Tag Archives: strategy

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Do you grow your digital governance?

Category:EA,Services,UK Blog Tags : 

Whatever term one might use, the meaning of ‘digital governance’ seems to be what we all care about in larger organisations – how to automate digital information to provide a better collective transparency and insight of the enterprise. It is not just about data and it is not just about processes; it is about people –  how we work smarter and more automated as an enterprise with data and processes to improve our digital ability to drive forward better decision-making. Sometimes ‘digital’ is simply loose for data, but underneath, it  is associated with either digitization and/or digital transformation – and don’t mix up these two terms…

“Increasingly, the work we do is enabled more and more by new IT, including automation, robotics, and intelligent platforms”.
                                                                                                                                                                                — Pierre Nanterme

Working with decision processes, we need to consider that such decision-making processes are very different from business processes of a value chain; simply the characteristics of cause-and-effect are less tangible and more ‘soft’. Trying to understand the complexity and nature of the decision-making processes, we need to adapt to the company tongue, the stakeholders and the way such a business is driving decisions. It means we can still implement smarter solutions of digital governance, which is what we normally refer to when we talk ‘how we make decisions’; however, it also means that to succeed with such solutions we need to consider how to digitize and successfully grow the governance when data is not enough on its own.

“I think the automation of vision is a much bigger deal than the invention of perspective”.
— Trevor Pagien

We often talk  ‘digital governance’  in context of ‘automation’ because a digital governance will automate manual tasks. A growing governance is where we continuously get more data into the fact-based decision support, and where we achieve this by managing the organisational change federating more data to collectively become wiser. This is what enterprise information management (EIM) is all about, the outcome of enterprise architecture (EA) in a nut-shell mastering the terms and information architecture.

Governance requires corporate information as fuel, and needs to be flexible enough to accommodate to ever-changing market conditions. A digital governance will benefit from our approach to agile information management. Today there is almost a hype around business models but only few enterprises have conceptual models connecting this to business models and providing a closed-loop approach by ‘wiring’ these models to real-time operational data and planning input.

The objective of the governance of the information management is the agile construct of an enterprise-wide business model which  serves the purpose of better decision insight and strategic planning. Digital governance cannot be achieved without people, stakeholders and data. It is not about making another calif ERP; it is about recognizing the eco-system, where we provide the technology and methodology to maintain the logic model, where data can be interchanged, communicated, enriched – via  a (digital) web front end or via (digital) integration to other (digital) systems. This is about applying information management, growing it in a DevOps or agile way, to support the open-ended construct of improving the way “we make decisions”. For this, we have chosen to work with award-wining world-leading software.

“It is not about making another calif ERP; it is about seeing the eco-system, where we provide the technology and methodology to maintain the logic business model where data can be interchanged, communicated, enriched – via web front end or via integration to other systems”.

So what is it that we solve with a growing digital governance? We build a connected truth as business models providing a closed-loop approach by ‘wiring’ these models to real-time operational data and planning input. We don’t like building architecture tools for architecture, or bakeries that bake for bakers. We like to connect the users of an enterprise by re-using data, by re-using the knowledge maintained in other systems such as data warehouses, service management tools, financial systems, HR systems, etc. We apply design thinking, so instead of the old-school of “learn a framework, buy a tool, draw some processes, then hope”, then work with rapid development tooling to apply automation processes and data by pretotyping the decision support, simply to avoid middle-layers of requirements analysts interpreting coders. So enterprise architects and strategists working with this methodology will grow the governance as DevOps, and it will keep the customer-facing activities along a succesful growing of digital governance.

Sometimes, we also see words used in this context:

  • EIM – As the overall Enterprise Information Management discipline, continuously automating information that else would be manually handled in SharePoint, Excel, Access or similar silo-based system. EIM is what provides the digital platform for execution.
  • PI – As the solution to Process Intelligence, of how to gain insight to decision support from our business processes. This typically is an automation of drawings, diagrams and emails, that otherwise would reside in distributed mailboxes with visio, powerpoints etc. With a process intelligence setup, people can collaborate on the same set of process insight as re-usable meta data.
  • CMDB – As the specific solution to service desk and IT operations. With a CMDB, people can start automate ticket flows, email and chat notifications, to automate the configuration items of IT operations.

To make the digital governance succesful, it needs to grow. To mature the governance, make it actionable and follow the data and the people in the room to discuss how decisions are taken, and then grow the outcome to make it tangible.This is what digital growing governance is all about.

We power your digital mood!

 


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How “Design Thinking” improves corporate performance

Category:EA,Services Tags : 

How can a design process impact an overall corporate performance? Design Thinking really is a mindset or a paradigm of how an organisation works with human-centred problems; it is the soft skills that make the execution successful. And working with improving performance and governance, a successful execution of such an initiative is often more about the human adaptation where the mindset and behaviour is tackled better and where creativity, collaboration and iterations are factored into the approach.  It does require buy-in from the top management, but also requires buy-in from the contributors. Succeeding with strategy is more than a single person to work differently.

According to Jen Sheahan, Design Thinking should be perceived as a “mindset”; a way of approaching problems that are human-centred, but as such is nothing new. Design thinking has some interpretations associated, however, when we apply it with information management and strategy to execution, it can be boiled down to the following solution elements:

–         Preto-type

–         Collaborative

–         Short-Cycled

–         Sprints

Let’s go through these to understand why Design Thinking is considered a wise approach that may seem “lightweight”, but often also shows faster-to-market, cheaper and with higher chance of reaching the targeted outcome. As such Design Thinking is agnostic to technology, however, it does put requirements on technology to support the rapid developments embedded in the new mindset. This why we have chosen to work only with predefined technologies (MooD, Signavio, …) that support the mindset of Design Thinking.

Preto-type:
One should look up the pretotyping manifesto or some of the you tubes of Alberto Savoia. Where prototype is about developing an “early” product, pretotype is about testing the idea before building anything. And this concept can easily be applied to strategy execution and architecture, simply to support fail-fast and ensure validation of the outcome is done all-through the learning-curve of an implementation; in other words, secure validation is constantly part of development – not left entirely to testing at the end.

Collaborative:
One should look up the talk to yourself hat, by Kate Hartman to value the perspective, that architecture is not meant for architects; likewise, strategies are not meant for strategists. The entire idea of the execution is to provide a solution that interacts with people to support the collaboration and democratisation of data. This is often the hardest requirement on supporting technology where BI tools and EA tools often come short with heavy clients that allow only collaboration within specialised sub communities.

Short-Cycled:
To tackle improved business performance, Gartner operates with a market guide called Enterprise Business Process Analysis (EBPA) which is the discipline of business modelling aimed at transforming and improving business performance with an emphasis on cross viewpoint, cross function analysis and strategic decision support aimed at improving business outcomes. The fundamental principles of this performance improvement is short-cycled delivery, a light-weight but robust modelling and governance that provides frequent updates like Dev-Ops and many of the agile concepts. This is the fundamental for providing constant delivery.

Sprints:
In the discussion around agile (which to a large extend may be categorized as short-cycled), there is typically a need to structure epics and use-cases into sprints, simply as to communicate and focus development in a larger picture. The structuring of work into Sprints is key to align with management and stakeholders to provide “planning”. Management should focus on the agility and changes of the environment, hence, the ubiquitous purpose of sprints is to support the strategic planning to be prepared.

We help to align long-term planning with short-term planning, which is an ongoing process – and a digital process of information management. Long-live the digital planning. If you have questions, please make contact. We are a consulting house with senior profiles and business solutions; we provide deep expertise in digital planning, digital governance and process automation. We power your digital mood!


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The value of living services

Category:Services,UK Blog Tags : 

For years we have seen the many implementations of service catalogs, hardly used and hardly understood by others than by those who created it. The challenge seems to be they have been dead architecture – a conceptual thinking for the few – not a connected insight for the business where they see every month e.g. the ‘bill of IT’. The future of services is all about connecting information to the living set of services so that it becomes relevant for business and may assists in the modernization of the digital business model as part of winning the outer game and optimising the inner game.

Working with knowledge sharing and change planning, we often see that many of the same words are used for different meanings. That calls for the information architects to define what do we really mean with this or that?  – and what connects to what?

As there are many trends in the market, such as cloud, insight, as-a-service, we start to see the patterns of ‘services’ rather than ‘assets’ that come and go, much in the same way as shops open and close, employees are hired and retire.

Managing the complexity of a large organisation, that wants to become digital, and with digital to provide more of the revenue from digital services, there is a shift towards making transformation programs that will do more of the digital stuff, that will do more of digital payments, digital patient journals, digital enabling of whatever type of business. Most of this change puts focus to the future way of working together, the future best practice – the next insight.

Working with the future services across the enterprise, we see a need to master all the enterprise services in a connected way as part of a living architecture. If you happen to be a financial institution or large manufacturer, you will typically have loads of assets, that in limited period will be in a competition with new services that are designed to be more digital or unified. That is, some of the older assets should retire, or we need to understand how to enable them or live with them despite they are legacy. The traditional asset catalog needs an overhaul to be service oriented – and if you work the way-up from the stack, chances are high that you will never complete.

So how to start the enabling of all the enterprise services? If we want to make it living – you need to focus on the automation of the updates of the data that drives the change of the future. This is about people, digital governance and technology to make it stick. We need to put focus to the user experience, to the persona. A typical question is the following, ‘what revenue does your services bring?’

  • If you cannot tie revenue or satisfaction metrics to a service, then it may not be an “end-service” – and you should rework the service definitions accordingly.
  • However, if it is an end-service, you can start planning using a digital twin.

Another perspective will be to differentiate between internal offerings versus external services, which then may eventually lead to another view of your IT. Start experimenting and iterating, and you will find your “services”.

We help to align long-term planning with short-term planning, which is an ongoing process – and a digital process of information management. Long-live the digital planning. If you have questions, please make contact. We are a consulting house with senior profiles and business solutions; we provide deep expertise in digital planning, digital governance and process automation. We power your digital mood!


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Digital – Outer Game or Inner Game?

Category:Uncategorized Tags : 

We all want a place in the digital market, we all have strategies and discussions of how to win the battle. However, as part of this dialog, we often see different levels of abstraction to words such as ‘digital’, ‘AI’, ‘transformation’… We may point to the definition of  ‘digital transformation’ and ‘digitization’, however, in this article, we rather structure a few of the terms to provide a more transparent dialog to what does it mean to have a place in the digital market.

The two terms  ‘digital transformation’ and ‘digitizationstrictly are very different, but they are  both part of the digital agenda. Where the digital transformation at the heart is about changing form and paradigm, the other one is to optimize while keeping the paradigm. So to have better discussions about internal or external forces, of effectiveness and efficiency in the digital age, we advocate to structure the digital dialogue using:

–          Games

–          Themes

–          Elements

With a decomposition of a strategy discussion we start to obtain the common vocabulary for some of the apple-to-apple discussions of what we want to achieve as part of the digital agenda. The reason be that with our definition of Games, Themes and Elements we can start to have much more meaningful conversations to what does it mean to become ‘customer centric’ or make ‘a successful disruptive customer journey’…

The purpose of this is two-fold:

  1. to structure the dialog so we can compare apple-to-apple in the discussions and needs of using words like disruption, digital, etc.
  2. and second, to be able to break down the dialog to another level, where we can support the behavioral change of the strategy execution.

To increase the chances of winning a strategy, we need the construct of Themes and Elements which can be part of a behavioral change – and be made actionable daily.

So how to make a strategy successful? Of course, the content is part of it, which might be assisted by better digital planning or Digital Twins; however, even without the bullet proof planning, the strategy still needs to leave the glossy PowerPoint and become actionable for more people!

A successful strategy cannot survive successfully with high-level statements such as “we need more levers”, “digital customer satisfaction”, “larger on business value”, etc. For two reasons, it doesn’t answer the question of how and it doesn’t make it actionable for anyone within the organization. Having said this, when we help large companies, it is very often in that field of executing the strategy by encouraging more people to do what is actionable for them; one may argue it is less about the strategy, and more about getting to the point, where people can contribute to the strategy. This is how you make sustainable change.

To make a strategy executable, we need to de-compose it into Games, Themes and Elements, and then further into the ‘daily behavior’. If things become part of daily behavior, we start collectively to move. In other words, in order to succeed with the strategy execution, we need the decomposition that relates to daily behavior.

We have identified currently two håndful of  digital elements, three digital themes, and two games, that currently seem to address most of the strategy-to-execution assignments we meet.

The two games represent the Outer Game and the Inner Game of an organization. These terms are re-used from leadership schools. These two games represent two different perspectives that will supplement or compete. The Outer Games is by definition the external perspective of ‘what is possible’. The Inner Game has a focus on the existing organization and competencies, hence ‘what can we do better’.

Digital Transformation by its definition is part of the Outer Game – how to design the new business model. The digitization is by its definition much closer to the Inner Game of how to do things more efficient – without changing our fundamental customer base, culture or anything touchy…

Now, the two games are related like strategy to culture, like Yin to Yang, like innovation to operations. They cannot live without each other, but they also represent opposite purposes. The purpose of the Outer Game is to follow principles of the Porter school, how to create a future into the market. As opposed to this, the Inner Game focuses on what can we operate, what can we do better, to fit with our capacity, our skills our collective win.

Now, having the two games defined, we see at least three digital themes that need to be addressed to make a successful change. We advocate to limit the themes to not more than these three Themes:

  1. [inventing] New Business Models
  2. [Changing] Customer Experience
  3. [Improving] Process Excellence

Then the digital elements are groupings within the Themes that are simpler to make actionable and behavioral. And to succeed with strategy to execution, we need to decompose into elements and make planning to support the digital transformation.

There is more research on the internet, where it is stipulated that moving forward with digital transformation, the best companies combine the [inventing] New Business Models with the Outer Game, simply to combine digital activity with strong leadership to turn technology into transformation then to future revenue streams. Other companies are less market focused, typically public service sector companies, which will then prioritize the Inner Game  on [Improving] Process Excellence. Unless protected by regulations, borders or legal fence, companies that are more mature will eventually outperform those that are not. So, if you want to lead the digital change, choose the Game, Theme and digital elements that meet your need.

We help to align long-term planning with short-term planning, which is an ongoing process – and a digital process of information management. Long-live the digital planning. If you have questions, please make contact. We are a consulting house with senior profiles and business solutions; we provide deep expertise in digital planning, digital governance and process automation. We power your digital mood!


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Digital leaders fuel innovation across the business

Category:EA,UK Blog Tags : 

In the latest Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2017, which is the largest IT leadership survey at all, there is number of key take-aways! With 4498 responses from CIOs and technology executives across 86 countries, this survey outlines some of the high demands.

One of the main trends is the level of change they are experiencing has reached unprecedented levels, and increasingly it is coming from unexpected corners. Many technology executives are turning this uncertainty into opportunity. They are helping their organizations become more automated and digital, to navigate through unpredictable change, and to thrive in an uncertain world. This also aligns well with disruption, digital transformation, and the act of digital planning, rather than the specific plans.

A conclusion from above survey also reveals a clear divergence between organizations that are effective at digital transformation and those that are not (read digitization). CIOs at these ‘digital leader’ organizations are almost twice as likely to be leading innovation across the business. That is, ‘digital leaders’ who take the opportunity to work with disruption and dare a digital transformation, they will likely be leading the innovation processes across business.

Some of the key findings are: Two-thirds of organizations are adapting their technology strategy because of unprecedented global political and economic uncertainty, two-thirds! Almost 90% are maintaining or ramping up investment in innovation. That is the digital strategies are reaching new levels, and the single fastest growing tech skill in demand to succeed with this, is the enterprise architecture. IT projects are getting more complex, have unclear objectives, need to work under still more open-ended environment, meaning the importance of solid and living architecture is becoming a necessity for the digital leaders. Here we use the term enterprise architecture, as defined by Gartner,

“Enterprise architecture (EA) is a discipline for proactively and holistically leading enterprise responses to disruptive forces by identifying and analyzing the execution of change toward desired business vision and outcomes. EA delivers value by presenting business and IT leaders with signature-ready recommendations for adjusting policies and projects to achieve target business outcomes that capitalize on relevant business disruptions”.

So growing demand for enterprise architecture is not the static picture from two-three decades back. The evolving discipline of enterprise architecture is focusing on execution of change, planning with disruption and with a clear view on business outcomes. This requires not one-size-fits-all tools nor performance processes. It requires an open-ended approach where scenarios may be planned, business model may be expanded over time in an agile way, to be constantly validated and experimented before implemented (also referred to as a digital twin). And while planning for the future business blueprint, there will still be a large amount of legacy to be resolved or migrated.

The living architecture is based on a eco-system of connected insights. The pendulum swings back to central knowledge, democratized input, for all the dots that need to be connected in a larger enterprise, including products, services, strategy, business, applications and infrastructure.

We often advocate that for companies who are interested in enterprise architecture, make sure it is not an end in itself, but a mean to accomplish the digital strategy and innovation required to fulfil the digital planning. Clearly, the survey puts high demand on enterprise architects who can execute the strategy and provide a digital transformation. One may see the digitization as a pre-burner or enabler for the next steps, but if the paradigm of the business model isn’t changed, disruption not considered, nor if the digital transformation isn’t led by the business strategy, then it will have a hard time to sustain. This where we can help you!

We power your digital MooD!


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From Watch to Move – Digital Transformation

Category:Services,UK Blog Tags : 

Very often, we hear the terms ‘digital’,  ‘become digital’ or ‘go digital’ as phrases for businesses being more modern and streamlined, however, it is clear from many articles and posts that people not necessarily mean the same thing with these terms. Largely spoken, they are all related to the two words

  • digitization and
  • digital transformation

However, digitization and digital transformation are also not the same thing, but even though these terms also are sometimes mixed-up, they may also correlate. This has recently been spotted in the great post by Jeanne Ross, try not to mix up these two words! However, they both belong to the digital agenda!

What is ‘digital’?

I have the age to remember the first digital watches – and how the CD-player as an innovation moved the music from analogue devices into the era of bits and ‘digital’ format – which eventually led to streaming of music data. And looking up Wikipedia (in English), it says that digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits; that was indeed the case of the CD-player versus the analogue voltage of record players. Now, the original meaning of the word ‘digital’ originates from Latin, which means typically finger or counting fingers, or just a finite number or digits. In other words, the simple evolution gives that digital is something that eventually ends up as a finite number of computerised bytes delivered somewhere of ‘some contents’ –  we may just call it ‘data’. So if we apply the definition that digital means ‘data’, then at its heart, digital is about the creation of data from hardware and software; digital is about the intelligent transportation of data; and digital is about the use of data to power smart industries and businesses!

With digital in the meaning of data from anywhere in the business, consequently, digital transformation may be seen as the ‘planned change’ to a future usage of ‘data’ involving new (sometimes disruptive) technologies. Hence, digital is an embedded ingredient of both ‘digitization’ and ‘digital transformation’. Digital is the key ingredient of Digital Governance.

Digitization

Digitization is often known from public sector, service sector and LEAN where the efficiency of the getting more ‘digital’ processes and lean processes by avoiding paper, snail mail, etc. is being achieved. Different companies are not all equally forefront in digitizing the business. Borsen recently posted an analysis of Postnord (Danish/Swedish mail provider, former royal post). In Denmark the public sector has achieved a higher digitization than the Swedish one. This has been achieved with a high management-focus on digitizing the work flow and citizen correspondence. In other words, the word ‘digitization’ involves standardizing of business processes and is associated and motivated by cost cutting and operational excellence; or as one could say, to do more of the same – just more electronically. It is not that these companies are passive, it is just that they don’t change the business model, but may watch the ‘new kids from the block’ introducing new games and business rules.

“Digitization involves standardizing business processes and is associated with cost cutting and operational excellence. In essence, it imposes discipline on business processes that, over the years, were executed by individual heroes in a variety of creative (but not always optimal) ways.” – Jeanne Ross

Digital transformation

Digital Transformation represents a higher degree of change. However, we would argue that the key differentiator is that it is based on a different paradigm! It ‘splits rather than fits’ the existing processes, hence, it is a top-down approach to transform a company from as-is to the next digital era.

“Digital transformation is the strategy to execution toward a new business model which is based on a different paradigm, that it splits rather than fits the existing processes, and for that you need to map-out your future business model. Don’t start with your existing processes; start with your future operating business model!”

To make a transformation into a digital company, you need to consider the new way such a future company can achieve a market place with (maybe radical) different services, offerings, delivery methods, locations and meet-up. Companies that strategically seek to analyse and build this way, will not only look for more electronic ways to do the business of today, but they will seek a new operational model to serve customers with a different supply chain and operating model. These companies realise that they have to move the business model to reach the desired outcome.

Both disciplines are valid

Both disciplines are valid, but they clearly work from different paradigms. We recommend companies who want to become digital to work with it strategically, then to drive the strategy-to-execution and make it actionable and achievable. It is a totally different exercise as to digitize existing processes!

Where digitization involves a blueprint of all the business capabilities, then to map the low-hanging fruit to digitize the processes in prioritized order, then the digital transformation starts with strategy and architecture and forward-thinking; then to make scenarios or risk assessments to map out the actionable insights.

One may see the digitization as a pre-burner or enabler for the next steps, but if the paradigm of the business model isn’t changed nor if the digital transformation isn’t led by the business strategy, then it will have a hard time to sustain. We often recommend in workshops to illustrate examples of both artefacts, simply to get to the open-ended dialog of ‘where are we heading’ versus ‘where do we want to move to’.

Clearly, to strategize and map out the actionable insights may involve implementation and change management. We can help you to succeed!

We power your digital MooD!