Shared business object repositories facilitate agility

There is general consensus that work is becoming more complex. Complexity is a factor that inhibits agility – that very popular goal. Rules, regulations, and culture contrasts across countries constrain change. Nevertheless, there is constant demands on firms to grow the top line through increased revenue and to increase margin through efficiency; and pressure on non-profits to increase effectiveness and efficiency

All organizations could probably improve change management and all that goes with it – analysis, agility, adaption, ambition, architecture, and execution.
The first step in creating a dynamic organization, is to create a rich view of the environments inside and outside the organization as it is now. The information is normally readily available but it needs to be modelled in a structured setting that supports understanding and decision-making. Mapping customer journeys for products and services is crucial; and normally valuable and accurate information is available within the organization’s customer care department. In addition, many customers are happy to share feelings and information when asked.

It is just as important to understand how the organization works and to visualize that in the same environment as the external information. Internal insight includes topics such as business strategy, enterprise architecture, business capabilities, business process definitions, and IT architecture and software applications. Again, good information is available from employees. One only has to ask.

In addition to customer and employee intelligence, there are now vast quantities of data to manage and review. It is created by social networking, review networks, government data sources, and user interaction with websites. IBM is quoted as saying that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past two years. The problem with big data is that it’s so vast and generally disorganized, that analysis is no easy task. There is a danger that a top-down approach to analysis on a large scale tends to produce expected answers. In other words, the bias of the queries produces acceptable answers. If big data is allowed to become part of the organization’s information repository then it can be queried from a substantial number of perspectives. To use Walter Cronkite’s famous quote:

“In seeking truth, you have to get all sides of the story.”

Placing all this information in one repository is a huge help in the important task of understanding the separate elements of an organization and their relationships, and their ability to change and, indeed, their willingness.

With the “as-is” view in the repository, it is then practical to experiment on various “to-be” scenarios using accurate organization information. This methodology provides enough control to manage current tasks but also provides freedom of movement to create tomorrow’s vision.
Holding various scenarios and perspectives in the same repository makes it easy to share these views widely. This is an essential precursor to any strategic decision. Executives should exploit the wisdom of many instead of the knowledge of a few.

Having studied, considered, revised, and reviewed a new method of working or a new use of resources, that work has no value unless change is executed. Holding all the information in a shared repository empowers the team to act. Nearly all projects these days affect an array of departments and disciplines: the shared repository acts as a common information resource in any transition project.

Having delivered change, the next step is to deliver more change. This is the essence of an agile organization. It requires developing an organization culture that is ready to make change happen; to ensure that change is expected throughout the organization; that change is important and part of everybody’s work.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

A shared business-object repository, such as Envision, is a proven optimization strategy for cost, quality, and risk. It enables senior management to optimize performance – based on an accurate knowledge of capabilities and tangible resources. It provides organization-wide knowledge of business processes which leads to enhanced collaboration for service delivery effectiveness. Such a repository facilitates insourcing and outsourcing of work. It also speeds delivery whilst reducing the risk of change. It is a crucial component of that highly-desirable corporate trait: agility.