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02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

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

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

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

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Let’s start from the very end, a very good place to start

Posted on: 07 February '11

The title is a little bit of a change to Julie Andrew’s song “Do Re Mi Fa…”
Where am I headed? Where is my team headed? Can I predict it all? Can I easily plan for this? Is there a structured way to do this?

“Rest, Neo, the answers are coming” – Morpheus, in The Matrix.

In this post, I’d like to describe a business innovation tool, G. Altshuller, father of TRIZ, came up with in the 1940s called Ideal Final Result (IFR). Whenever you have a problem or a challenge that you are really stuck with, start with the very end in mind and work backwards. There you go, as simple as that, is the Ideal Final Result.

For example, think of a really common object – say, a washing machine. What is the very end of a washing machine? Let me answer that with a poem.

You are so tiny, I can hardly see you
You are so large, all clothes fit in
You don’t want anything from me
You even know where my dirty linen is
But, wait a filthy detergent minute
You don’t even exist, but seem to do everything

Not an ideal poem, but you get the point. An ideal solution is something that does the function and has no mass, occupies no space, requires no maintenance and involves no labour. If you reread my ramble so far, nowhere have I mentioned that this is practical. Ideal Final Result is a generic, far reaching, idealistic goal that one has to aspire to.

Now, since this tool talks about future, the tool can be adapted to look into the future.

For people who love equations:

IFR = Sum of good stuff (benefits) / Sum of bad stuff (risks, costs, harms)

Ideality is reached when you don’t have any bad stuff and there is only good stuff (Utopia?)

How do you use such an abstract tool?

Easy…

1. Identify who your suppliers, customers and your customers’ customers are?
Note – in defining your own IFR, we only talk about others’ IFR. Sounds counter intuitive? That’s where the bang for the buck usually is.

2. List out their benefits, costs and harms.

3. Now think about what the exact function is that your customers want.

4. What is the ideal result for that?

5. What is the top harm that is stopping you from achieving that? What are the other barriers in getting there?

6. What is the intermediate IFR to get to the earlier point?

7. What is stopping you from getting to the intermediate IFR?

8. The iteration continues…

You have just listed down what all your elements of vision are and steps to get there and what’s stopping you from getting there.

Have fun visioning an ideal future for yourself and your teams.