I have lost count of the number of times that I have heard people complain about how IT is undervalued, how the CIO deserves a place at the Executive table or at the Board table. All too often this is because the proponents are unable to clearly and succinctly articulate the value proposition for the CIO function or for the more effective use of IT by an enterprise.
Combined with this, I also have lost count of the number of times that I have seen Board members eyes glaze over as soon as someone mentions that awful word “IT” or any of the associated technobabble. Yet, these same people are often worried about the future of their enterprise and the impact of significant changes in the markets in which they operate, sometimes due to the capacity of their competitors to make more effective use of IT than they are able to!!
So, I have taken an interest in exploring and discussing these problems from a different angle, such as whether an organisation needs to be more innovative, and if so, how this might be achieved.
And in doing so, I have found that this brings me back to understanding enterprise performance, staff productivity and enterprise competitiveness. Often times this then leads to thinking about the capabilities required by the enterprise, their adequacy for current and future demands, and ways in which the performance of particular capabilities can be improved.
Enter process innovation!
That is, here is where enterprise modeling comes and adds some value, by enabling an enterprise view of current and future capabilities and identifying the gaps, whether missing entirely or simply not performing adequately, identifying where the performance gap is and determining innovative ways of addressing this gap, sometimes involving process innovation.
And so, it has become increasingly evident to me that process innovation has a place in contributing to improved enterprise performance, improved productivity and increased competitiveness, and enterprise modeling offers tools, techniques, thinking models which enable an enterprise to tackle these sort of questions, these sorts of demands, these sorts of business change and transformation, most often combined with some commensurate systems transformation!
Do you consider an executable model of an enterprise?
Considering that EA does a great job in describing the “enterprise genotype” (a full nomenclature of enterprise artefacts or assets) and there are many techniques to evaluate the “enterprise phenotype” (a set of observable characteristics such as performance), then the BPM with its executable models of relationships between artefacts can form the bridge (an enterprise executable model) from the “enterprise genotype” and to “enterprise phenotype”.
Having never thought in the terms you have expressed above, the following response is purely speculative, on my part.
All enterprises execute ie. all enterprises are phenotypes. It is, in part, that the enterprise genotype is largely tacit and implicit, and not fully explicit.
Given that the most important enterprise asset is people, since they have the capacity to operate with tacit and implicit genotypes ie in the absence of fully explicit genotypes, and this capacity provides the enterprise with significant flexibility and agility, but at the same time considerable potential for inefficiency and sub-optimal performance.
The challenge is to determine which parts of the genotype benefit from being explicit, rather than be left tacit or implicit, perhaps?
This is the risk / challenge – the assumption that the entire genotype should be made explicit via BPM – and that this will optimise phenotype performance, perhaps?
Sure, not all artefacts can be made explicit and not all relationships between them can be mane executable (e.g. culture aspects).
More explicit artifacts and more executable relationships will make an enterprise model more useful. My general advice is the following:
– All artefacts must be evolved to become digital, external, virtual and components of clouds
– All artefacts must be versionable throughout their lifecycle
– All relationships between these artefacts are modelled explicitly
– All models are made to be executable
At present, only some relationships between some artefacts (events, rules, roles, data, documents, KPIs, services, processes, etc.) can be modelled via executable business processes – only BPM is not enough. I would like to see other enterprise models which can work together with BPM.
Do all Business Processes need to be in a BPM? I’d answer, no. In fact, the problem causing avoidance of BP is the complexity when we put everything in a BPM. We have a minimum viable system and its associated with KPI’s from a quality standard and regulatory by organizing the bare bones of the accounting requirements. Not the desires of the diverse businesses rather the inputs and outputs very much like the financial statements.
Govern what must be governed. Nothing more.
Going to the part of the conversation here, where executives tune out with the mention of an IT project.
You know it’s bad when you start a new project and your first meeting with sales in attendance immediately causes every sales person on the call to begin and maintain a screaming match with everyone in IT.
You know it’s bad when every minor release causes a P1 outage for sales.
You know it’s bad when every new software investment uses the new tool to create customers, part numbers and all the cost and benefits are tracked on a spreadsheet. Not a spreadsheet used nor derived from any system.
IT projects rarely produce the results intended and more often the requirements were in house, but not implemented because no-one had the skills to understand what needed to be done across the functions. Even worse, the situations where those funding projects had no authority to perform the work they were getting from a new software tool.
I agree, Ban all IT projects. Only business change projects, which utilize technology.