6.3 Problems Caused by Resource Attributes

Understanding resource attributes and how to manage them gives you still more control over the performance you can develop from your business architecture. But you also need to be conscious of the troubles they can cause. Some of the most common challenges that attributes produce are as follows:

Action Checklist: Upgrading Your Resources

As you assess how your organization is doing and where it may be capable of going, extend your thinking beyond the quantity of resources that you have and can win and focus on their quality. Obvious resources to view in this way include customers, staff, and products.

  • Consider the attributes of the resources you currently have. What exactly is the quality of each resource, and how is this quality distributed? Do you have a uniformly valuable group of key staff, products, or customers, for example, or do you rely on a handful of stars?
  • Find out how those qualities are changing. Are your customer base and revenue growing but only through the addition of low-value business? Or are you making inroads into really good-quality customers? At what rate do you hope to improve that quality over time and to what level?
  • How healthy are your resources overall? Do you have low-value customers, marginally valued products, and staff working unproductively to support these poor-quality resources? If so, you may have to consider rationalizing the whole system to a smaller but more powerful and competitive core.
  • Consider potential resources. Are you focusing on building business with a new potential resource, but failing to capture that potential? Or is there an opportunity to use new markets or products, that bring with them the chance to reach out to new customers?
  • Finally, be sure you are not approaching any quality problems. Is any potential resource in danger of running out? Are resources declining in quality? Is there a danger of resources cannibalizing each other? If any of these problems are approaching, can you do anything to escape their grip, or do you have to recognize the resulting limits and begin reconfiguring your organization?

Remember, the only way to understand what these phenomena really mean for your organization is to work out the numbers.