One of the interesting things that we can observe in industry is the diversity of solutions for the same problem. Similarly interesting is the consistency of solutions across diverse problems. Even more interesting is the creativity that covers this spectrum of solutions and problems from diversity to consistency and from consistency to diversity.
While there are many causes of this phenomenon, the key takeaway is that this is the way an ecosystem emerges and continues, which is essentially a good thing. The recognition of this pattern of diverse problems to consistent solutions and consistent problems to diverse solutions is the first step in directing creativity in either direction.
One problem, several solutions
Suppose a new regulation has just come up, and is soon going to be passed. Compliance with that regulation is a mandatory requirement for every company. Usually, the regulation specifies the requirements to remain compliant, but will not say how to be compliant. The solution begins when the way to become compliant is found.
It is clear that the end state of every company’s solution is consistent with the requirements of the regulation, but may be different enough from all others. The start state of every company may be very different and diverse from where creative solutions have to be devised to arrive at the consistent solution.
Suppose there is a way to proceed, so that we can take a diverse range of starting points and bring them to a standard end point that is common and recognizable, such as in the case of the resulting compliance to the regulation.
The way is to adopt a pattern of solution that solves the compliance problem completely in one instance, and creates a generalized practice and guidance for application to other instances. That is what we mean by Virtually Managed.
Many problems, One solution
Suppose a company has many broken processes. Let us say their customer data is inconsistent across several divisions, processes to handle customer interactions are variable, and systems are not followed completely, leaving gaps in the data collection and retention processes.
This appears to be impossible, but surprisingly is quite common in many industries.
Suppose there is a way to proceed, so that we can take a diverse range of starting points and bring them to a standard end point that is common and recognizable, such as in the case of the resulting solution to the various problems.
The way is to adopt a pattern of solution that solves a class of problems completely in one instance, and creates a generalized practice and guidance for application to other instances. That is what we mean by Virtually Managed.
Virtually Managed (Software is just one application)
The idea of Virtually Managed is not just for software. When people have to solve a problem, adopt a solution or comply with requirements, diversity results. If the diversity is as intended, then it is being Virtually Managed. Similarly, if the result of a solution, adoption or compliance is arbitrarily consistent, then it is not Virtually Managed.
Virtually Managed Software is the software in which the solution was intentionally consistent or diverse in its class.
The benefit of Virtually Managed is really the intentional accomplishment of goals and objectives along the spectrum of Diversity, Creativity and Consistency of identifying problems and their solutions.