torsdag 27 oktober 2016

ALMA - The Service Perspective

ALMA is not centered around projects. Not even around products. In ALMA the focus is around services. What is a service? A famous IT service model defines a service as:

a means of delivering value to customers
by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve
without the ownership of specific costs and risks

A core assumption in ALMA is that anything worth doing in organizations can be seen as either providing a service or making an existing service better. This is in line with this definition of what a service is. Let's have a look at some central themes:

Delivering value. If we are not generating value, the effort is worthless. Value is about meeting human needs. The human can be a paying customer, or otherwise in the position of receiving the great things we provide. The service perspective is equally valid whether we work in a private enterprise or are parts of a non-profit or an organization within the public sector or the government.

Facilitating outcomes. In order to be valuable you need to make a difference. Being just a hand in the middle is waste. We contribute by facilitating outcomes, that is making a certain outcome more probable than otherwise. We matter!

Without the ownership. We own the service. The receiver of our delivery may or may not own the result of our service. But even if we are creating and delivering physical products, what we provide (product development, manufacturing, and shipment) are services to the customer who doesn't have to take the risk of development and manufacturing themselves. They may own the result, but our organization owns the process.

This service perspective, focused on meeting human needs, is crucial for making ALMA work. Everybody needs to lift their eyes and focus on the purpose of why we collaborate. This little meditation may help:

Instead of work, think project. It is not about the effort but about the outcome.

Instead of project, think product. Projects are temporary, we need to focus on continuity.

Instead of product, think service. Products are just, at best, containers of value.

Instead of service, think needs. Our service may shift, but meeting needs is the eternal purpose.

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