Advancing Organizational CapabilitiesBy Faisal Hoque | Posted 2009-06-05 Print
Business technology management boosts performance at Coca-Cola Enterprises.
Maturity at level 4 (Synchronized) for Strategy and Planning has several measurable earmarks. All Capabilities within the Functional Area are implemented, measured and quantitatively understood and controlled. And, there is increasing similarity in maturity among all of them.
For example, processes at Level 4 are standardized, and they are in general use throughout the enterprise. The idea of a Business strategy with Business Technology deeply woven into it is increasingly familiar and accepted – and that of the influence technology can have on business strategy is beginning to gain increasing credibility, in particular where the business offerings of the enterprise rely on technology.
Formal processes by which strategic intent drives guidance for investment allocations for the business technology portfolio are in place, and they are used with breadth and increasing consistency. Sourcing selection and management is increasingly objective and driven by strategic needs of the business, by proven strengths of the partners and providers, and by quantifiable performance characteristics of the partners and providers. And, there is now an understanding that technology in fact does have a role to play in making acquisition, consolidation, and other business / corporate finance decisions.
There is now a formal, structured Office of the CIO (OCIO) whose members not only are direct reports to the CIO, but they are also business partners with enterprise leadership in their areas. Business Technology Strategy development often is headed up by an area head who works consistently with enterprise business strategy leadership and who works also to ensure that there is ongoing face to face contact between business areas and their technology partners for strategy development as well as for execution.
There is now a CFO of Technology who has at least a dotted-line relationship to the Enterprise CFO. A Chief of Sourcing partners with enterprise leadership in procurement; and, the leader of Consolidation and Standardization works regularly with mergers and acquisition leadership, with the Chief Operating Officer’s organization, and with the Finance organization to ensure that the voice of technology is heard with consistency.
Information is now increasingly consistent and available, and an increasing number of business and technology leaders have access to it through enterprise-wide analytic and decision support software.
With processes and organizational bodies having been introduced at level 3 (Aligned) and implemented at level 4 (Synchronized), the focus of the enterprise moving toward level 5 (Converged) increasingly turns to the dimensions of information and technology. The hallmarks of level 5 are fully data-driven decision making, full technology utilization throughout the enterprise, and fluency by business and technology professionals in the domains of each other to the point that they are almost indistinguishable.
Implementing Maturity Advancement
Working toward a known goal and following an agreed-upon path, an Enterprise can move from a state of repeatability in Strategy and Planning upward through Alignment to Synchronization – and, then to Convergence.
In order to advance through the maturity levels an enterprise must create and execute a Maturity Advancement Plan (MAP). The first step in creating the MAP is to create a maturity baseline. The baseline needs to be analyzed in the context of the current business strategy and the critical technology initiatives that are either in place, or planned, to support that strategy.
The MAP provides a guidebook for improvement, and puts into place durable Operating Models, Policies, Processes and Procedures that will ensure the changes made in the enterprise during implementation become a way of life.
The measurable business value of maturity improvement must be detailed and analyzed in order to understand the reasonable scope of the maturity improvement effort – otherwise, the effort will be regarded as having been largely an academic exercise.
**The above article is adopted from the forthcoming BTM Research series, “Advancing Management Maturity for Convergence”.
Faisal Hoque is an internationally known entrepreneur and author, and the founder and CEO of BTM Corporation. His previous books include Sustained Innovation and Winning The 3-Legged Race. BTM innovates business models and enhances financial performance by converging business and technology with its products and intellectual property. © 2009 Faisal Hoque | firstname.lastname@example.org
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