Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Groupon and How We Work

I’m going to take Daniel Lyons’s Newsweek article, “Click and Save” which is an introduction to Groupon to the next logical level. Groupon has subscribers who sign up for a service or merchandise and save by the scale of how many subscribers are interested and the deal that the merchandiser makes. This type of give and take can be applied as new way to doing work within IT.

So let’s apply this type of methodology to our “agile” or “waterfall” projects in a corporation. The project would start out as an idea or pain point which would be described by the person who has a budget and needs work done. Its details would feed into a sourcing cycle which matches the pain point with subscribers who know how to build/deliver the solution. There would have to be a deal making component which could resolve the processes around the sponsor deciding on who should do the work, the scope, for how much money and time, and for the subscriber/vendor to answer the requests and seal the deal.

So you ask, where’s the manager in this process? There would be minimal need. The project sourcing app is directly focused on the needs of the business and the solutions of the vendors or in-house developers. There’s a certain amount of critical mass that needs to be involved with the whole application for it to work, but this is the portfolio distribution process directly connecting the dots -- no middle person influencing decisions, playing politics, back stabbing, protecting their jobs, etc. Man, I’m not jaded am I?

So Gartner where does this fit into your ECM quadrants? Transactional content management? Could be. There’s a real need within companies to streamline the whole process of sorting out content creation and building applications that resource and process them. Content Infrastructure? Maybe. Portfolio management built into workflows that push knowledge from the creative brains to the consumers. We’ve heard all of this before, but what is new is that a small company like Groupon can blend a need for efficiency with the collective motivation of the crowd cutting away the profits of the middlemen. If this could be applied to the many issues of why IT projects fail wouldn’t that be a step forward?

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