Autodesk got its start when we democratized CAD technology by making it available on personal computers that were much less expensive than special-purpose workstations so that small mom and pop architect shops could graduate from using their drafting tables. We have never forgotten that and still serve mom and pop shops today, but in addition to small shops, we also have large firms as customers. For them, we are often a trusted advisor instead of just another vendor. Part of the reason is that we work closely with them to help them solve their workflow-related problems.
One of the things that some of our larger customers take advantage of is our Future of Making workshops. In these workshops, a customer identifies a problem that they are having, and Autodesk works with them to apply problem-solving techniques in pursuit of solutions. Over a series of blog posts, I have shared some of those techniques. This blog post shares another one.
Our approach to customer-workflow problem-solving is to:
- FRAME THE CONTEXT — What is changing in your business?
- ANALYZE FORCES — What is the impact to your business?
- EXPLORE OPTIONS — What might you do differently?
- ENVISION YOUR FUTURE — What should you do differently?
- DECIDE BOLD STEPS — What will you do differently?
The list below contains hyperlinks to blog posts I have already shared:
- FRAME THE CONTEXT
- ANALYZE FORCES
- EXPLORE OPTIONS
- ENVISION YOUR FUTURE
- DECIDE BOLD STEPS
Here's another technique that can be used during the ENVISION YOUR FUTURE step. The Past Present Future Map is a simple but powerful tool to help our customers identify how they've operated in the past, their current state, and what future success looks like. This is based on a company's definition of its strategy and enumeration of tactics they will employ to achieve that success.
The elements of a Past Present Future Map include:
- Strategy - choices a business makes about why it exists, who its customers are, how and where it will compete, and why it will win
- Tactics - means by which organizations realize their vision, exceed customers' needs as well as remain competitive and profitable
- Past - Where did you come from? What worked and what didn't?
- Present - Where are you now? What are your successes and concerns?
- Future - Where do you want to be? What does success look like for your organization?
Creating a Past Present Future Map can answer the question "What is your company's trajectory?"
Actions that can be taken from a Past Present Future Map are a realistic alternative to time travel.
image used with permission from This is Indexed by Jessica Hagy
Technique sharing is alive in the lab.