Just as we seem to get over the economic uncertainty related to the European banking crisis, a new more terrible uncertainty emerges through the crisis in Ukraine. Indeed it seems that if there’s one certainty in today’s world it’s the fact that things change. Was your supply chain ready for this disruption? including all the aftermaths such as trade sanctions against Russia? Is your supply chain ready for the next big change?
In the world where change is the constant, the best strategy to survive – and prosper – is to be agile.
At Sievo we believe in agile software development processes. We have a broad and bold vision of where we want to take our software, however the actual steps of doing so and the details of how this vision incarnates in our software, evolve through iterative interaction and learning. Instead of trying to predict in detail how new functionality should behave, we release what we call a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – the smallest useful unit of work that we can release to our customers as early as possible while retaining high quality. The purpose is to get must-have functionality out as soon as possible and importantly speed up the design process by exposing ourselves early to customer feedback and learn fast. If we’re wrong with our assumptions, design or if the circumstances have changed then it’s best to discover it early on and sharpen the design process.
This agile mindset is something that I would love to see more in sourcing functions as well. Sourcing functions do face uncertainty in many ways, how should the new sourcing process look? do the suppliers in new territories provide good enough quality? how can technological advancements provided by our supplier base best be exploited? Perhaps the key to achieving success is not spending more time in design – but rather ensuring that you get real life feedback as soon as possible. This requires courage – as you openly state that you do not know everything in advance.
Sievo proves that being courageous and agile does pay off. Backed by our agile processes 2014 is becoming once again a year of rapid growth for Sievo. This growth can be read from our backlog that has increased 70% on a year-to-year basis and also experienced more concretely in October when our Finnish headquarters move to a new expanded office space with great views of central Helsinki (follow us on Facebook and see the pictures of the new office).