The SAFE acronym is a reminder that the most effective solutions are Simple, Affordable, Flexible and Efficient.
Simple – It is good to be a “solutions” provider, it’s even better to be a provider of “simple solutions.” The most successful technology project/solution teams provide their customers with not only the simplest solutions possible, but further simplify technology use and integration through appropriate training, documentation and support.
(Appropriately) Affordable – Responsible solution design/planning dictates a balance between providing the least expensive and most technically-sophisticated solution. Just as the cheapest option may not meet operational objectives, an over-engineered solution can impair cost/profit objectives. The cost of any solution must be weighed against the value it provides. The solutions that provide the greatest return on investment are ultimately the most “appropriately affordable.”
Flexible – Solutions need to be as flexible as possible, providing customers with the greatest range of options and opportunities to leverage technology. In order to provide flexibility you must understand what the customer needs today, but look towards what they will require tomorrow. In order for technology solutions to be flexible, technology teams must remain flexible, always looking to improve and adapt. Rigid formality must be replaced with planned flexibility.
Efficient – The commitment to efficient solutions requires that business needs be clearly identified/communicated and resulting requirements exceeded. Highly-effective solutions come when your efforts are tightly coordinated with the people and processes they affect. Truly efficient solutions deliver the greatest impact while consuming the least amount of resources during use and delivery. They carry with them the responsibility of delivering on the targeted objectives and the additional burden of not derailing other efforts.
How to leverage the SAFE acronym…
When planning for, designing, or in any way helping to deliver solutions, the SAFE acronym reminds us…
S. (Simple) … to keep all communication simple/easy to understand, and all solutions simple to use.
A. (Affordable) … affordable solutions mean… those that have to use them can afford to use them.
F. (Flexible) … to remain flexible and open to new ideas so the solutions we offer are appropriately flexible.
E. (Efficient) … that a complete/clear understanding of business need, available options and an empathetic/balanced implemention is essential to delivering the most efficient and productive solutions.
2013-02-17 » Russ Leseberg