Measuring and ManagingBy Faisal Hoque | Posted 2010-01-20 Print
Overcoming the barriers to operational efficiency.
Enterprise implementation of technology often breaks one of the cardinal rules of business: “If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed.” Compared to other parts of the business—sales, operations, research and development, human resources, compliance, etc.—technology remains largely unmanaged and transparent. Technology projects are haphazard and inconsistent. There is no standard for their purchase, development or management. They do not enable decision-makers to detect and adapt to changing market conditions, and this blindness can be fatal.
The conventional wisdom of technology in the enterprise is that the new technology adoption will result in innovation and efficiencies that lead to cost reductions and new revenue streams. The trouble with this point of view is that it assumes stability in which organizations step from one static period to another.
The reality is enterprises – all things for that matter – operate in constant change. The needs of existing customers, the opportunity for new customers, shifting and globalizing markets, new technologies, new suppliers and supply chains, ever evolving competitors – all of these require an organization that has no doubt as to its mission but does not cling to any one way of achieving it.
While most enterprises understand the need to establish processes for building products and delivering finished goods to market in the most expeditious and efficient means possible, many fail to create standardized decision-making processes.
Without business standard and repeatable management practices, enterprises are condemned to reinventing the wheel each time they must assess strategic opportunities or encounter a new challenge to their operations. The process is similar to the progression from commodity to brand: settle on one way to do what is known and reliable, and devote your mental energy to what is new and not yet known, which is where the real action and payoff lie.
Today’s enterprises need tools to make sense of the technology, to rationalize investment decisions so that they are centered in operational excellence. They need to know when spending money makes sense and when it doesn’t. They need to trust that when they pay huge sums for technology it will actually work as intended.
Some people may think that management processes squelch innovation and creativity. Much to the contrary, sustainable management processes open the lines of communication that empower people to share their new ideas with key decision makers within an organization faster. These processes are not the fuel of business, but the regulated engine that ensures business efficiently burns its fuel.
Faisal Hoque is the founder and CEO of BTM Corporation. A former senior executive at GE and other multi-nationals, Faisal is an internationally known entrepreneur and thought leader. He has written five management books, established a non-profit institute, The BTM Institute, and become a leading authority on the issue of effective interaction between business and technology.
© 2010 Faisal Hoque
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