Service Level Agreements or just expected outcomes), to try to improve every day. And, of course, you need to make sure that all organizational assets are protected and that you are in compliance with regulations.
And you need to see all of this when it matter most. You can’t be told that the plane you need to take is already gone; you need to be told that the plane is about to leave so you can hurry up.
Know what? Visibility is coming. Visibility is inevitable, because it´s a necessity.
A tip for you: be the King of Visibility. Constitute Chief Visibility Officer yourself. It will be great for your career.
Carlos, is this short enough?