As IT practitioners specialising in business consulting, we have been taught that the success or otherwise of business depends on three main components; Man, Method and Machine.
Man is the human action and interaction on projects of change.
Method refers to the techniques and intellectual tools that we use to solve problems.
Machine refers to the technology used to determine a particular outcome.
Now let’s take a closer look at these components.
Method. We continually use a variety of techniques, practices and frameworks to assist us with the delivery within our technology projects. Examples included Togaf, Zachman, Prince II, PMBOK, ITIL etc.
Machine. We have developed to the extent that many of our technical problems, we are told, can be solved with configurable off the shelf software and solutions. Computer processes have evolved rapidly, disk and storage space restrictions have become a thing of the past. All these evolutions have led to efficient machines capable of large volumes of throughput and computation.
Given that we seem so mature within the method and machine aspects of our business delivery, the question remains as to why so many of our deliveries end up in failure or don’t end up delivering the required results.
This leads us to deeper introspection of the third component of the success premise, namely, Man.
Man. This is the most volatile component. Human interaction, reaction and delivery is largely determined by human attitude. Human attitude drives behavior and determines outcome. I thus reason, that if we get the Man component of our premise sorted, then by inference, we can get our delivery sorted, given of course that both the Method and Machine components are acceptable.
In theory this is correct, but since we are working with individuals, we need to define practices that will ensure that we get the Man right. Getting the Man right can be very time consuming and costly because we need to change the attitude of an individual. This becomes very difficult especially if the Man is resistant to change. Maybe we now need to focus on getting the right Man.
Getting the right Man lays squarely in the realm of talent management within the human capital practice.
In talent management, we focus on mapping the aspirations of an individual with the business strategic intent of an organisation. When we manage to find common ground between these entities and marry them we end up with enthused and energised individuals whose positive attitude will ensure that our delivery has a higher probability of delivery success.
In future, we need to change the premise within or textbooks in management consulting to read: Success or otherwise of business depends on Method, Machine and talent Management.