The ProcessBy Faisal Hoque | Posted 2009-02-17 Print
Transformation is the management challenge of the 21st Century.
Transformation can be boiled down to three core elements: innovation, efficiency (optimization) and abandonment.
Innovation is simply the adoption of and execution on new ideas; efficiency (or optimization) is making the most of your assets; is the discontinuation of products and lines of business in favor of new innovations, opportunities and markets.
An enduring transformation requires a management framework that unites the company vertically—from boardroom to project team—and horizontally—across all divisions and including external partners and customers. The organization must delineate its structures, processes, information and automation required to make this unity work in practice.
Transformation is a process with no true resolution or end. It is the enemy of commoditization and stagnation. Innovation and productivity are the fuel that drives a transformative company. Convergence of business and technology management into a holistic framework is what enables transformation. Ultimately, its product is the continued health and viability of the organization.
Transformative enterprises have consistent processes with integration across the organization, a fully developed business and technology architecture, and the means to simultaneously address a broad array of issues. In the area of strategic investment management, they have consistent processes for sponsoring, selecting and managing initiatives. They have a standardized means of structuring programs and ensuring that they are managed in accordance with enterprise standards. They have established standards for determining the demand and the supply of resources—human, financial, fixed and other—for future initiatives. They have management entities that actively monitor and manage the performance of all initiatives according to commonly accepted frameworks, and serve as the “early warning” system for elevating issues to upper management and the board. And they have fully developed structures with defined roles consistently executed.
In addition, leading enterprises consistently have governance bodies that place the responsibility for making decisions on business technology into the hands of both business and technology professionals.
For these organizations, data has become information. They manage information effectively across the enterprise and can make decisions based on that information. And, in large measure, this information is available through and managed in an integrated, enterprisewide automated system that facilitates decision making.
They now engage in continuous process optimization: They learn, adapt, implement and improve, in an ongoing cycle. Their organization structures are optimized, so that they have the right structures in place at the right level, and they make decisions appropriate to their status. They conduct fully data-driven decision making enabled by consistent, coordinated, integrated use of automation. Every professional has an appropriate level of access to enterprisewide information, analysis and management tools, and the enterprise makes this uniform, knowledge-driven model fundamental to its way of doing business.
These management practices are a practical, proven response to the process of creative destruction all about us. As Joseph Schumpeter said so presciently, “Every piece of business strategy acquires its true significance only against the background of that process and within the situation created by it.” While that may be difficult for Iowa farmers, Detroit autoworkers and Wall Street investment bankers, the reality is that transformative business technology management processes will result in strong, healthier companies and, ultimately, a stronger national economy.
Faisal Hoque is an internationally known entrepreneur and author, and the founder and CEO of BTM Corporation (www.btmcorporation.com). His next book, The Convergence Scorecard, is expected later this year. 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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