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Separating Commercial Software Development to its Own Department

Coaching / Training / Mentorship

29 March, 2019

Mike describes how he developed a strategy for better managing his consulting firm’s software IP.

Problem

As part of a large internal transformation program at a digital consulting firm, I was asked to lead a project to develop a strategy for better managing our software IP. Consultancies often struggle with this, as culture, structure, and finance considerations are far different from what works in a commercial software company.

Actions taken

I developed an operating model for a product organization, plus justifications and guiding principles to explain each challenge and what we should do differently. The plan was endorsed by CTOs across the business, and the head of the technology delivery organization, as well as other respected product leaders around the group. It was ultimately adopted not just by the consulting firm, but its parent organization, where many products would be rolled up to for use across the group.

Lessons learned

Separating commercial software development to its own department within a larger consulting organization has a number of benefits. You can create a consistent sales message and process, keep sales independent from services, so revenue is recognized at higher margins, and better quality and consistent value is produced for clients. Internally, teams who are dedicated to product work are more productive, as they are not constantly worried about utilization and getting pulled off to work on individual clients.


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