The submissions for this assignment are posts in the assignment’s discussion. Below are the discussion posts for Richard Bocchinfuso, or you can view the full discussion.
Can the impact of one specific risk event, such as a technical risk event, create additional risks (which may or may not be technical risks)? Can risk events be interrelated?
Absolutely. A vision and mission are critical to the success of any organization an arguably even more critical when the organization is experiencing increased pressure from market competition and/or new market entrants. Luxor had been a market leader and now is threatened with becoming a follower amidst increased competition and lagging innovation. IMO a clear vision and mission with alignment from all department will be critical to Luxors survival. Looking at the marketing and engineering lists it seems clear that marketing is outlining potential impacts and engineering is outlining possible ways to retain technical market leadership, but there is no correlation between engineerings actions and marketings predictions.
It is clear that technical risk leads to market, sales, revenue and reputation risk. All of these are interrelated, poor reputation and you can’t attract the best engineering talent, without the best engineering talent you can’t recapture the technical leadership position.
Does the list provided by marketing demonstrate the likelihood of a risk event or the impact of a risk event?
No, the list provided by marketing provides potential outcomes or consequences resulting from a risk event. The risk IMO is “Luxor loses its position as a technical leader in wireless communication”, the list marketing provided is the outcomes resulting from this known risk. The risk management expert had identified that the competition has caught up to Luxor’s application engineering and was surpassing the Luxor in terms of innovation and patents. The risk expert identifies the likelihood that Luxor will need to make specific R&D investments, but marketing makes no assessment on the probability of risk.
How does one assign probabilities to the marketing list?
First, marketing needs to tie their potential outcomes to a risk. (e.g. – “Luxor loses its position as a technical leader in wireless communication”). Marketing should then develop a risk mitigation plan. ranking the risks in order or priority. Once the risk is ranked each risk would color coded as either red (risk currently occurring risk), yellow (the risk might occur), or green (the risk not a problem at the moment). Once the risks are identified they should be assigned a probability as either 1% (very low, unlikely) or 99% (very likely), also identify risk impact on a scale of 1 – 5 (very low – very high).
The seven items in the list provided by engineering are all ways of mitigating certain risk events. If the company follows these suggestions, is it adopting a risk response mode of avoidance, assumption, reduction, or deflection?
Based on the risk experts assessment it was clear that the technical risks identified could not be avoided or deflected. Engineering listed seven items that I would classify as risk response mode of reduction. Engineering makes suggestions that would help Luxor maintain it’s technical leadership position thus reducing or mitigating the risk of Luxor losing its technical leadership position.
Would you side with marketing or engineering? What should Luxor do at this point?
Tough question. My view is marketing’s list is a list of poor outcomes, not solutions, just possible outcomes. Not sure what I would be siding with is I sided with marketing, the end is near? I tend to really dislike lists that have the doomsday scenarios outlined without potential solutions. I would side with Engineering because based on the case study, IMO it’s the only option. Then again I don’t play the Don’t Come line at the craps table either.
I think a world of first movers and fast followers (Links to an external site.) Luxor needs to realize that there is a patent cliff (Links to an external site.), and the strategy of maintaining a technical market leadership position through patent protection is a poor one. Luxor needs R&D, they need to innovate to retain a market leading position and if they can license their technology or patent portfolio to fuel innovation they should. Luxor needs talent, they need it fast IMO and in this market, the ability to capture talent is highly dependent on the purpose of the company, the culture, and its market reputation. From the case study, we know the situation is urgent, but there are many variables unaccounted for. Could Luxor acquire a smaller innovator, is a merger or sell-off the right options, how much time does Luxor have (i.e, what is Luxor cash position and burn rate), etc.
I am a huge Simon Wardley fan, I think that Luxor needs Wardley (Value Chain) Map (Links to an external site.). A few years ago at oscon (Links to an external site.) I took a Wardley Map seminar and the purpose of the seminary was very similar to Luxor’s situation, it had to do with software where legacy a software platform was being threatened by new innovations. The software company had various options ranging from patching the software to add new features, acquisition of a new innovator and sunsetting, sustaining and funding a parallel project to marketing the install base and selling the company. In the end, selling the company was the right decision.
I think Jeff Bezos comments last week regarding Amazon are apropos “One day, Amazon will fail, but our job is to delay it as long as possible.” (Kim, 2018) Fifty years ago who would have thought Sears would be gone, that in bankruptcy the most valuable asset would be Kenmore valued an a mere 400 million dollars. (Maynard, 2018) Worse yet, who would have thought GE would have a stock price of < $8 a share and market value which has dropped 500 billion dollars in the last eighteen years? (Wang, 2018)
Remember the Owen commercials? Luxor could go down this path, but it didn’t help GE. So while I would back the engineering plan in the context of the case study. I would dress up the company and sell it, now!
Carstens, D. S., PhD, PMP. (n.d.). Project Risks. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from http://learningmodules.bisk.com/play.aspx?xml=L0Zsb3JpZGFUZWNoTUJBL01HVDUxNTQudjAzL0NhckQwNjA1MTQwNS9EYXRhL21vZHVsZS54bWw
Kerzner, H. (2017). Project Management Case Studies (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
Kim, E. (2018, November 15). Jeff Bezos to employees: ‘One day, Amazon will fail’ but our job is to delay it as long as possible. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/15/bezos-tells-employees-one-day-amazon-will-fail-and-to-stay-hungry.html
Maynard, M. (2018, October 22). Sears’ Bankruptcy Highlights The Big Role It Has Played In America’s Kitchens. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2018/10/21/sears-bankruptcy-highlights-the-big-role-it-has-played-in-americas-kitchens/#1c5ffa8b21b0
Morphy. (n.d.). Risk Responses – options for managing risk. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://www.stakeholdermap.com/risk/risk-responses.html
O’Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland 2019. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://conferences.oreilly.com/oscon/oscon-or
Seave, A. (2014, October 14). Fast Followers Not First Movers Are The Real Winners. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/avaseave/2014/10/14/fast-followers-not-first-movers-are-the-real-winners/#7f40aa7d314c
Staff, I. (2018, April 25). Patent Cliff. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/patent-cliff.asp
Wang, B. (2018, November 21). The Fall of GE – NextBigFuture.com The Fall of GE. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/11/the-fall-of-ge.html
Wardley, S. (2015, February 2). An introduction to Wardley (Value Chain) Mapping. Retrieved November 21, 2018, from https://blog.gardeviance.org/2015/02/an-introduction-to-wardley-value-chain.html
Denise, thanks for the reply and the kind words. Nothing worse than moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. 🙂 It’s interesting, everyone asked the same question so I am going to reply to you and then to Chris and Scott. My comment that “I would dress up the company and sell it, now!” makes the assumption that this is even possible, which it may not be. My subjective opinion based on what I felt after reading the case study was: If Luxor has customers, if these customers have value now is the time to leverage the install base and the value it provides and sell the company. The reality is that there are far too many unknowns to say what they would need to do to ready the company for a sale, if a sale is possible and if it is the right decision.
Step 1: Develop a strategy https://strategy-madlibs.herokuapp.com/ (Links to an external site.)
I am kidding, but I do love the Madlib strategy generator. 🙂
I mention Simon Wardley in my post so I thought I would share a few links, Wardley is the master.
A great @swardley Twitter thread from yesterday on value chain mapping.
Simon Wardley OSCON Keynote: Playing Chess with Companies
Chris, thanks for the feedback. Really tough question, as I explained to Denise there are just too many missing variables to build a strategy on the best way to approach selling Luxor. What we do know or at least can infer from the case study is that they have customers, they were once in a market leading position and it’s likely that the most valuable aspect of their business is their customers. They also have patents and a patent portfolio will have value, the more patents you have the easier it is to protect intellectual property. So I don’t give the exact same response I gave to Denise, I would probably focus on the customer (user/install) base and the patent portfolio, we know they are losing ground from an innovation perspective so these seem like the right value propositions to market. I would also engage a banker to begin quietly shopping the company.
I would suggest taking a look at some of the links I posted in my response to Denise. You might enjoy them.
Scott, always a pleasure. Responding from 35K feet on my way to Las Vegas for AWS re:Invent. > 40K geeks hitting Starbucks at 7 AM, always a joy.
I read Greg’s response. My investments would be in marketing the company, the customer base, the patent portfolio, etc… Some conjecture to think about:
- Luxor was once the innovator and market leader. They no longer are.
- The implication here is that their tech is lagging.
- Will the creation of an NPD with people who already work at Luxor really make a difference?
- Given Luxor’s market position, can they recruit the best and the brightest?
- Luxor is restrained by legacy.
- They have customers they need to sustain. They can’t abandon their install base.
- New entrants win all the time because they are unencumbered by legacy. This is the Netflix v. Blockbuster story.
- Can Luxor innovate fast enough?
If possible, I would package this puppy up while there is still something to package.
I shared a bunch of links in my response to Denise that you might enjoy.
Denise, after reading the thread and the comments regarding engineering’s ability to execute without considering marketings objectives, it got me thinking about something.
I couldn’t remember how much detail the case study provide about marketing, so I opened up the book and sure enough, it just says marketing. I started doing some research because I assume that the individuals who would be providing product requirements would be product managers, although the case study doesn’t say this. Personally, the product manager has always been a role that has intrigued me, I have seen product managers report into engineering organizations and I have seen product managers report into marketing organizations. Personally, I have always had better luck, better alignment and better results when the product manager has reported into the engineering organization.
In my research, I came across an article entitled “Where Does Product Management Belong in the Organization?”, the article states B2C (business-to-consumer) organizations often have product managers reporting into marketing, while technology companies specifically those focused on B2B (business-to-business) or enterprise produce often have product managers reporting into development or engineering. The article does a good job dissecting the product manager role. I think that it’s important to differentiation a product manager who is focused on developing and documenting requirements vs. a marcom individual.
Pragmatic Marketing. (n.d.). Where Does Product Management Belong in the Organization? Retrieved November 25, 2018, from https://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/articles/where-does-product-management-belong-in-the-organization