In the old days, (before AutomatedBuildings.com, in the early 1990's) we often joked about the "Make Me Happy” button, a mythical DDC input from the field to let us know when our clients were not happy. This, of course, was long before smartphones and social media. In those days, we had no method of gauging the happiness of our occupant/client. But, as best said and sung by Dylan, "the times they are a changing."
Employers want happy, productive workers. It’s our job to help people find happiness in our controlled environments so we can claim our piece of that lucrative productivity puzzle (see last issue’s column). This includes digital mindfulness, a name given to describe the harmonious deployment and interaction with digital and digitized environments. [For more information read my interview with Dr. Lawrence Ampofo, Director, Digital Mindfulness ].
We know that there is a strong basic need for our services, but we need to mash-up these basic comfort/health services with their soft side. I think it is good to think of our products and services simply as pieces of that larger puzzle and design and constantly innovate how they could fit into several productivity pictures. In short, we need to start thinking like software developers.
One widely adopted approach in the software industry is based on Agile Management; processes that harness change to a customer’s competitive advantage.
While Agile does not prescribe a particular methodology, many frameworks have been developed that embrace Agile principles. One popular example is Scrum. Check out this one minute video for a succinct summary of the essentials of Scrum.
For another perspective on applying the principles of software development to our industry, this article from Therese Sullivan, a Principal, at BuildingContext Ltd, asks the question; Will DevOps Culture Come to Smart Buildings?
We all have a lot to do to provide our piece of functionality to power that “Make Me Happy” button – but the rewards will be worth it.