ComSoc CQR 2019 – @ieeecqr #cqr2019
I would first like to thank IEEE CQR , Communications Quality & Reliability, and all participants attending this year’s event for the opportunity to chair the conference’s opening session, which focused on 5G capabilities in the areas of small-cell densification, millimeter wave backhauling, and end-to-end security in multivendor environments.
I am also glad about having joined a second executive panel discussion (also on 5G) as one of three speakers, sharing the stage with Verizon’s Abby Knowles, VP of Network & Technology, and Deutsche Telekom – MobileedgeX‘s Geoff Hollingworth, Chief Marketing Officer.
This was my 6th IEEE CQR conference since 2012, which I first attended as speaker for a Distinguished Expert panel discussion led by IIT’s Carol Davids, Director of the Real Time Communications Lab at the School of Applied Technology. Seven years have passed since that early engagement, which makes one reflect on what Communications and Quality entail in this year’s context.
This time around, in my opening remarks I outlined the nature of today’s human-to-human, machine-to-machine and human-machine communications. I also referred to Juran’s classic, “Quality by Design,” and his reference to Big Q and Little Q: the former refers to quality as value in the context of the user experience, while the later focuses on industrialization quality… conformance to standards just being “one of the many means to that end,” but not only.
From a Design Thinking perspective, the quality of 5G’s Human Experience is coupled with Technical Feasibility and Business Viability. Delivering quality experiences that make a substantial difference (when compared to either alternative and/or earlier generations of mobile technologies) becomes a top and critical success factor.
This is true across consumer and enterprise markets. And we shouldn’t forget the need for taking down the digital divide: gaps in digital literacy become inequalities undermining our communities’ prosperity and quality of life.
5G’s Technical Feasibility goes beyond radio technologies to include: data science, cloud systems, virtualization, software defined tools & systems, and distributed architectures that entail microservices… as well as centralization optimizing for cost efficiencies and distributed edge resources optimizing for effective service delivery… just to name some of the technical matters under consideration in 5G’s ecosystem.
5G’s Business Viability calls for new business models that reshape and transform the value chain in users’ best interest… so that 5G can actually thrive. That undoubtedly prompts more attention to Human Centered Design (HCD) in telecoms, this being the very same sector that pioneered Human Factors Engineering (HFE) in industry and coined “Designing for People” all the way back in the mid 1940s.
Thanks to Chris Mayer, Technical Committee Vice Chair, Jason Boswell and Pasi Hurri, conference co-chairs. The talent and experience that IEEE CQR manages to rally makes this be a premier industry event year after year.
IEEE CommSoc CQR 2019 – @ieeecqr #cqr2019
- IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Advancing Technology for Humanity.
- ComSoC – Communications Society, Promoting Communications Technologies.
- CQR – Communications Quality & Reliability. Bringing Together Industry and Academic Experts to Discuss Communications Quality, Reliability and Security.
KEYNOTE @ Design Thinking 2019 #DesignThinking2019
FULL LENGTH TRANSCRIPT VERSION
What are your biggest Design Thinking/Human Centered Design related priorities?
To address this last question, I would like to start with a quick recap a panel discussion, which I was involved in a recent engineering conference.
We should first run a sanity check and ask ourselves and those who we work and collaborate with: if we are not prioritizing Human Factors in design… who are we ultimately designing for?
If the immediate answer is not about optimizing for the human experience, then let’s think through our other options: robot overlords? the zombie uprising? an alien invasion? Admittedly, it took the audience just a little while to process the underlying humor. I must confess that being thought-provoking by playing the contrarian card can be a challenging exercise in a public setting.
In any case, there is a need for identifying unnecessary risks behind the so-called “if you build it, they will come” approach, which can promote technical prowess alone at the expense of human-centered design considerations, and compromise the overall project.
The negative impact of a techno-centric only strategy can manifest itself as: (a) mounting technical debt due to unforeseen usability impairments, (b) re-work, latency and hidden costs, and (c) the sort of opportunity costs in project financials and resource allocation that can deny the implementation of alternative user-friendly options.
Stage-setting and rhetorical questions aside… the business value of design is directly correlated to how we diligently design Quality considerations into any offerings.
This is not just about “left-shifting” practices and procedures to prevent “back-end loaded” issues. It does require institutionalizing Design at the front-end… and throughout the process.
Back in the early 1990s, J.M. Juran’s classic, Quality by Design, discussed two angles: a product’s better value and freedom from deficiencies, as well as the degree to which “fitness for use” could be the quality principle connecting them both.
He also made the point about misalignment between product design and the underlying operations & business processes over the product’s lifecycle.
Three decades have gone by and Design-to-Value and Operational Excellence go hand by hand. Most importantly, Design Thinking places the emphasis on “empathy,” which is how we, on the business side, learn and also “experience” what matters to users and stakholders.
In Nokia’s context, Quality Experiences are enabled by capable technologies (e.g. Design Thinking’s technical feasibility) and business model viability.
One of my priorities is to further the scope of Nokia’s QXbD, Quality Experiences by Design. That goal specifically addresses “UseCaseAbility” in a collaborative fashion to craft optimal superior offerings, OSO.
QXbD embraces the qualitative and quantitative nature of the following four dimensions applied to the front and back-end environment continuum over the lifecycle:
- usefulness and effectiveness
- utility, consumability and efficiency
- usability, adaptability and lifelong accessibility
- affectivity (desirability, adoption, delight, loyalty)
Settling for good-enough and table-stakes customer satisfaction is deemed sub-optimal. And, therefore, design efforts are sized, adequately equipped and optimized to succeed.
Design Thinking 2019 #DesignThinking2019
Design Thinking 2019 #DesignThinking2019
FULL LENGTH TRANSCRIPT VERSION
How would you define your organization’s maturity to Design Thinking?
Nokia is a Fortune’s Global 500 corporation headquartered in Finland, which involves in excess of 100,000 employees worldwide. Most of us joined the company in recent years… which I think is nothing short from fascinating.
Nowadays, Nokia is a top B2B player in large scale digital communication technologies. Most specifically: 5G, Internet of Things, Cloud and Software just to list some well-known examples.
R. Siilasmaa’s recent book, “Transforming Nokia,” discusses what it took to pull off the company’s dramatic recovery in the past few years, while noting that this is not the first time that we reinvent ourselves since 1865. His leadership style is characterized by “Paranoid Optimism,” which I’d like to discuss in context later on.
At Nokia Studio we intertwine disciplines such as Data Visualization, Cybernetics and Behavioral Economics to design state of the art Decision Support Systems for next-generation digital services. These are Human-Machine-Systems (HMS.)
Given our focus on game changing innovations, Human-Centered-Design (HCD) happens to be a critical success factor at all stages in the iterative exploration, definition, introduction and broader diffusion of emerging and next generation technologies Design Thinking’s desirability, technical feasibility and business viability are, therefore, well understood critical success factors.
The Studio’s research addresses how to clearly articulate early desirability coupled with market-pull & outside-in strategies. Thinking through the business value of design signals the need for removing friction from a B2B journey that involves formal contractual acceptance as the accounting trigger behind revenue recognition.
Geoffrey A. Moore’s classic, “Crossing the Chasm,” and Clayton M. Christensen’s best-seller “The Innovator’s Dilemma” make all of us mindful of the need for addressing the journey between early adopters (FOA, first office application, in the telecoms sector) and adequately scaling in the marketplace.
This means expanding across segments and industries to leverage economies of scale and, therefore, continuous improvement and innovation. Following that train of thought, consistently and predictably delivering superior satisfaction levels in the form of customer delight becomes a decisive and sustainable competitive advantage.
Our Studio is engaged in large, sophisticated and fluid projects that involve inter-domain undertakings. Successful cross-pollination intersects three dimensions:
- going wide across domains to take down silos and deep on a domain basis to best leverage our know-how
- tightly or loosely coupled integration in the value-chain / supply-chain ecosystem
- in-house and external collaboration in alignment with the above
While purposely implied by the naming, it is worth highlighting that our home-grown QXbD, Quality Experiences by Design, methodology zeroes in on delivering meaningful, differentiated and measurable quality outcomes that are tangible to our customers.
Nokia QXbD has been conceived as a meta-discipline that can be deconstructed and re-shaped on a project and sought-after outcomes basis. We can, therefore, not just start agile but also remain truly lean to effectively get the job done.
As introduced early on, Risto’s Transforming Nokia, discusses the impact of “Paranoid Optimism” which is also explicitly captured in the book’s subtitle. Tactically speaking, that means: leveraging the hindsight that comes from analyzing lessons learned, the thought process that leads to both obvious and hidden insights, as well as applying creative tensions and foresight to flush-out not just one single path forward, but alternative different scenarios for consideration.
In that context, Optimism in design fosters the pursuit of an ambitious game changing scenario. Being purposely Paranoid involves the sort of predictive and responsive monitoring that prompts and guides necessary reality checks and course corrections… and even pivoting in a timely fashion. This acknowledges the ripple effects and moving targets that arise when innovating and/or transforming which, when ignored, can derail any well-intended transformation effort.
Interestingly enough, Jim Collins’ painstaking research behind “Great by Choice” outlined that Productive Paranoia is a critical success factor. He exemplifies companies that have consistently delivered 10x results by outperforming competitors in bull and bear market conditions. Jim defines Productive Paranoia as a must-have business obsession, where contingency planning and risk mitigation are of the essence.
Paul Romer, World Bank Chief Economist and last year’s Nobel laureate, makes the case for Conditional Optimism and innovation being the outcome of the marketplace’s “discovery machine.” He differentiates between complacent and conditional optimism.
The complacent kind relies on deploying hard work to make things happen, and keep iterating, while hoping for the best by setting things in motion… also described as blind optimism. Conditional Optimism focuses on proactively finding solutions to problems, and closely monitoring outcomes thru the transformation journey.
Long story short… in Nokia’s context, Design Thinking maturity can be measured by our optimism as we strive to deliver state of the art technologies that augment and expand human possibilities, coupled with paranoid and creative tensions as we purposely obsess with delivering quality experiences.
Design Thinking 2019 #DesignThinking2019