Why “business demands => technology implements” doesn’t work

So, why “business demands => technology implements” model doesn’t work?

  • Successful tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Netflix do not use the “business demands => technology implements” model to build their successful products. They prefer and use the “business brings problems/needs => technology works on understanding these problems/needs with the user, testing solution hypothesis, and implementing a validated solution hypothesis” model of product development since they know this model brings the best results.
  • The “business demands => technology implements” model generates an adversarial position between business and technology and, consequently, the commitment and engagement of the technology team decreases, which causes high staff turnover and increased frustration of business people, which ends up generating a vicious circle.
  • Technology people do not feel responsible for the result of what they build, since the business area has defined what to do.
  • The business area may demand developments that are good for the individual interests of each business area, but not necessarily good for the company.
  • The business area can ask for complex things that will cause long development cycles that, the longer they are, the greater the frustration generated and the greater the chances of the delivery not satisfying the needs and not generating the expected results.

Does the other model actually generate better results?

Summing up

  • One of the biggest challenges in companies undergoing digital transformation is moving from a “business demands => technology implements” mindset into a “business brings problems/needs => technology works on understanding these problems/needs with the user, testing solution hypothesis, and implementing a validated solution hypothesis” mindset.
  • There are 5 reasons why “business demands => technology implements” model doesn’t work. Best tech companies don’t use it. Generates adversarial behavior between business and tech teams, tech teams don’t feel responsible for the results, business people may demand developments not aligned with company goals, and business people may demand developments that are too complex and that take too long to bring results.
  • The benefits of transitioning from a “business demands => technology implements” model into a “business brings problems/needs => technology works on understanding these problems/needs with the user, testing solution hypothesis, and implementing a validated solution hypothesis” model can be seen when we move from measuring performance by the number of deliverables to measuring performance by results achieved.

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Joca Torres

Joca Torres

Digital product development advisor, coach, and board member. Also an open water swimmer and ukulelist.

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