In order to evolve a methodology for iteratively reducing the gap between business decisions and their implementation (the “Gap”), it is important to understand the components that drive that gap and then determine whether such an iterative approach may be applied to the components individually, creating a greater opportunity for ratcheting success.
As with everything QBOS, we strive to achieve the theoretical optimal limit (TOL) for the problem at hand; in this case, the reducing of the time, cost and opportunity loss gap between a business decision being made and the implementation of that decision. A romantic view of the TOL in this case might be the complete elimination of the gap so that the implementation of a business decision is concurrent with the decision itself. While that view might be a good one for simplifying the message of the objective, it short-circuits the derivation of the real TOL.
This white paper takes a look at what it takes to implement business decisions in general and what methods can be applied to reduce the gap between decisions and implementation.
Defining the Gap
The Gap is made up of all the costs and opportunity losses associated with implementing any business or organizational decision. By finding new ways to reduce the Gap, we are helping our partners, clients and the economy in general eliminate wasted effort, become more competitive and evolve better working environments overall.
The two most significant internal areas that adversely affect the success of any venture are:
- (i) proper analysis prior to decision making
- (ii) minimizing the costs, lag and misinterpretation of decision implementation
While QBOS provides tools for addressing the first item, these are really naturally results of our research and development re the secod item, which is QBOS' core focus.
Breaking Down the Gap
In looking at the sources of opportunity losses and costs, we see that opportunity losses are really derived from one thing, time, while costs are associated with multiple metrics needed to reach implementation.
Time: the source of the opportunity losses in the Gap is simply the time it takes for the Gap to close. During that time, the client's competitors are able to benefit from the client's inability to address the opportunity, whatever it may be. So any focus on reducing the Gap must always come back to the question of whether the time element is being reduced in order to have an impact against the opportunity losses incurred by the Gap. Did you know...?
Companies that have reached a state of true workforce automation have also minimized their exposure to opportunity losses from any future changes to the business model.
Planning: although a significant portion of planning is often performed prior to decision (the “business case”), any time lapse between the creation of the business case and the decision making undermines the accuracy of the business case by aging the underlying sources, assumptions and commitments. Therefore, very often there will be a post-decision planning component that adds to the cost and lag of the effort. So planning tools must be provided that allow for on-the-fly adjustments to the implementation model regardless of whether the implementation is being done in a waterfall (single effort toward success) or agile (overlapping stages of success) method. Did you know...?
QBOS provides a BPaaS layer that allows for dynamic, audited changes to the work and document flows both during and after application design and development. QBOS also provides fully integrated project management tools that can both drive application development/maturation and even become a part of the application.
Resource Acquisition: although resource acquisition generally drives costs more than lag during implementation, it can affect both very negatively by being the one metric in the Gap that the client cannot completely control. In addition to resource planning, tradespace solutions can play a significant role in minimizing such negatives. Therefore any strategy to reduce the Gap to its TOL must include methods for streamlining the provisioning of external relationships and contracts. Such streamlining can also drive down the costs on the vendor side, making the client more of a preferred client.
Solution Creation/Maturation: the actual information management/operational solution required to implement the decision plays a strong factor in both costs and lag. Strategies for reducing the Gap should look at the entire solution development process and tools. Creating systems and methods that minimize the initial solution creation and allows for rapid maturation cycles should be a core element of any such strategy. Did you know...?
The QBOS Application Design Studio, by merging Workflow Management, Document Management and Process Management into the development of the application itself – and in an agile, rapid prototype to production development environment – is the fastest, most robust application development system on the market today; allowing you to produce and mature systems with the lowest TCO.
Workforce (Re)Indoctrination: any business change usually involves retraining the workforce to understand the changes and to operate within the new business rules. Any focus on reducing the Gap must include strategies for reducing or eliminating the need for workforce (re)indoctrination. Did you know...?
Workforce Automation is the 3rd form of Workforce Management (see the side bar white paper titled 'The 3 Forms of Workforce Management') and brings about an entire sea change to the traditional understandings of work management, productivity and costs. One of the aspects of this sea change is the complete removal of the Workforce Indoctrination (and Reindoctrination) component of Gap costs.
Organizational Transparency: allows for quicker identification of the proper resources and decision makers in-situ during implementation as well as enabling swifter problem resolution. Any focus on reducing the Gap to the TOL should have a transparency metric to it. Did you know...?
Because the entire QBOS development and solutions platform is entirely web-driven, it is accessible from anywhere to any of the stakeholders and participants of a project. Meanwhile, QBOS' Enterprise Security Management layer makes certain that each player has all the resources and only the resources they need in order to participate.
Reaching the TOL
The underlying metrics identified above for Gap costs and opportunity losses can all be used in tandem as independent metrics for gauging the success of any Gap reducing strategy. Determining what the TOL is of each such metric will give us an idea of what the realistic TOL is for the overall Gap. For example, the TOL for Workforce (Re)Indoctrination is 0 in that an entirely new paradigm of Workforce Automation can be implemented, thus eliminating the need for an operational paradigm that is dependant upon (and thus changes with) the business model (it is the changing operational paradigm that drives the need for retraining). Whereas on the other hand, the TOL for Resource Acqusition will always be greater than 0 simply because resources will always have some cost involved.
So while any universal strategy for reducing the Gap will never be able to guarantee the romantic TOL of 0 mentioned earlier in the Overview, by focusing on the TOLs for simpler components identified above, we can be assured that we are driving toward the real TOL of reducing the gap between business decision and business change.