We’re continuing to reflect on the “10 Principles of Good Design” as applied to supply chain and supply chain management (Design for the Supply Chain). This week we’re talking about being able to use supply chain management tools in an uninhibited way.
Principle #5: Good design “Is unobtrusive”
“Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.” – ‘Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design’
I really like the idea of leaving room for the user’s self-expression. To me this means making sure there’s space for creativity and innovation (Principle #1). We need to have parameters or ‘guardrails’ in place to ensure that proper business process flow is occurring, otherwise it becomes hard to produce consistent results. On the other hand, we have exceptional professionals who are capable of bringing new ideas to bear on the supply chain design. We want the user to be able to take the designated management tools (e.g. reports, multi-dimensional analysis, dashboards, scorecards, etc.) and reconfigure them to see information in a way that makes the most sense to them individually (recall Principle #4). We also want the user to be able to create scenarios to experiment with various ideas about what can be changed to improve results.