What is your company’s communication strategy? What is the best way to collaborate? What constraints and influences enable it to thrive rather than perish? How can it live to exist?
Nature may hold the answer, and it can serve business tree as a useful metaphor for thinking about interdependencies and dependencies within our enterprises and places of employment. It has the potential to help us in thinking about complicated systems and how we may work together to achieve growth.
Model of a Business Tree
Culture, Values, and Principles are the roots of any organisation.
Let’s start with what’s underneath the soil’s surface. The roots are the area of the tree thats holds it, gives it life, and can occasionally be seen. Individuals and executives can sometimes be seen upholding the company culture, business tree values, and principles, as an analogy. These are the actions & beliefs that will hold your company afloat and allow it to grow over time. This is why it’s critical to get it right.
Team Attributes and Maturity — Soil
We have two types of soil where I live, one of which is clay-based and can be difficult to grow things in. The other, which has been filtered by the river and marsh area, is more mature. The soil is what provides the tree with nutrients and allows it to grow. It determines the tree’s growth.
The maturity level and characteristics of a team will also determine how the company develops. They, like the company’s culture, values, and principles, will inform the business and either hold it back or move it ahead.
Ways of working — Trunk
The tree’s trunk is the major support structure. It gives growth stability and structure. It will grow in size and evolve over time.
The same might be stated for working ways. They will grow business tree and evolve if you have good working ways. The way you work will hold the company going for a long time, but it will always change and move to the times.
Technical Debt, Quality Debt, Process Debt, and Quality as Goodness are all examples of quality debt.
Branches — Product Highlights
The branches are the parts of the tree that help it grow, that help it absorb nutrients from the sun and convert them into twigs, business tree leaves, and fruits, and that help the tree evolve and grow larger through time.
The same may be stated about other product characteristics that, in the context of software, might aid in the company’s growth.
Feature Options for Twigs
By bearing leaves and fruits, a tree’s twigs can help it live and thrive. They can also die and the tree won’t be able to utilise them.
Experiments can either thrive or die, if we compare them to software development. You can allow the Twig (experiment) a specified amount of time to work or cut it off at the branch in the software industry or in R&D situations. So you can almost plan out how much area you’ll spend on this branch of the tree.
Relationships between Technical Debt, Process Debt, and Quality Debt
Tech Debt, Quality Debt, and Process Debt are all represented by leaves.
The number of leaves on a business tree determines how much it develops and thrives each year. They are a source of absorbing sunlight’s nutrients and returning them to the tree to aid in its growth. They are absorbed by the soil and converted back into food for the tree once they reach the ground.
The company’s technical debt, quality debt, and process debt are generally the final things to address and change in many businesses. As a result, the tree’s leaves indicate an accumulation of technological, quality, and process debt. The team releasing their debt is symbolised by the leaves falling from the business tree. When the leaves falls from the trees, they feed the soil (team characteristics and maturity), which nourishes the roots in turn (culture).
The more we work on the product and add new features, the more debt we may grow. The tree has a certain amount of leaves, and only by expanding the tree (business) will it be able to increase the amount and quality of the leaves and fruit produced.
Fruit — Goodness as Quality
Animals and people alike benefit from the fruit that grows on the trees. They supply a goodness of nutrients that birds and insects can absorb. The fruit can also return nutrients to the soil, which helps to boost the business tree and other plants that grow nearby.
The tree’s desired product is the fruit. Customers will demand top-quality items and software. The business strives for quality.
As a result, the fruit of a tree can be associated with customer wants and needs, internal business growth, and customer delight and desire. Following the production of the fruit, the customer is produced with opportunities and services such as food, harvesting, and manufacturing the fruitz
When the all fruit falls to the ground or falls off the business tree, the quality of the fruit may indicate the team’s processes and maturity, which in turn feeds the roots and strengthens the trunk (Culture Values and Principles) (Ways of Working).
Domain is the location. Software domains
Let’s take a look at the location of a tree. Whether it’s in a wood or in a park on its own, the location of the tree will determine its functions.
This is why the location of the tree is an appropriate analogy for a software area. It could be back end or front end software, for example. Each tree might represent a particular software kind or shape. It might be compared to a wood or forest if you work in a large company.
The weather has an big influence on whether or not the tree survives and thrives. This is why we believe mindset is an excellent weather analogy. Everything from culture to working ways to product health can be influenced by a team’s or individual’s mindset. A negative mindset can spread across a company, whilst a positive mindset can propel it ahead.
Seasons — Work Type (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter)
While the seasons bring with them various types of circumstances for plants and trees, the seasons are inverted in the business tree world. Consider the case of an e-commerce company. While it sells things to clients most of the year, it does most of its business in the winter. Summer and autumn are the months when the product grows and is tested the most, in preparation for the winter months when it can make the greatest sales. The majority of a tree’s growth occurs in the spring and summer months, as it prepares to bear fruit in the autumn and rest in the winter.
Stakeholders and Shareholders: Birds and Insects
Birds and insects can help a business tree grow by providing it with food. They can also live off the tree, which can be harmful to it.
Stakeholders and shareholders are in the same boat. Is it the shareholder’s desire for profit, come what may, in the short term, at the expense of the long-term business? Do they intend to damage the tree (business) by taking too much from it? Is the stakeholder looking for immediate success? If they are motivated by profit and sales rather than by the customer and goodness, the tree may suffer long-term damage. Should they prune certain twigs and branches while growing others, or should they tend to the tree? The analogy here is clear: based on what shareholders and stakeholders desire from a business, it can either grow or die.
Interdependencies and Dependencies
The business, like nature, is a complicated system, and each of the things we’ve discussed has a dependency or interdependency on other things within our business system, which we’ve mentioned above.
But, exactly, what do we means when we say “dependency” and “interdependency”?
- Interdependence is defined as two or more things that are mutually dependent and reliant on one another.
- A dependency is defined as something that is reliant on another.
We also agree that there are three types of business tree interdependence, but for the sake of brevity, we
will not go into detail. More information is available here.
There are numerous analogies between a complicated natural system like a tree and the business nature. It all relies on how you look business tree at it, as well as how the company communicates and collaborates, as well as what reliances, constraints, and influences it has on itself and the outside world.
This is the 1st time we have tried the “business tree model.” If you can spot any analogies we missed or point out anything that doesn’t seem right, that would be fantastic. This model is, at the end of the day, heuristic. That is to say, we hope you will take a look at this model, discuss it, and learn new things from it. There are numerous ways to view nature and, in particular, a tree, and if you notice anything we have missed please let-us know.