A group of software developers engaged in a project with a
client finds itself facing tacit resistance in its efforts
to go up the value-curve in its relationship with a client.
This apparently counter-intuitive situation (which client
would reject more value?), was investigated in the context
of a software development company with clients in the US,
Europe, and the Far East.
The software development company sought to enable its
project team members in sites across the world, to secure
more value both for clients and the company.
Clearly, the problem was not one of ideas or competence but
of the very relationship structure itself.
Illumine saw the situation as one where each project team
member was locked into limiting identities of technologists
and suppliers. They now needed to see themselves as “engagement
designers” who took upon themselves to re-architect
software engagements into high-value relationships from their
Assembling the wherewithal
for an ‘engagement designer’ meant modeling typical
engagements with clients such that the engagement designer
could, for himself, diagnose where role, competence, client
expectations, and value possibilities could become ‘design
variables’, through which interesting new ways of reconfiguring
the relationships came into being.