Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Three “K”s in Running a Digital IT

IT needs to bring insight, speed, and flexibility to help manage business complexity more effectively.

There is an inherent conflict if IT views its primary objective as standardization, rationalization, and consolidation, but nowadays at the era of digitalization, IT also means innovation, integration, and intelligence, etc. Trust is the key, which means IT needs to behave more like an integral part of the business. Besides triple “I”s - Information, Innovation, and Integration, triple “A”s - Automation, Analysis, and Agility, triple “C”s - Change, Collaboration, and Cloudification, triple “P”s - Principle, Process, and Performance, triple “E”s Enablement, Exploration, and Effectiveness & Efficiency, triple “V”s - Vision, Value, and Variety, triple “F”s - Fast, Flow, and Flexibility; triple "T" factors - Transformation, Transparency, and Talent Management; triple “S” factors: Strategy, Speed, and Simplicity; triple “D” factors - Data, DevOp, and Design; triple “Q”s - Quality, Quantity, and Questioning; triple “G”s - Gap minding, Governance, and Gauging Performance; triple “W”s -Workforce analytics, Water-Scrum-Fall hybrid model, and Wisdom management; triple “R”s - Re-imagining, Revenue-Driven, and Risk Management;  here we introduce three “K” factors in running a high-performing digital IT.

Knowledge Management (KM): Knowledge Management is the discipline of exploiting information, people, processes, mindset and collective experience, thereof, that will lead to or support the development of new skills, innovation, and understanding which in turn improves business output or business requirement. IT is critical Knowledge Management enabler. IT is generally the tools (hardware, software) that are used to enable Knowledge Management. Think of the large volumes of data & Information captured within areas of the enterprise (Marketing, Sales, Product, Support, Legal, Finance, HR, etc.); think of all the collection, coordination, categorization, mappings, and meaning that is all derived from modern IT; think of the persistence, recollection, and constant movement of large volumes of what people know, in all directions. The greatest advancements in KM in the last half century, are "all" tied to advancements in technologies and how they're used. All the knowledge in the world will not do anything unless it happens to be followed as a process enabled by IT. In the same way, every process in the world of business without the appropriate enhancement of knowledge will become out of context and pointless.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Key Performance Indicators are indicators to identify if the adopted strategy, operation, and process, etc. is working toward the objective. As such, you don't "adopt" a KPI to "achieve an outcome," you adopt a strategy or operational workflow to achieve the outcome, and you define KPIs to monitor the progress and performance. That’s the name KPI –Key Performance Indicators stand for. Business should be able to define and align Operational KPIs to Strategic KPIs for successful tracking of the effectiveness of Strategic KPIs. The effective way to track the achievement of strategic goals is to cascade those down throughout the organization with the use of operational KPIs. It is imperative that you link lower level metrics with higher level strategic objectives. That’s what most of the strategy management methodologies are all about, for example, linking your key performance indicators to other performance indicators which should link all the way back to your transactional metrics found in your source systems. Selecting the right measure and measuring it right are both art and science. KPIs influence management behavior as well as business culture, and poorly designed or implemented KPIs can be very damaging the "culture of the team" and the quality of business execution.

“KISS” - Keep it Simple Principle: Simplicity brings speed, clarity, flexibility, and productivity. It instill a management culture within IT and drive it through the organization, consolidate, integrate and optimize IT asset accordingly. Certainly the KISS principle (Keep it simple stupid!) is one to follow wherever possible. In a corporate world, you will find the attitude of complicating things in systems and procedures and people love to hang on to the complications and express how they are experts in dealing with complications. Logically, simplifying the complicated thing is an optimal and smart choice. Overcoming complication and managing complexity become one of the biggest challenges in business today. Excessive IT complexity limits innovation and historical lack of success in IT project compounds the situation. To break the mold, IT needs to rethink itself as an innovative and business leading organization composed not only of technical ‘gurus’ but rather of business ‘gurus’ who also happen to be technically proficient..

Although by nature technology is complex, IT needs to bring insight, speed, and flexibility to help manage business complexity more effectively. Business needs IT to provide better information and sufficient knowledge to achieve improved profitability, IT provides a nervous system to the business. IT also needs to measure the right things and measure them right, always keep the end in mind - to improve the business’ bottom line and top line growth.

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