Harmonization & Standardization
These days, businesses have to do more with less. More processes, more compliance, more reporting & analysis with fewer available resources. We say you not only have to do things right – automate where appropriate, remove redundancies, and eliminate waste – but you also have to do the right things. Eliminating things you should not be doing in the first place is the fastest way to remove cost from the business.
In our work with I.T. executives in large and small organizations, while conducting our blueprint discovery, we invariably find redundant systems, rogue initiatives, and shadow I.T. efforts that add unnecessary cost and complexity to the business.
Our goal in delivering a value-centric business intelligence blueprint will show you where to standardize only what needs to be standardized and keep flexible what needs to be flexible. Your competitive advantage may come from that agility.
And not everyone’s ‘best practices’ are best for you. We prefer to leverage your competitive advantage and uncover ‘better practices’ to help you improve performance.
Focus first on those standards that give the biggest bang for the buck (are the most material to the business) and are easiest to implement. One of our Energy clients had a book of about 500 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that they circulated to managers – where do you start with 500 indicators?! We helped them isolate those top 5 things that have the most impact on the business – across all business functions and common with all operating units – and they weren’t what they thought they would be. In fact, for 2 of the top 5 value drivers, they didn’t have KPIs – even in a book of 500!
We help you see a way to ‘bring it all together:’ the people, processes and technologies around business intelligence and enterprise performance management into a cohesive vision for better strategy execution, better decision management, and better performance.
Processes & Data
Business Intelligence and Performance Management are here to support making better decisions in the business - the roots of these domains used to be called ‘decision support’ for a reason! Working backwards from better, fact- based, decision making, what are those necessary processes and metrics that have the greatest impact on decision making?
We see three kinds of process in our client organizations:
1. Transactional Processes, such as order-to-cash, procure-to-pay, and so on, (see illustration below)
2. Management Processes, such as model-to-plan, plan-to-report, and so on.
3. An overarching Strategy to Execution process
Organizations need a balance of standardization and agility across those processes. And the processes should gather and deliver the
Foundation has a straightforward, repeatable methodology to align business requirements with information technology solutions that’s based on The Periodic Table of Business. We help you re-prioritize your I.T. project portfolio to focus only on those solutions that have a direct impact on strategic objectives and materially correlate to revenue growth, cost reduction, cash cycle, and asset utilization.
The Business Foundation is interested in enabling managers, executives and front-line employees to make better business decisions that:
- Are fact-based
- Are in-line with strategic objectives
- Are aligned with all parts of the organization
- Hold the appropriate person and part of the organization accountable
- Help the business to get smarter about decision making itself.
- Improve confidence in the business across the board.
Using a tailored company-wide strategy execution process, and our unique business Blueprints and accountability maps, we help you standardize how information is gathered and analyzed, how decisions get made, and how learning is captured to improve better targets, better plans, and better decisions in the future.
Using our role-based business intelligence blueprints, we help all parts of the organization see how their decisions can impact (positively and negatively) other parts of the organization. You quickly see the top metrics that roles share, what drives those metrics, and how they impact strategic objectives.
right information, the right metrics.
Using our Periodic Table of Business™, we help you identify what the top metrics are for each major role in the business and how they interrelate with one another and what processes they are contained in. For example, what are the top metrics that Marketing Operations needs to know to improve marketing effectiveness, and of those, which do Sales Executives need to see in order to align sales efforts with campaigns? And what process ensures the right teams are contributing to and consuming that information?
Using our Discovery process, you quickly visualize the processes and data that support your strategic objectives and any gaps that may exist.
Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the organization knew what to focus on and had a standard definition for what a customer was, for what kind of revenue they were looking at (booked, recognized, commissionable), or which products were most profitable? And what if they had visibility into the right metrics for them – without all the noise – and how they impacted strategy? You have a lot of data and probably not as much actionable information as you’d like. Business Foundation helps you focus on those performance drivers that enable better decision-making and can have a direct impact on Revenue Growth, Cost Reduction, Cash Cycle, and Asset Utilization. (with links to accelerators)
Tools & Technologies
Technology enables business processes and business decisions. Tool selection should be driven by business requirement first. I.T. ensures the organization’s information needs are met and is the steward of technology standards. But again, there is a balance between standardization and agility – you need the right tool for the right job and you want to re-use and leverage technology as much as possible, but not at the cost of new customers, cash in the door, or overall profitability.
The Business Foundation method helps I.T. and the business – working together – to visualize where the right tools need to be applied to support people and processes across all functions in the business.
A deliberate benefit of our method includes uncovering “shadow” systems and tools in your organization that may or may-not need to be brought under I.T.’s umbrella and care. There will be times when the business needs to deviate from tools standards, but rarely from governance and compliance standards.
During the Discovery phase of one engagement, together with our client’s VP of IT applications, we helped identify thirteen business intelligence and reporting applications he didn’t know the business was using. We put them on our blueprint and aligned some of them with standard tools and some of them became a new standard.
Working with your Enterprise Architecture team, we help align your I.T. roadmap with strategic, operational, and tactical business requirements.
In this economic climate, we are moving from “nice to have feature/functionality” to systems that provide us with competitive advantages and the ability to survive the downturn. Business Foundation helps I.T. teams focus their project portfolio and requirements work on what’s most important to the business. A lot of people talk about Business/IT alignment and even Business/IT fusion; only Business