The Success Case Method
This iterative approach assures both rapid service and a continu-
ously improved effectiveness. In today’s environment of increasingly
rapid change, the emergent design, rapid prototyping approach makes
increasing sense. It acknowledges as well the reality that the complexity
of the organizational environment and the rapid changes that it under-
goes constantly mean that the cause-effect knowledge base of the serv-
ice provider will never be sufficient to make a complete or even near-
perfect solution. The best that can be done is to incorporate learning
(needs analysis) into the solution provision phase, simultaneously help-
ing our clients while learning from them how to better serve them.
Improving a Vital Support Program
Many organizations undertake a dramatically new strategic direction (a
new product line, a massive technological innovation, a new market)
that, because of their significance and scope, have a number of sup-
porting programs that are necessary to accomplish the strategic shift.
Some old-line insurance companies, for example, that had created a
strong reputation for their line of insurance products, are now (with
banking deregulation) moving into new product lines such as financial
planning and mutual funds. This sort of change requires some major
redirection and new support, such as training or access to new infor-
mation systems and market channels. Any of these key support
programs are natural targets for evaluation scrutiny, simply because if
they are not working well, the success of the entire strategic shift is
threatened. Again, the SCM can be very useful in helping to make these
vital support programs accomplish what they need to.
It is especially useful to identify those supporting programs that are
most needed in the early phases of the implementation of a new change
or innovation. A large retail store chain company, for example, was
introducing a major change to sell credit products (e.g., credit cards)
and other financial services to its customers. The company had a huge
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