The Product Development Benefits of Social Business
Daniel Davis 270006VHAC firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  socbiz product_development application_development_m... adm application_devlopment smarter_adm social_business application_development_
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When you hear “social business,” your brain most likely doesn’t immediately go to “product development.” Marketing is still the social business poster child, and HR is making headlines, but despite the lack of press, product development is benefiting from SocBiz as much as any other corporate function. And it has been for longer than you might realize.
ADM Gets Smarter
IBM is one of many companies that have transformed their product development approach to take advantage of all that social business has to offer in the way of technologies, services and even mindsets. About five years ago IBM came up with an open collaboration model known internally as Generation Open (or GenO) for delivering enterprise applications.
The focus of GenO was on improving time to value (deliver faster to achieve the business benefits earlier). This was very successful in IBM’s own internal application delivery, and the concepts from this new approach to Application Development and Management (ADM) gave birth to a new IBM offering called Smarter ADM that IBM Application Management Services now brings to its clients.
The Community Approach
Through Smarter ADM, an organization forms Delivery Communities for managing, delivering and measuring work. This community-centric approach is delivering the power of social business to the product development cycle by bringing IT and business teams together to deliver with full transparency.
The Delivery Communities are globally integrated teams grouped together by business process. The members of these teams must share information and expertise quickly and efficiently at every step of the development cycle, so collaboration and transparency are paramount. These efforts are backed by analytics for real-time data and insights, and a social talent model, built on digital reputations, for empowerment, feedback and motivation.
The social business approach to product development is reaping dividends at IBM, where more than 13,000 professionals are engaged in 150 delivery-based communities supporting clients – including its largest client, IBM itself. The Global Business Services group, for example, has enhanced productivity by more than 95% since Smarter ADM rolled out five years ago. Defect rates are also at the lowest levels ever.
Research conducted between IBM and the Schulich School of Business has also shown that the higher the trust in a Delivery Community, the more effective it is in delivery. Trust is driven through social collaboration, with high correlation between the most social communities and their performance.
This is an exciting time for the convergence of social business and product development, as IBM’s own transformation has shown. Here is some further reading if you want to learn more: