Why Start-ups Fail @ Architecture

103288606_blog_main_horizontalWinning is simple but it isn’t easy, and hindsight is 20/20. As promised last week, this post is a follow-on to my earlier article Why Startups Fail & what you can do to prevent it. More specifically, the tradeoff when Building vs Architecting your Business Model.

Unless you architect before you build, eventually your enterprise will collapse. It’s not rocket science, yet in the rush to get traction & in the name of time-to-market, not enough entrepreneurs and or businessman do enough of the minimal foundation work required to support their budding enterprise. When looking for resources to help you navigate this start-up challenge, make sure you get someone on-board, or decide on an option that is both agile & experience based. Too much architecture stagnates & kills (missed opportunities), so don’t unnecessarily over complicate your situation.

Sales Operations

Where I most see the rush to build vs. architect have long-term impact on scale is in sales operations, yet the fix is simple & relatively inexpensive. Hire a company like Upshift Partners or a professional like Alicia Assefa. I can personally vouch for these two resources, but at the end of the day they create success because their methodologies & approach is based on practical experience (been there done that) & knowledge transfer. You want to make sure you bring in a resource that quickly understands your unique stage, needs & can roll up their sleeves at any juncture to quickly get you over the hump because they’ve been in your shoes. Not architecting your sales operations from the outset will guarantee heavy lifting, significant change management, customer & revenue churn, not to mention staff turnover & lower valuations in the future.

In an extreme case, it will represent your collapse & ultimate demise.

INVEST early in your Ops Ideology

It’s never too early to INVEST, in itself a process that’s best suited to accompany the scale of any organization. This Executive Summary will give you the 10,000 foot perspective of INVEST, and this more graphical representation will show you all of the moving parts, including what order to execute them. Practical experience, backed by data from Executing Your Strategy, will confirm that 90% of effective strategies on paper fail to poor execution. Pay attention to your Engagement practice, because this is the critical path that only 10% of the population seems to get right on a consistent basis. The model itself is pretty simple to implement, but make sure you get an experienced resource that has both lived it and implemented in a professional environment. Beware of Management Theorists, because effective knowledge transfer & leadership development is key for future success.

Process Centricity

From the Mckinsey article The Past and Future of Global Organizations, note the following extract & make sure that you architect in a process thinking mode. “It’s still too early to paint a definitive picture of what the global organization of the future will look like as efforts like these become more commonplace. What we’re confident about is that “process-centric” thinking will be a more prominent feature of organization design than it has been in the past, even if the peculiarities of culture suggest that each process-based structure is likely to be a custom fit. Leaders should bear in mind these principles as they pursue their own solutions:

– Tomorrow’s answer will be different from today’s. As markets, competitors, and strategies evolve, so will the structural, people, and process elements of a coherent design system.

– The specification of globally consistent roles and processes should be kept to a minimum. The most effective companies allow business units to tailor their organizations to local conditions so as to better achieve their wider commercial goals.

– Technology has made location less important than it used to be—but it still matters. While videoconferencing and social media keep far-flung executives connected, co-location brings additional benefits. Companies should always seek ways to bring people physically together.

If the last 50 years are any guide, the most important organizational structure, process, and people issues will continue to ebb and flow as the environment evolves and organizations respond. But new opportunities for organizational innovation will present themselves, and those companies able to recognize and willing to embrace them will gain huge competitive advantage by doing so.”

Cadence & Agile Workforce to maintain your rapid growth

As promised in my first post, reflection & rhythm and or cadence will also be expanded upon in an upcoming post. That said, you can get a sneak preview in Exhibit 2: (There’s no substitute for regularly revisiting how to adapt structures, people, and processes to create the most effective organizational design) in the same Mckinsey article mentioned above.

 Added Value Freebee

To help architect the best business model for you, including using it as a regular revisit exercise, I highly encourage you to check out The Business Model Canvas.

Winning is simple but it isn’t easy, and hindsight is 20/20.

The road to success is easier than you think, but it’s not simple because every situation is comprised of it’s own unique complexity. Save yourself, time, money, pain and or significant effort by hiring resources that have been there, done that & can provide you their 20/20 practical hindsight.

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