Archive for Knowledge Management
My podcast guest next week, Theodore Panagacos is a former Management Consultant with Booz & Company and has years of experience helping organizations design and implement business models that improve its service to customers. His book, The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Management: Everything you need to know and how to apply it to your organization has become an Amazon top seller in its category Business Process Management.
I asked in the podcast one of the most basic questions, “What are the benefits of Business Process Management? What do we get out of it?” Theodore’s answer was simple, to the point and best of all, answered the question.
“BPM is all about identifying what you do-do and what you don’t do within a business. BPM helps managers identify the day to day activities that the business runs in a visual representation. Having that sort of information allows managers to make more informed decision about again, the day-to-day operation of their business.
When you go down to the improvement level and the actual level analysis level, you can then start looking at time and cost improvements. For example, how many FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) employees are associated with a particular event or task? How long does it take them to execute that task? When you have that insight and information, you can run certain scenarios that allow you to optimize those processes so that your business is running again at optimum efficiency.
You have other potential benefits like ensuring that you adhere to a regulatory compliance. A lot of industries such as the mining industry and even the banking industry, they have tight laws that govern what they can and can’t do and more often than not, there are regulatory bodies that govern these laws. They want to know that the bank has their processes documented particularly if you are dealing with sensitive information like people’s bank accounts. There are a couple of things here; I mean regulatory, process optimization and manager’s insight into how the business is run.”
Terri Griffith in her book,The Plugged-In Manager provides an easy-to-understand framework for plugging in, explained by these three core practices:
- Stop-Look-Listen: What does your data say? What do you already know that will help you with this project?
- Mixing: How do you balance your available resources?
- Sharing: How can you achieve better results by integrating your choices with other team members?
As organizations continue to get flatter and flatter, we continue to put more and more pressure on the few left in middle management. It’s not just the personnel either. That may be the easy part. Now, we are being faced with everyone becoming customer facing, the depth of customer penetration within in the ranks is increasing at a rapid wait. The one answer that so many of us fallback to is technology. And, that is also changing at a rapid rate. So what does a manager have to do?
Teri did a podcast with me a while back and I found myself using the material more and more lately. The podcast, Are your Managers managing Technology? Or… ..is technology managing answered many of these questions. This is a transcription of the podcast.
This is a very “Lean” conversation.
About: Terri Griffith, Ph.D. helps people and organizations work with technology. As a Professor of Management at Santa Clara University (Silicon Valley), Terri helps mix together the technology of work (everything from telepresence to the size and type of tools a crew would use to build a fence), the way we organize to do this work (virtual teams, collaborative leadership, hiring and pay plans), and the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the people we work with.
In the past few months, I have submersed myself into several different areas. One of them being Scenario Planning or Thinking. I was honored to have George Wright, co-author of Scenario Thinking: Practical Approaches to the Future. The book is an innovative guide to new methods in scenario thinking. The book focuses on the demonstration and illustration of practical steps in scenario development processes.
Scenario Planning in the past has been used for fairly large subjects that you are discussed in the podcast. Topics, such as where will healthcare be in thirty years. However, scenario planning can be simply described as a methodology based on handling uncertainty. If we had to pick one buzzword for the last few years outside of innovation, it would be uncertainty. I feel that scenario planning can make an impact in today’s uncertain world.
Enough of my talk let’s hear what George Wright has to say.
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About George Wright: George is currently Professor of Management at Durham Business School, University of Durham, UK. He has consulted and provided management development programmes on scenario thinking and decision making with organizations such as Bayer, EADS, Petronas, Scottish Power, Thales, United Utilities, and national and local government in the UK. He has published on scenario thinking in international journals, including Futures, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, International Journal of Forecasting, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization Studies.
An excellent post by John Hagel (as always), Pivots and Portfolios: A Contrarian View, discusses the role of scenarios to assess uncertainty. John says,
Scenario planning can help to systematically assess the likely impact of variables that are more uncertain and frame a likely set of alternative futures. This provides a useful context to assess the potential robustness of major options in strategic direction – how well would these options fare in each of the scenarios that have been defined? In assessing the likelihood of potential scenarios, it is important to ask what initiatives we might be able to pursue that would materially alter the probability of outcomes that our more favorable to us. One of the biggest errors in scenario planning is to treat probabilities as a given rather than something that can be shaped by our own action.
I am a big fan of John’s work and especially the book he co-authored The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion. His remarks about scenario planning offers me a little validation in my thinking and encourages me to take a step further. Thanks John!
Erik Brynjolfsson examines the effects of information technologies on business strategy, productivity and employment. As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson — it’s simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us … if we think of computers as our teammates.
Erik Brynjolfsson examines the effects of information technologies on business strategy, productivity and employment.