It may be a sign of my life-stage, the desire to be more sustainable or the need to put my children to work in the garden but I have recently got into vegetables. In a growing sense that is. There is no denying that the logical approach to allotment gardening has a lot of parallels with our approach to data strategy.
The need to plan and test plants in different patches based on soil type and sun exposure to find the optimum combination; the need to rotate beds seasonally to keep the soil at its peak; and the true measure of success – is the product consumed and enjoyed by its intended participants!
This is my second year of allotment gardening – year 1 had mixed successes which I have learnt from (documented in my allotment diary… much like a PCA gathering evidence for repeated performance!) and we are now heading forward into year 2 with a lot of promise and even more varieties of vegetables to experiment with.
Gardening also gives you a lot of time to think, aligning my planting to our We Are MoJo Explore Design Achieve approach…
What is my soil PH balance, do I need more lime, acid or boron… the list is seemingly endless.
What seeds do I plant directly from seed vs those cluttering my sunny windowsills to nurture delicate seedlings ready for the big outside world.
And when do I plant what? Do I put a whole packet of seeds down in one go, or do I try and stagger them to get a longer eating season?
It all comes back to my objective really, then the decision branches can be prioritised against that.
Defining my allotment lay down sits firmly in design.
Which bed should house which vegetable – can a carrot grow harmoniously with a strawberry? How many potatoes can I squeeze into a 4ft square raised bed? How deep or shallow should I be planting?
How to nurture and grow them - feed supplements, cloche covers and organic slug capture devices... my daughter is convinced that by singing to the seedlings they will grow big and strong, resulting in a substantial yield. I’m happy to test that one!
There are seemingly endless lists of considerations when getting into the allotment design and nurture much like investigating the variety of data points and variables influencing a data strategy project.
However, aligning the structure and implementation of the design to the exploration is a sure fire means to success.
There are many dimensions to this.
The obvious success of vegetables successfully delivering a yield and knowing what has worked well.
The satisfaction of ground to table in less time than it takes to find the item on Ocado.
The enjoyment and education of the next generation of a “grow your own” clan.
And of course – learnings to put into my allotment diary ready to apply next season to keep improving the performance and pushing my KPI’s further forward.
Looking at our Explore Design Achieve process in this way, it is easy to see the parallels in how you can apply this simple methodology to your business ambitions. I wonder what I’ll apply it to next… suggestions welcome!