Thursday, April 13, 2006

So what drives the Value?

Value is clearly in the eye of the beholder. Software is a great example, because though it is itself an “intangible”, value is produced through tangible manifestations. It is not until used (or demonstrated) to someone that value is perceived. Too frequently we hear “Yes, you have built exactly what I asked for; however, it is not what I need.” Regardless of whether this occurs because the business has shifted during the course of development or the requirement was misstated (or misunderstood), Value is still not perceived. Rarely do we hear this statement made respecting tangible items – when it is, it is usually associated to a clerical error, such as specifying the wrong part number.
With our Russian friends, the value is intangible – but only to the casual observers like us. I am sure that the VIPs understand clearly what the value they bring to the state by moving more quickly than everyone else. I am re-reading The Goal in preparation for my next big project. I forgot how early in the book Goldratt brings up the concept of global optimization over local optimization (p.61). Think of the Russian state as the System. Then, the city of St. Pete could be Rogo’s plant and then the needs of the VIP with the blue light could be the Constraint to which all the rest of us subordinate. That puts us into the system and perhaps causes us to perceive value differently than someone would with a wider perspective.
So what drives the Value?


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