Sunday, 20 April 2014

Simplicity Coach

Recently I had a chat with colleagues from a very complex global omnichannel project, rebuilding a huge solution from scratch. The end-user was only supposed to realize performance improvements and nicer user experience, no service interruption. The colleagues involved a service design firm in the process. Although the project was complex, it was so from a technical point of view - business processes would only be changed afterwards. Hence I asked the guys: Why involve a service design firm?

Their answer: We needed a Simplicity Coach.

You will find this term in many ways around the web, in fact there has been a true simplicity hype in recent year  (e.g. Maeda, Küstenmacher). What struck me, though, was how they used it informally as a standard role. The service design team was part of the architecture team, in fact it was their daily business to challenge each others ideas. The architects from a quality, scalability and maintainability perspective. The design team from a simplicity perspective. The architects asked: "Can it be done safer?" whereas the service designers asked: "Can it be done easier?". Together they achieved true resilience in building an architecture based on small, versatile services, yet with a strong vision, common understanding and buy-in from everyone in the project.