Software Ate the World, But It Was a Dog’s Breakfast
Bed Bath & Beyond, Moving Too Slow, Warring with Activist Investors
Many software systems have gotten larger than any human or even human system can manage, no matter how well intentioned. There are just too many dependencies and too many things that can go wrong. Any organization which relies on the interaction between software, processes, and relationships would do well to study the theory behind High Reliability Organizations.
ECommerce replatforming for most retailers fall into this category. Many retailers have dozens of even a few hundred vendors and don't realize it. What' are the odds that all will transition to the new platform without hiccups? Pretty small.
When Someone Moves Your Cheese, Now What?
Bed Bath & Beyond is struggling. Sensing an opportunity to improve their shares, an activist investor group has chimed in. I think the company’s response is weak, and getting weaker by the minute. Time is on the side of the activists.
I expect big changes at the company.
Should You Start With Who Instead of Why?
What are the hard data points and critical customer anecdotes (not everything is science) that convince us there is really a problem? Can I precisely describe the problem in a one-page document?
You need to pause. Reflect. Let’s ensure we agree on the problem. Most businesses fall down even here.
Getting off on the right foot takes a little forethought. A common mistake happens right at the beginning, and it can be a huge source of issues throughout the lifetime of the project, and that is:
Who’s the Owner?