Published on the 30/05/2017 | Written by Donovan Jackson
A software vendor which isn’t even really a software vendor has popped up and been named ‘Cool’ by none other than Gartner…
What’s more, becoming one of the market watcher’s ‘cool kids’ isn’t something the business, DoView, set out to achieve. Instead, it was bestowed upon it.
So, what makes DoView cool? Founder Paul Duignan told iStart that when his and business partner Jennifer Parker’s consulting firm couldn’t find suitable software to ‘visualise strategic outcomes’, it went ahead and developed some on its own. The software needed a name and hence DoView.
“We’ve had that for sale as an ancillary part of our work rather than being a software company as such, so it was a bit of a nice surprise when Gartner came along with this recognition. Apparently, US firms have teams of people trying to get that sort of acknowledgement, it isn’t something you apply for, but rather it is the result of an objective process where they [Gartner] scour the world looking for cool software,” Duignan explained.
With muted pride, he added that ‘this is the Kiwi way’.
Parker Duignan’s consulting work – largely focused on the public sector – is based on Duignan’s doctoral thesis on outcomes theory; from this flows DoView software to enable visualisation of those outcomes.
The problem, Duignan explained, is that when programmes of work are designed, and which comprise a range of projects which fit into a strategic vision, it becomes difficult for directors to appreciate which ones should be prioritised and indeed executed, and which ones should be on a back burner or maybe spiked altogether.
“We provide a visual representation which helps to work out which projects to select; if you select the wrong ones, you won’t achieve your business outcomes. We’ve optimised our software for talking in a strategic meeting, so it is possible to visualise the projects and see which ones are worth doing.”
Other solutions, he said, won’t allow for ‘editing’ of various projects without a loss of confidence in the projected outcomes. “Our solution is designed to be seamless, to extract the model from your head and put it into a visual representation. If a new project comes up, it either fits into the strategic plan or it doesn’t; if it does, it gets done. If it doesn’t, either it is discarded, or the strategic plan is amended.”
Talking about programme and project management got us thinking about Six Sigma and other methodologies for keeping track of strategic initiatives. Indeed, confirmed Duignan, DoView will work with this and others, like Balanced Scorecard or ISO. “The software itself is built to be generic so it can be used by a management consultant regardless of the methodology being used,” he noted.
For a ‘not-really-a-software-vendor’, DoView has done rather well; according to the company website, it has casually conquered the world, or at least a good part of it, being used in over 50 countries (alert readers will note that there are either 195 or 196 sovereign nations in total). Duignan said it has flown somewhat under the radar to date, but is looking to become more software vendor-ish (and why not – software is probably the ultimate good, as like a book, it can be written once and sold many times).
As a result, said Duignan, the company is now looking to partner to take its software even further afield. By our shoddy maths, there are another good 145 or so green bottles on the wall.
Gartner’s Cool Vendors are recognised innovative or transformative products. Gartner, said DoView in a press statement, recognised DoView because it solves common business outcomes problems by taking a bottom-up approach and putting the tools in the hands of the project manager.