What are some problems that a cheque book solves in product development?


The Power of a Cheque book: Enhancing Business Efficiency

In the dynamic landscape of business and technology, having the right resources at the right time can make all the difference. One often overlooked but powerful tool in a company’s arsenal is its cheque book. This might sound simplistic, but the financial leverage a company wields can solve many operational problems and drive significant improvements in efficiency and productivity.

The Multifaceted Role of Financial Leverage

Enhancing Capacity and Capability

A cheque book, metaphorically speaking, represents the financial resources a company has at its disposal. These resources can be directed towards:

  • Increasing Capacity: Investing in additional servers, storage, or bandwidth can ensure that your systems can handle peak loads without crashing.
  • Acquiring Better Kit: Upgrading to more advanced hardware and software can significantly boost performance.
  • Improving Environments: Creating better work environments, whether physical or virtual, can enhance productivity and employee satisfaction.
  • Optimizing Tooling: High-quality tools and resources can streamline processes and improve the quality of output.

Real-World Example: Azure DevOps Upgrade

Allow me to share a personal experience that illustrates the power of financial leverage in action.

The Problem: Prolonged Downtime

Several years ago, I was involved in an Azure DevOps upgrade. Running the upgrade on our in-office servers was a nightmare—it took a whopping 28 hours. During this time, our team couldn’t check in or check out code, manage work items, or effectively collaborate. This downtime was unacceptable and significantly disrupted our workflow.

The Inspired Solution

One of our team members had an ingenious idea: instead of running the upgrade on our local servers, why not leverage Azure’s cloud capabilities? Here’s what we did:

  1. Backup: We took a full backup of our DevOps system.
  2. Azure Setup: We uploaded the backup to Azure storage and spun up an Azure virtual machine with immense processing power and RAM.
  3. Upgrade: We ran the upgrade on this powerful Azure machine, which completed the process in just one hour.
  4. Restore: Finally, we brought the updated databases back down to our local environment.

This approach was not without costs—the Azure resources we used were expensive, given the high amount of RAM and processing power required. However, the benefits far outweighed the costs. Instead of keeping our business offline for over a day, we minimized downtime to just one hour.

The Outcome: A No-Brainer Investment

This experience underscores a crucial point: using financial resources strategically to remove impediments can maximize the value delivered by your organization. When assessing whether to invest in such resources, consider the bottom line:

  • Speed of Results: Will this investment lead to faster completion of critical tasks?
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Is the expenditure justified by the value it delivers? In our case, the reduced downtime and increased productivity made it a no-brainer.

Using Financial Leverage to Drive Value

Key Considerations

When contemplating how to use your financial leverage, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • ROI (Return on Investment): Calculate the expected return on any investment. This could be in terms of time saved, increased capacity, or improved quality.
  • Cost of Inaction: Sometimes, not spending money can cost more in the long run. For example, outdated systems might lead to inefficiencies and lost opportunities.
  • Scalability: Ensure that the investments you make can scale with your business. What works for a small team might not be sufficient for a larger organization.

Practical Applications

  1. Upgrading Infrastructure: Regularly assess your hardware and software. Upgrading can lead to significant performance improvements.
  2. Training and Development: Invest in your team. Providing training can enhance skills and lead to better project outcomes.
  3. Process Improvement: Sometimes, spending on new tools or consulting services can streamline processes and reduce overhead.

Personal Recommendations

Embrace Cloud Solutions

Cloud platforms like Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud offer incredible flexibility and power. They allow you to scale resources up or down based on your needs, which can be especially useful during peak times or for resource-intensive tasks.

Invest in Automation

Automation tools can save time and reduce errors. Investing in automation for repetitive tasks can free up your team to focus on more strategic activities.

Prioritize Cybersecurity

In today’s digital age, cybersecurity cannot be overlooked. Allocate resources to ensure that your systems are secure. This might involve investing in security tools, training your staff on best practices, or even hiring a cybersecurity expert.


The power of a cheque book goes beyond mere purchasing. It represents the ability to strategically remove obstacles, enhance capabilities, and drive your organization towards greater efficiency and productivity. By wisely leveraging your financial resources, you can solve a myriad of problems and position your business for sustained success.

Remember, the key is to assess the value that each expenditure brings to your organization. Whether it’s faster results, improved quality, or increased capacity, the right investments can yield significant returns. So, the next time you face a challenge, consider how your cheque book can help you overcome it and achieve your business goals. 🚀💼

Connect with Advanced Product Delivery.

APD offer private, tailored training courses as well as business agility and coaching. Our public training courses are delivered by practicing Agilists: Product Owners, Scrum Masters and coaches who are expert trainers and facilitators.

Whether you are looking to become a #scrummaster or #agilecoach, we have a range of internationally certified and recognised #agiletraining courses that are perfect for you. Visit Professional Scrum Training courses for more information.

If you are looking for professional, deeply experienced and skilled #agilecoaches and #agileconsultants to help you transition from traditional #projectmanagement to #agile #productdevelopment, we’ve got the ideal team to help you make that transition a success. Visit our Agile Coaching section to find out more about us.

If you have identified Lean Agile Procurement as a great opportunity to enhance #agility within your organization, visit the Lean Agile Procurement Training course or Lean Agile Procurement coaching page.

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