Sometimes the largest team delivers the most mediocre results. Conversely, the single programmer (or small team) can sometimes accomplish more than the large team. Why?
Often this is the result of an idea – an idea that solves a problem. A problem which when analysed systematically appears to be unachievable, prohibitively time consuming, expensive, or complicated. Usually we turn to off-the-shelf solutions to try and solve the problem or decide that we need to hire more programmers. In fact even management rely on the technical IT staff to also be experts in maths, statistics and operational research fields; but is this reasonable?
The fact is many of the organisation’s problems have already been solved with modern techniques. But how many technical staff actually knows and understand the algorithms outside their field? And what if you decide that innovation is too risky? Even companies like Microsoft were so busy fighting government monopolisation claims it ignored the Internet and Google came along. If your company stays still, new competitors will surpass you.
Modern methods are well known and specialise in helping business. Note that Operations research is about deriving optimal solutions to maximize sales or profits and/or to minimize costs, losses, or risks and yet how often is this applied?
Innovation is not limited to but should include:
- Operations research:
- Linear programming
- Simplex method
- Statistical methods:
- Multivariate analysis
- Factorisation/Principal Component Analysis
- Hierarchical regression
- Cluster analysis
- Non linear optimisations:
- Lagrange polynomials
- Hermite interpolation
- Cubic splines
The company that fails to innovate is standing still. Meanwhile, its competitors may be advancing.
Innovation is not just about efficiency, it’s about company survival and the competitive edge needed for tomorrow.