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9738510277?profile=RESIZE_400xEmployees with the right skills make or break an enterprise, create brand impression, represent the company’s culture and values.

Disruptive technology is changing the contemporary work environment.  Employees in traditional roles are now feeling insecure and disengaged.  This dissonance threatens to take away the Competitive Advantage of companies.

Employee Engagement has emerged as one of the significant pillars on which the Competitive Advantage, Productivity, and Growth of an organization rests.

Disruptive technology and the resulting Digital Economy have uprooted many of the so-called traditional jobs.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) making diagnosis on medical tests is an example.  Does this mean that the doctors will lose their jobs?  The answer is no.  Doctors will have to train to gain new skills to work with AI.

Many other fields are, likewise, seeing work of employees being taken over by machines.  Does that mean employees will lose jobs?  Yes and no.  There is an urgent need for managements to upgrade employee roles and skills as well as take other steps that make an AI-enabled Workforce.

Upskilling Strategy can create new roles for existing employees leveraging their experience and help engage employees in an otherwise adverse work environment.

Upskilling comprises of acquisition of new and pertinent competencies, made necessary because of the current or emerging work environment.  Upskilling adds to the skills the employee already possesses.  Contemporary examples of Upskilling may be provision of Digital skills, Analytical skills, or Organizational Transformation skills to the employees.

Contrastingly, Reskilling means teaching totally new skills to employees.  Reskilling often mandates sending employees back to college or trade school to obtain a degree or certificate in a new field.

Expanding comprehension regarding how to effectively design and implement Upskilling projects may possibly determine society’s Knowledge Assets.  The following 6-phase approach to Upskilling Strategy summarizes the key actions required to ensure effective design and implementation of Upskilling initiatives:

  1. Determine the circumstances and define the project.
  2. Create a skills plan.
  3. Evaluate and guide each employee.
  4. Pair jobs and skills and involve workers.
  5. Pick out trainings and trainers.
  6. Manage the project and examine output.

Let us explore some of the phases of the Upskilling Strategy a bit more.

Determine the Circumstances and Define the Project

Each circumstance is exclusive.  For determining what is involved in making an Upskilling Strategy for that particular situation; coordination, decisions, and actions on a number of levels at the same time is essential.

All Upskilling initiatives, whether originated by the local government or a result of a situation faced by a single enterprise, have some shared elements.

Create a Skills Plan

The skills plan should center priorities on the categories of jobs being impacted by the disrupting technologies, personnel extremely at risk, companies that stand to gain the greatest.

Devising a skills plan helps determine jobs that will be affected by new technologies, savings realized because of automation, categories of new skills that will be required, time span for these changes to take place.

Determining above factors helps design the training initiative that focuses on specific strategic training goals.

Evaluate and Guide Each Employee

Change always conjures fears in employees and takes them out of their comfort zones.  A well-thought-out assessment program that incorporates individual counselling and guidance can go a long way towards pacifying employee fears and assisting them move to an improved situation.

Interested in learning more about pitfalls and benefits of Upskilling, costs and ROI of Upskilling initiatives, details of the 6 phases of Upskilling Strategy?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Upskilling Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9680630868?profile=RESIZE_400xProfitability is at the core of successful businesses.  Many markets do not allow as much top-line revenue increase as the companies would like.  Therefore, organizations have to focus on improving the bottom-line.

Boosting the bottom-line entails raising Productivity.  Productivity enhancement can be achieved by eliminating redundancies and improving processes that change the company.  Process Improvement also means less people needed to accomplish the same tasks.

Change projects—as is the case with most other projects—almost always run over budget and over time, especially when new technology comes into the mix.  Causes for failures in Change Management are many and one of them is heavy and bureaucratic teams.

Raising Productivity in teams designated for change projects is well-nigh impossible.   A solution to this is Building Effective Teams by keeping teams small—a remedy that has shown its effectiveness time and again.

Smaller teams tend to communicate effectively, decide quickly, do course corrections more easily, work faster, and innovate more.

Large organizations have the tendency of deploying large teams because as the planning process goes on, the scope gets bigger and bigger.  This practice is defeating in itself because sight of the goal is lost in the bureaucratic rigmarole.

For projects to be executed swiftly and successfully the following 10 best practices for smaller, more Agile teams are very effective:

  1. Break Down Problems
  2. Eliminate Indispensable Roles
  3. Adopt One-step Decisions
  4. Foster Trust
  5. Share Information Freely & Informally
  6. Increase Visibility & Accountability
  7. Minimize Conference Calls
  8. Track Less
  9. Increase Cross-team Collaboration
  10. Adopt Technology Faster & Effectively

 Let us delve a little deeper into some of the best practices.

Break Down Problems

Dividing the project into distinct problems or separating business capabilities into converged organizational units makes it easier for smaller teams to deliver.

Assorting sizable, complex problems into discrete, attainable pieces and teaching members to develop a Problem Solving Mindset enables small teams to take them on easily and over deliver on them.

An alternate to making teams smaller without compromising on the structure of the organization is to separate business capabilities into focused organizational units. 

Eliminate Indispensable Roles

Making sure that individuals with a certain type of skill or key people are not scarce in the organization lest they get pulled by different teams at the same time. 

Essential people are wanted by all teams, consequentially their time gets split into such small chunks that no task gets done properly.  Operational risk becomes prodigious when dependent on a single person.

It is vital to work away from such scenarios in a team.

Adopt One-step Decisions

Bureaucratic way of decision-making in large teams should be avoided by identifying types of decisions and the decision-making authorities, at the outset. 

Foster Trust

Trust speeds up progress, augments quality, and diminishes execution risk.  Trust has to be built up by conscious effort.

Share Information Freely & Informally

One of the ways for effective Team Management is to keep communication swift and the only way of doing this is to keep it informal.

Interested in learning more about these best practices for Small, Agile Teams?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 10 Best Practices for Small, Agile Teams here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9662216489?profile=RESIZE_400xStrategy Development has followed a set path since the last century where a predetermined, rectilinear, and inflexible approach defined the process.

In the 21st century, however, business leaders are devising Strategy by evolving it into a probabilistic, repeated, and multifaceted process.  An approach that can both endure and adapt to the growing pace of Change and Disruption that is manifesting itself in all industries.

Using gaming, AI, unremitting execution, and adjustment, with numerous scenarios to deliberate on, leaders create “Flywheels” that successfully tackle the not so deterministic world where the future is highly uncertain.

Flywheel is a concept originally used in the power industry to explain an origin of stabilization, energy storage, and momentum.  The concept was propagated in the Strategy context by author Jim Collins.  Employing the Flywheel concept, executives are able to validate assumptions through simulations as well as in the real-world scenarios.

Rather than using past assumptions and relying on instincts, using the Flywheel Strategy, decision makers exploit the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Advanced Analytics. They model the multitude of variables and produce a sizable number of simulations that propose many strategic bets, option-value bets, and no regret moves.

Instead of numbing decision-makers with a profusion of options they created, the simulations render elucidative insights.  Also, the AI system is made more capable through learning mechanisms called Reinforcement Learning by selecting from the above strategies.

The collection of strategic choices is increased exponentially and cost of experimentation is diminished by this approach.  Decision-makers are also empowered by this tool to make better decisions.  Likewise, organizations are able to select accurate market approaches, pricing, advertising, and customer strategies for several cities and communities, over a time span.

Strategy Flywheels can be used as a basis for developing Growth Flywheels by organizations.  The Flywheel Strategy approach consists of the following 3 phases:  

  1. Sense: Market Sensing
  2. Think: Strategy Formulation and Investment Planning
  3. Act: Performance Evaluation and Learning

The dynamic and resilient Flywheel Strategy of Sense, Think, Act has 3 parts, which are based on establishing policies, contending with dynamic models within the background of environmental assumptions, and handling randomness.

Let us delve a little deeper into the 3 phases.

Sense: Market Sensing

Environmental assumptions are formulated through this procedure of extraneous Market Sensing.

Uncertainties to which probability assignment is difficult are the target of Market Sensing activity.  Most urgent strategic matters can be detected and senior leaders consistently engaged in devising a response to them by recurrently sensing extraneous market changes.

Improvements in Machine Learning and cutting-edge AI can aid in not only expanding the quantity of information scanned but also enhancing the quality of content evaluated.

Think: Strategy Formulation and Investment Planning

Conventional strategic thinking can be aided in the new way of strategizing by the 3-phase process for Gamification—Design and Build, Simulate, and Evaluate.

A stable strategy consists of a portfolio of investments and projects with diverse risk profiles.  Diverse risk profile of performance is a mix of:

  1. No-regret moves
  2. Strategic bets
  3. Option-value bets 

Act: Performance Evaluation and Learning

Performance Evaluation and Learning from the efforts has to be carried out so that improvement in proficiency to sense the market and experiment with new ideas occurs.

Interested in learning more about how Amazon and Uber used Flywheels, how the Gamification approach is used in Flywheel Strategy formulation, and what constitutes a diverse risk profile?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Flywheel Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Editor’s Note:

If you are interested in becoming an expert on Strategy Development, take a look at Flevy’s Strategy Development Frameworks offering here.  This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve.  Full details here.

Want to Achieve Excellence in Strategy Development?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Strategy Development.  Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  Click here for full details.

“Strategy without Tactics is the slowest route to victory.  Tactics without Strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

For effective Strategy Development and Strategic Planning, we must master both Strategy and Tactics.  Our frameworks cover all phases of Strategy, from Strategy Design and Formulation to Strategy Deployment and Execution; as well as all levels of Strategy, from Corporate Strategy to Business Strategy to “Tactical” Strategy.  Many of these methodologies are authored by global strategy consulting firms and have been successfully implemented at their Fortune 100 client organizations.

These frameworks include Porter’s Five Forces, BCG Growth-Share Matrix, Greiner’s Growth Model, Capabilities-driven Strategy (CDS), Business Model Innovation (BMI), Value Chain Analysis (VCA), Endgame Niche Strategies, Value Patterns, Integrated Strategy Model for Value Creation, Scenario Planning, to name a few.

Learn about our Strategy Development Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Lead1Evaluation and onboarding of outstanding leaders is anything but straightforward.  Almost all organizations have set up testing mechanisms or assessment centers to distinguish senior leadership candidates having traits that make up for Exceptional Leaders.  These assessment centers shortlist leaders based on certain indicators and criteria.

However, these assessments are not always accurate in predicting the best leaders.  At times, the entire evaluation exercise results in drafting mediocre leaders and fails to select top influencers and role models for the organization.  The traditional methods of gauging senior leaders prove inadequate based, typically, on 3 common flaws:

  • Granularity – Gauging the candidates for leadership positions using the profiles of successful leaders from the past. Those profiles are not meaningful considering the pace of change today and the future needs of the organization.
  • Long-term Focus – Assessment of candidates based on the traits required to reap the fruits of Business Strategy in 5 years’ time is another ground for not identifying the right leaders.
  • Emphasis on finding typical leadership traits – Instead of looking for traits that separate exceptional leaders from the pack, most assessments are geared towards finding typical leadership traits.

Research by PwC—spanning over a period of 10 years with a sample size of 2500 senior executives, who remained a part of C-suite successions in large organizations—reveals that the common flaws in leadership assessment methods can be confronted methodically.  To find the best C-level executives, leadership evaluations should focus on identifying candidates possessing the following 4 key traits that are typical only of the top C-level executives:

  1. Simplification & Operationalization of Complexity
  2. Drive Enterprise-wide Ambition & Change
  3. Strong Teamwork
  4. Leader Building

Let’s dive deeper into these traits.

Simplification & Operationalization of Complexity

In today’s world of disruption, organizations face new challenges on a day-to-day basis.  Exceptional leaders have the ability to process tremendous volumes of information and simplify things fairly easily.  Leaders who truly standout are well-versed in tackling confusion and learn promptly.  They are great at:

  • Interpreting complexities and creating simplified operational descriptions around them for others’ understanding.
  • Developing visions to influence people and rally them around the shared objectives.
  • Developing & implementing actionable plans to achieve objectives.
  • Developing functional and dynamic storylines encompassing the agenda that demonstrates how the company will execute its strategy. These storylines consistently remind the people to concentrate on the things that matter most to the company (e.g. customers, products).
  • Creating and disseminating robust communication plans—highlighting how their company is best suited to face the challenges of disruption—that are consistently analyzed and improved upon.

Drive Enterprise-wide Ambition & Change

People in an organization often operate in groups.  These groups consider people outside their circle as competitors or “outsiders.”  This tribal mentality is detrimental for an organization and inculcates individual thinking—focusing only on personal / group targets—and debilitates the ability to operate outside one’s comfort zone.  Exceptional leaders have the skills to:

  • Make people come out of this tribal or siloed mentality and think collectively in terms of realizing organizational objectives.
  • Understand different mindsets and know how to influence them constructively.
  • Make people realize their contribution towards the bigger, organizational perspective and work towards achieving their business unit targets rather than personal performance objectives.

Strong Teamwork

Nobody can undermine or deny the importance of teamwork.  Much has been written on the subject. However, in reality, most teams do not quite understand the spirit and commitment fundamental to develop teamwork.

Exceptional leaders:

  • Are aware of the importance of teamwork and collective leadership. They consistently challenge their people to ponder over ways to achieve not only personal but also the strategic organizational objectives.
  • Work with teams to uncover prioritized initiatives critical for organizational growth.
  • Lead their teams and make informed strategic decisions.
  • Focus more on the strategic planning front than tactical way before they reach the C level.
  • Emphasize to the teams the significance of spending time discussing / developing strategy and devising plans.
  • Focus on maximizing the effectiveness of each individual to benefit the organization.

Interested in learning more about the traits of outstanding leaders?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Exceptional Leadership here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

AI-2Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one area considered by many executives to enable Automation and steer positive growth.  A couple of years ago, most executives thought that deployment of Artificial Intelligence isn’t a big deal.  However, revamping traditional systems, implementing AI, and scaling it, in reality, is not as simple as it seems.

A survey by PwC Research in 2020, which gathered responses of 1062 business leaders, validates that scaling and industrializing AI is not straightforward at all.  Only 4% of the respondents asserted that they plan on implementing organization-wide AI in 2020.  A year earlier, the same survey revealed 20% of the executives planning to do that.  The survey shows a significant decrease in the number of senior leaders thinking of executing AI.

The reason for this dwindling interest in AI deployment is mainly because of the tough prerequisites necessary—contemplation, resources, preparedness, overhauling legacy systems, and integration of technology applications—for enterprise-wide AI implementation.

A robust AI Implementation Strategy needs to be first devised in order to assist the organizations in moving forward with their AI deployment plans.  Research reveals 5 key priorities of AI Strategy that businesses should follow to position themselves as AI leaders and reap value from Transformation in future.  These priorities not only highlight the key requirements for AI deployment but also pinpoint ways to maximize pay offs associated with the initiative:

  1. Boring AI
  2. AI-ready Workforce
  3. Responsible and Ethical AI
  4. AI Operationalization
  5. Business Model Innovation

Let’s delve deeper into a few of these key priorities.

Boring AI

One of the key reasons to employ AI, as cited by PwC research, is to automate routine administrative functions—e.g., using AI to pull information from tax forms, bills of lading, or invoices that can otherwise take up long hours of human effort.  44% of respondents revealed that AI will help them operate more efficiently.

To ensure AI adds value to the business, leaders should develop a strategy to identify the areas where AI can have a much deeper impact; build capabilities to do that; develop AI solutions, govern them, and embed them with existing systems.

AI-ready Workforce

Building or enhancing the capabilities of the workforce to become AI ready is critical today not only for technology enterprises but also for other businesses.  Organizations should identify the skills required for AI and train their people to deploy AI solutions.

However, thinking of achieving this through traditional means of offering training sessions isn’t a viable strategy to tap the opportunities offered by AI.  In addition to training people, organizations should cross-skill their people in multiple trades and provide them the opportunities to apply and hone in the skills learnt.  In fact, organizations should reward people who apply what they learn into real-time problem-solving and productivity enhancement.

Responsible and Ethical AI

AI can be perilous if adequate understanding of its responsible use and necessary procedures to protect against its risks and negative usage are not taken.  There are growing apprehensions around AI related risks e.g., biased algorithms, facial recognition tools, and deep fakes.  As per PwC survey, a large majority of respondents, using AI routinely, declared readiness in their organizations in terms of taking sufficient measures to protect against AI risks.

However, in reality most organizations are quite far from implementing controls around data and decisions generated using AI.  Just about 33% businesses mentioned having the ability to fully tackle risks associated with data powering AI, AI models, outputs, and reporting. It is imperative to have rigorous Risk Management processes in place to effectively use AI in the workplace and address the risks associated with it.   AI risks can be mitigated by integrating processes, tools, and controls needed to address AI bias, explainability, security, accountability, and ethics.

Interested in learning more about the other key strategic priorities essential for AI deployment readiness?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Artificial Intelligence Strategy: Top Priorities here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

Obstacle 1Agile is a robust approach to value creation.  More and more organizations are adopting Agile Software Development approach.

Becoming Agile is imperative to meet and exceed customer expectations and emerging business trends.  Implementing the Agile approach to Software Development leverages significant benefits, including:

  • Rapid design and development of new product and service offerings
  • Revolutionizing processes
  • Managing talent
  • Reforming organizations

However, Agile alone is not enough.  Agile Transformation can slip-up as Agile teams can stagger while working together and depending on others.  In order to become an effective Digital organization, companies have to steer clear of the obstacles that bog down the rapid progress of Agile software development.  These organizational obstacles to Agile include:

  1. Rigid Technology Architecture
  2. Poor Talent Management
  3. Lack of Product Mindset

Overcoming these barriers necessitates sincere harmonization, persistent effort, and commitment from the business and technology leadership.  Anticipating and addressing these major organizational obstacles is integral to becoming Agile.

Let’s discuss these obstacles in detail.

Rigid Technology Architecture

Using and expanding the same old codes and plugging gaps with software patches renders the IT Architecture cumbersome and unyielding, at most organizations.  Many organizations have outdated systems to manage operations and facilitate their customers.  The integration of these outdated systems with modern applications and IT architecture isn’t easy, making them inflexible.  Most of these systems and aps are inter-reliant and connected.  A small change in a code has serious implications on other connected applications.

IT executives have to consider a number of factors before modernizing their IT architecture.  These factors include potential value envisaged from the new architecture, requirement for new functionalities, risk of disruption, complications involved in the process, extent of fragmented data, and costs.  Based on thorough evaluation of these factors, executives select one of these 4 common approaches to revolutionize their IT architecture:

  • InactionThe investment in overhauling certain applications is thought to be nonviable as their impact is considered insignificant in the overall architecture.
  • IntegrateUncover the old system’s essential function / elements and connect them with modern systems using interfaces (APIs).
  • OverhaulModify the design of applications—e.g. dissecting the code into distinct, autonomous sections and eliminating any hard-coded values.
  • ReplaceDesign innovative applications and deploy latest architecture (e.g. micro-services).

Poor Talent Management

Most leaders understand the importance of finding and staffing top talent in becoming Agile.  However, outdated HR Management practices at some organizations become a major hurdle in attracting and retaining talented individuals.  The issue with IT management at most technology firms in the recent past was their shortcoming in visualizing the problems through a business perspective.  This led to the depletion of technical capabilities due to hiring of more and more people with strong business sense, but inadequate technological prowess.

Another factor compounding the talent deficit is entrusting the hiring function to external contractors by scores of IT organizations.  This practice, although, assists in staffing talent and gaining new capabilities promptly, but diverts much of the executives’ time in supervising the external contractors.  This leaves little time for them to acquire new technical skills and gives the contractors too much control over innovation.  Outsourcing the software maintenance to 3rd parties is another factor that leads to poor accountability and Talent Management.

To mitigate these issues, technology companies need to transform, strengthen their technical capabilities, eliminate dependencies on 3rd parties, and clearly define responsibilities.

Interested in learning more about the obstacles to becoming Agile?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 3 Organizational Obstacles to Agile here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9595419074?profile=RESIZE_400xBusiness and technology resources are aligned using Enterprise Architecture (EA) in order to achieve strategic results, improve organizational performance, achieve Cost Optimization and Operational Excellence, and guide departments to fulfill their central missions more efficaciously.

Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) does that for any U.S. federal agency and helps systems transcend interagency boundaries.

Planning is one of the most important elements for bringing about change in an organization, if not the most important.  Planning methodology for the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework is called Collaborative Planning Methodology (CPM).

Collaborative Planning Methodology is the next-generation successor to Federal Segment Architecture Methodology (FSAM).

Collaborative Planning Methodology encompasses 2 phases and a total of 5 steps under these phases:

Organize and Plan phase lets planners facilitate partnership between sponsors and various stakeholders in order to ascertain and prioritize requirements, explore other organizations with same needs, and devise plans to tackle the stated requirements.

Implement and Measure phase has the planners in assist role to other key personnel working to implement and monitor change related activities by supporting investment, procurement, implementation, and performance measurement actions and decisions.

Each step under these 2 phases has a number of activities that need to be completed in order to obtain the outcome for that step.  There are regular and essential iterations within and among the phases even though the phases have been displayed as successive.  Let’s discuss the key steps of the methodology in detail.

1. Identify and Validate

The objective of the 1st step is to ascertain what is required to be attained, comprehend the main drivers for change, and afterwards delineate and prioritize the goals with stakeholders and operational staff.

Key outcomes of the step include:

  • Identified and validated needs.
  • Overarching set of performance metrics.
  • Determination of who (governance) will ultimately oversee and approve recommended changes to meet those needs.

2. Research and Leverage

The aim of this step is to detect organizations and service providers who have already fulfilled or presently have requirements similar to those identified in Step 1.  This necessitates studying their experiences and outcomes in order to discover if they can be used and leveraged or whether an alliance can be created to fulfill the needs together.

Key outcomes of the step include:

  • Clear grasp on the experiences and results of other organizations.
  • Determination by sponsors regarding applicability, usage of experiences of other organizations or formation of partnerships if the other organization is also planning to fulfill similar needs.
  • Detailed analysis of alternatives.

3. Define and Plan

The purpose here is to form the integrated plan for the alterations essential to fulfill the requirements determined in Step 1.

Key outcomes of the step include:

  • Sponsor and stakeholders hold an integrated set of plans and articles outlining what is to be done, when is it to be done, what benefits will be achieved and when, and a projected cost.

4. Invest and Execute

Point of this step is to carry out investment decision and effect the changes as delineated in the Integrated Plan produced in Step 3.

Key outcomes of this step include:

  • Clear funding strategy and a decision to approve the investment of required funds.
  • Implementation of recommendations for tackling the identified needs.

5. Perform and Measure

Objective of this step is to execute operations and measure performance outcomes against established metrics.  The recently applied changes are leveraged by the organization in Performance Management.

Key outcomes of this step include:

  • Performance outcomes gauged against pre-determined metrics.
  • Production of significant outcomes e.g., feedback into planning with the view to making more adjustments in addition to what was implemented in Step 4.

Interested in learning more Collaborative Planning Methodology, its salient features, and the key activities in each step?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Collaborative Planning Methodology here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

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– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9575523281?profile=RESIZE_400xDigital Transformation in Manufacturing, or Digital Manufacturing for short, is a matter of survival now for manufacturing concerns.  Manufacturing companies desirous of survival have no choice but to hop on the Digital Transformation bandwagon, rapidly.

Business Transformation of any kind is not an easy endeavor.  Change Management of Digital Manufacturing is typically more difficult than any Change or Transformation Program that an organization may undertake.

Forming a strategy to leverage digital technologies is the 1st step in transforming a manufacturing concern towards Digital Manufacturing.  Bigger challenges are faced in strategy execution.

For Transformation execution to be effective, CEOs must reconsider almost everything about the way their companies work; for instance, establish new Business Models, reorganize their Organizational Design, and also rethink their Leadership style.

Specifically, there are 3 key pillars of Digital Manufacturing execution that need careful consideration for the Transformation to be successful:

  1. Business Model over Technology
  2. Independence of Digital Operations
  3. CEO-driven Digital Transformation

 Let us consider the key pillars a little more in detail.

Business Model over Technology

Shifting from old technology to new is easier than changing the Business Model of any concern, especially a manufacturing concern.  Customarily, manufacturers sell machinery, hand out software as complementary, and offer after sales repair and maintenance service for the machinery.

For Digital Transformation to be truly successful, the whole way of doing business has to change.  Manufacturers have to look at what they are selling i.e., outcome instead of a product.  What is important is manufacturers should be willing to do away with existing Business Models to create and capture new value.

Value creation is achievable in many ways using industrial Internet of Things (IoT) by manufacturers.  All of the avenues for value creation should be used in parallel so as to gain the largest impact.

Value created through Digital Manufacturing can be captured in 2 ways:

  1. Software as a Service and Subscriptions/Licenses
  2. Offering Success as a Service

Independence of Digital Operations

Digital operations can create a meaningful impact only when they are independent of the main business.  Independence is important but so is proper linkage with the industrial business.

Initially, understanding regarding value provided by Digital operations may be very limited in the manufacturing business therefore cooperation may be inhibited.  Finding ways to link Digital operations with the manufacturing business must cater to the requirement of understanding how the machines work.

Resistance from the manufacturing business is expected when the 2 forces combine, especially when the Digital operations grow.  Delineating who handles customer relationship and all factors associated with it, is also a question that may spring up in cooperation between manufacturing and digital operations.

Ways to obtain gains from linking vertical business and the horizontal digital function must be found.

CEO-driven Digital Transformation

Sponsor of the Digital Manufacturing initiative has to be the CEO.  Only the CEO has the influence to decide the divergences between the old manufacturing business and the new digital business.

CEOs have to drive the Digital Manufacturing shift.  Leading from the front to make everyone understand that Digital Transformation is a very serious and important endeavor.

CEOs must have the will and resolve to challenge incumbency, obliviousness, and existing state of affairs.  While remaining firm on the strategic direction, CEOs must be flexible enough to experiment, learn, and adjust course.

Interested in learning more about Digital Manufacturing?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Digital Manufacturing here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Editor’s Note: 

If you are interested in becoming an expert on Supply Chain Management (SCM), take a look at Flevy’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) Frameworks offering here.  This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve.  Full details here.

Want to Achieve Excellence in Supply Chain Management (SCM)?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Supply Chain Management (SCM).  Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  Click here for full details.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of Supply Chain activities.  It also captures the management of the flow of goods and services.

In February of 2020, COVID-19 disrupted—and in many cases halted—global Supply Chains, revealing just how fragile they have become.  By April, many countries experienced declines of over 40% in domestic and international trade.

COVID-19 has likewise changed how Supply Chain Executives approach and think about SCM.  In the pre-COVID-19 era of globalization, the objective was to be Lean and Cost-effective. In the post-COVID-19 world, companies must now focus on making their Supply Chains Resilient, Agile, and Smart.  Additional trends include Digitization, Sustainability, and Manufacturing Reshoring.

Learn about our Supply Chain Management (SCM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9570440077?profile=RESIZE_400xBusiness and technology elements are aligned by means of Enterprise Architecture (EA) so as to attain strategic results, augment organizational performance, and drive departments to deliver their central missions more efficaciously.

Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) achieves this for any U.S. federal agency and assists systems go beyond interagency boundaries.

We discuss here 1 of the 6 interconnected reference models of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework—the Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM).

IRM takes care of definition of infrastructure technology elements, as well as provides direction for promoting favorable results across technology implementations.

IRM implementation aids in:

  • Reduction of lifecycle costs through sharing and reuse, also helps in exploiting economies of scale.
  • Increased interoperability throughout the government including its partners by identification and endorsement of demonstrated industry standards and associated platforms and products.
  • Detection of pragmatic design-patterns as clusters of technology packets or blends of technologies that work well collectively to sustain efficient acquisition and deployment.
  • Efficient control and sustainment of IT assets/resources through contribution to the delivery of consolidated and measurable infrastructure services and service levels as envisaged in Enterprise Architecture Management Maturity Framework (EAMMF).
  • Supplying of realistic use cases and methods corresponding to IT capabilities to facilitate business initiatives and better access to information across enterprises.

Common Approach to Federal EA as well as Purpose and Outcome of IRM are, respectively, the root of IRM Guiding Principles.  IRM guiding principles are:

  • IRM ought to be a robust-enough taxonomy and approach to fulfill future requirements and adjust new technologies.
  • IRM must be defined with regard to technology infrastructure services put forward.
  • IRM has to be expounded as a hierarchy of IT infrastructure components.
  • IRM should be developed in such a way to promote usability, convenience, and reporting.
  • IRM should simplify interoperability and shared services.
  • IRM ought to be criteria-based, both international and national, concurrence-driven standards organizations, with numerous levels of abstraction.
  • IRM has to be accommodating of the Application Reference Model (ARM) and Data Reference Model (DRM) by touch points.

Enabled by the Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture and supported by the IRM, 4 primary outcomes of IRM include the following:

  1. Service Delivery
  2. Functional Integration
  3. Authoritative Reference
  4. Resource Optimization

IRM scope encompasses hardware, platforms, networks, and the facilities that house the infrastructure.  The 3 levels of the model include:

Level 1Domain comprises of Platform, Network, and Facility.

Level 2—Area covers 13 areas, each belonging to 1 of 3 domain elements.

Level 3—Category consists of 90 total categories and each linked to 1 of 13 areas.

The interconnectedness of the IRM domains allows analysis of IT assets throughout the 3 dimensions.

For an implementation of an IRM-based categorization of assets to be useful, additional data points should be captured.  These data points include:

  • Manufacturer of the asset.
  • Cost
  • End-of-life/end-of-support date
  • Mapping to the Security Reference Model (SRM) 

Data points classified by IRM are relevant to detecting prospects of sharing services, decreasing redundancy, and stimulating consolidation.

IRM classification can be embraced, as part of implementation, by the ensuing extensively recognized best practices, guidance, and standards, both in the public and private sectors.

Interested in learning more about the FEAF: Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM)?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on the Infrastructure Reference Model (IRM) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.  Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

9564571461?profile=RESIZE_400xDigital Transformation in Manufacturing or “Digital Manufacturing” for short is not an optional decision for companies anymore.  Manufacturing concerns that want to survive have to jump on the Digital Transformation bandwagon hastily.  Digital Manufacturing has become a prerequisite for a profitable existence even for mere survival of a manufacturing concern.

Business Transformation of any kind is difficult—more so when it is a Digital Transformation in Manufacturing.  In fact, Change Management of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing is typically more difficult than any change or Transformation program that an organization may undertake.

Not many manufacturing concerns had cognizance of the digital technologies until very recently.  Still, manufacturing concerns find it very hard to manage a successful Digital Transformation.

Digital technologies can disrupt businesses.  A Digital Transformation is not the Digitalization of an existing business.  Digital Manufacturing does not entail simply changing technologies, automating processes, taking aid of Artificial Intelligence in the process; in fact it means redefining the nature of work and productivity.

Starting a Digital Manufacturing project can be an arduous process.  Executives customarily approach this task with a lot of prudence and get caught in questions that are actually misnomers and myths, weakening the Digital Transformation process.  The 4 biggest myths about Digital Manufacturing are: 

Myth 1. Is outsourcing or partnering, to build digital capabilities, not speedier and less investment intensive? 

Myth 2. Why can the existing IT team and CIO not be used for this project instead of hiring new talent and creating a CDO position, both unaware of our business? 

Myth 3. Should each of our businesses not have individual digital capabilities tailored to their needs rather than a central digital unit that serves all businesses? 

Myth 4. Should not our approach to developing digital capabilities be phased rather than big bang?

More on these myths can be found in the PowerPoint presentation titled Challenges to Digital Manufacturing on Flevy.

Digital Manufacturing opens doors for many opportunities.  It allows the manufacturers to find ways of refining the performance and reliability of machines and increasing customer productivity through customer usage data gathered by sensors in their machines.

This approach allows manufacturers to sell outcomes rather than products.  Outcome delivery via Data Analysis and Performance Enhancement is a business opportunity worth trillions of dollars, according to a World Economic Forum study. 

Despite realizing the opportunities of Digital Manufacturing, companies find the process extremely difficult.  Digital Manufacturing has both structural as well as behavioral barriers stopping it from being successfully executed.

Manufacturers have to surpass the following 3 chief obstacles in order for them to be true Digital Manufacturers:

  1. Incumbency
  2. Talent
  3. Culture

Let us dive a little deeper into the obstacles. 

Incumbency

Rigidity is a major barrier in bringing about change.  Companies create capabilities and Business Models to succeed.  Overtime, when these capabilities and Business Models become critical for success and hard to imitate for the rivals, they transform into rigidities.  Success of such capabilities and models make the companies wary of bringing change in them.

Leaders refrain from touching projects with longer time periods as it may not show benefits during their tenures.  The reward structure in companies also encourages short-term gains to longer-term, capital intensive endeavors.  

Talent

Not many manufacturing organizations consider developing Digital Talent internally.  This leads to a dearth of key talent integral to build Digital Manufacturing capabilities.

The primary reason for this is the view that digital technology is an auxiliary function.
In-house capabilities are not developed because Digital Manufacturing requires an amalgam of personnel from the virtual sciences and the conventional engineering sciences. Both have a very different way of thinking and doing things, making it a great challenge to build them into a team.

Culture

Organizational culture at manufacturing firms is a significant hurdle in adopting digital technology.  Manufacturers have traditionally had long product-development lifecycles, long sales cycles, and a culture of constantly improving efficiency.  In order to be more digital, manufacturing concerns have to accept concepts used in the digital world e.g., agility, simplicity, and responsiveness.

Interested in learning more about the Challenges to Digital Manufacturing?”  “You can download an editable PowerPoint on Challenges to Digital Manufacturing here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Want to Achieve Excellence in Supply Chain Management (SCM)?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Supply Chain Management (SCM).  Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts.  Click here for full details.

Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of Supply Chain activities.  It also captures the management of the flow of goods and services.

In February of 2020, COVID-19 disrupted—and in many cases halted—global Supply Chains, revealing just how fragile they have become.  By April, many countries experienced declines of over 40% in domestic and international trade.

COVID-19 has likewise changed how Supply Chain Executives approach and think about SCM.  In the pre-COVID-19 era of globalization, the objective was to be Lean and Cost-effective.  In the post-COVID-19 world, companies must now focus on making their Supply Chains Resilient, Agile, and Smart.  Additional trends include Digitization, Sustainability, and Manufacturing Reshoring.

Learn about our Supply Chain Management (SCM) Best Practice Frameworks here.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library.  FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market.  They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions.  I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power.  For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients.  In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over!  The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight – it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd