Posts Tagged ‘business process modelling’

Jim Carroll on corporate agility

January 19, 2010 Leave a comment
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Jim Carroll hits hard on the idea that organizations need to adapt to the increasing velocity of change. They need to learn how to respond more quickly to opportunities – “to innovate faster, to change faster, to do things faster” – in order to compete in the high velocity economy. Of course he’s right but where are the models for designing rapid response processes into a business?

I’m certainly no expert but it sounds to me like a job for the zig zag model from axiomatic design. A plan for responding to a sudden opportunity is going to require a business model and a team of players. To get both, axiomatic design requires following a rigorous path of back and forth design steps as plans are forumulated and tested on potential players. In traditional scenarios, that back and forth is ponderously slow because lessons are being learned over and over again. Axiomatic design in business process engineering, on the other hand, codifies those lessons and cuts out all the meandering through dead-ends and faulty propositions.

Traditional forms of corporate learning, however, are a major roadblock to learning the lessons that need to be codified. Here, the promise for rapid business response is in social learning.


Glazed eyes

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

For the last few months I have been working on a startup project that could create some exciting fireworks in the telecom industry, enterprise mobility in particular. When we first met, Brian Keedwell, the inventor of Mobile Process Services, told me he expected to create a new market that would generate $5 billion in five years. Yeah, yeah, I know … that was my initial reaction too. But there were a couple of elements in his plan that grabbed my attention and my imagination – integrated education and smart business networks.

Keedwell, who has helmed some very significant companies, made a name for himself engineering marketing process systems – million dollar plus jobs for companies like Pharmacia, Detroit Edison, SAS, Sandvik and DeLaval. Now he wants to take the business to a new level by delivering such systems as services.

His elaborate and very detailed plan revolves around smart business networks – agile collaborations of vendors, R&D educators and customers – that will build each project. Basically the idea is that if you can motivate a group of tech vendors with the promise of capturing and dominating a niche market, add to that an integrated team of grad students keen to apply cutting edge ideas, and anchor the team with customer participation, then you will be able to create an over-achieving service that will delight everyone.

Well, I have a background in IT and telecom marketing but a lot of this stuff just made my head spin. So most of my time lately has been spent learning business process modelling, smart business networks, agility, and some very subtle stuff related to the nature of quality and productivity. My intention, once I mastered the knowledge, was to write and produce the marketing collateral needed to promote the plan.

Hah! The ideas are so complex and so unfamiliar to industry people that, faced with learning esoteric ideas from alien disciplines, the most common reaction is glazed eyes. Most of our sustained support is from academics, the only ones motivated to attempt the steep learning curve. Everyone else seems to find it really hard to do the homework that’s demanded by disruptive and systemic innovation of production processes.

Finally, after coming to terms with the realization that traditional marketing was not enough, I turned back to a subject that has long fascinated me – education transformation. Recently, I have been following the evolution of corporate learning, which is focusing more and more today on social and collaborative learning. This seems to me a perfect solution for the kind of agile networks that we`re working to create. So why not start using it now to promote the project itself?

So I called Keedwell and told him about these cutting edge ideas for business education. You know, you can actually hear eyes glazing over on the telephone.