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15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

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14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

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13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

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02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

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05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

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30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

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17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

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04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

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03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Cut yourself out from the picture and get cuter solutions – Part 1

Posted on: 31 December '10

After a really hectic trip from Mindtree Pune, I am inspired enough to blog about this. First of all, the weather was like magic. The rain felt like a fine spray (a 20µ nozzle spray, for the scientific minded) and the temperature perfect for vada pav (a great local delicacy which any amount of blogging, pictures, second life experience won’t help) or a special bhel puri (a mish mash of edible crunchy stuff with soggy stuff). In this weather, MTP had a whole week of cricket mania called MPL, with half a dozen teams playing against each other. The fan fare could be heard floors above the action.

In all this, I had plethora of innovation programmes and sessions with different teams. Now, what I really wanted to blog about was the effect of functional analysis and trimming. My earlier blog talked about IFR or ideal final result. The next step is to take up what seems to be the most important problem to solve, based on customer impact. If you have chosen one such problem from the IFR step, next we need to apply functional analysis. I have cut and paste what I wrote in an earlier blog.

Functional Analysis
1. Identify all possible elements or objects, NOT actions, but specific software modules, players, machines.
For example, importing is an action, but importing module is an object.
Tips

  • Use a spreadsheet to list down all the elements.
  • If the system is too complex, consider breaking down into components.
  • Addition of objects can happen at a later stage as well, so don’t fret if you think you have not been exhaustive.

2. Interaction Matrix: In the above spreadsheet, rows have all the elements. Transpose these on corresponding columns as well. If elements physically touch each other or there is some direct interaction, mark “+” in the corresponding cell.
For example, if the system is a water bottle. Cap vs. Bottle, the interaction is “+”, although the cap does no actual function to the bottle.

3. The object with the maximum “+” signs should be drawn at the centre of the functional analysis diagram.

4. Keep adding objects to the diagram in the order of the number of “+”s

5. Identify a target object.

6. Add relationships between the objects, if they exist. Indicate the direction of the relationship using an arrow.

7. Add verbs on these relationships.
For example, Importing module “imports” data files.

8. Force verbs even if it is difficult to come up with a verb on all relationships.

9. Insert objects which are not currently used to their maximum potential and are free or almost free (Resources in the picture).

10. Look at which relationships are excessive, insufficient or harmful.
When you finish this diagram, what you have is a functional analysis diagram.

Now this diagram tells you where the problems are, which is the system that actually has control over, and what resources are relatively underutilized. Of course, it also tells you what your system should be doing (Target object). The process is not always the exact. You have to bring in innovation techniques to reach the desired end result. I always get a feel of how complex the system really is to do a simple function.

My next blog will be about Trimming or “A guide on how to make your life simpler”.

  • Nice post. Can’t wait for our thoughts on making life simpler