Monday, October 23, 2017

Digital Management Principle: "Less is More"

Modern businesses become over-complex every day, they also add to such eco-system complexity! If we accept it is complex, somewhat unpredictable or not completely predictable, we have to accept uncertainty. Uncertainty comes with complexity. Simplicity vs complexity is an age-old dilemma even in English Grammar! Logically, simplifying the complicated thing is an optimal and smart choice either for running the business or solving a problem. "Less is more." So, what are the principles to follow in pursuit of just right simplicity?

Apply “Less is More” principle in communication: Simplicity is a behavioral attitude to see things as and what and where they are and be content and cool as it is. Often human cannot live the life with simplicity and keep making it complicated. From a business management perspective, simplicity should become the rule for communication and innovation. In fact, simplicity has a multitude of perspectives: What “the simplicity” is referred to? Is it “the simplicity from a developer’s perspective” or “simplicity from customers perspective” or “simplicity from management perspective-solution lifecycle maintenance cost perspective”., etc. “Less is more” from communication perspective means you need to speak less, observe and listen more, and truly improve communication effectiveness with empathy. Don’t forget the wise quote from the Drucker “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.”  -Peter Drucker

Comprehensive abstract: Simplicity is the design of looking for what is common for maximum reuse. Simplicity is the building blocks. There is a relationship between simplicity and clarity. Simplicity can be expressed via a comprehensive abstract. Philosophically, simplicity is the source of complication, and complications are the source of simplicity. How do you know that simplicity is "just right"? How do you know you have the minimum required complexity, as to support flexibility without hurting the support/maintenance costs? To achieve simplicity you would have to address the complexities of the subject matter. We could also talk about complexity as either "essential complexity," the complexity required to provide bare minimum functionality that is necessary to meet the needs) or "accidental complexity," which is everything else - almost. “Less is more” in architecture perspective means to remove unnecessary complexity and reveal elegance.  

“Less is more” for modern enterprise design: An organization can approach the flow zone when the positions in its hierarchy have clear, accountable tasks, ideas are shared and managed effectively, and processes are streamlined to improve organizational performance seamlessly. “Less is more” needs to become the digital principle for modern enterprise structure and design. An organization achieves the state of digital equilibrium through its management layers, resilient process, and elastic capacity. The business complexity has increased exponentially due to “VUCA” characteristics. Thus, delayering becomes a lens through which it is possible to examine and fix many other issues including bureaucracy. With simplicity, what we are adding is clarity and purpose. When tuning organizational structure, people must not forget the purpose of the effort - improving the business responsiveness to adapt to rapid changes, it means less structure, fewer rules, and regulations, high changeability and maturity.

From the digital management perspective, businesses should follow the principle of simplicity. Simplicity means or is related to too many things such as manageability, availability, scalability, flexibility, reliability, robustness, sensitivity, comprehensiveness, speed, responsiveness, etc. In fact, tuning the organizational design and structure to achieve  “Less is more” is the symbol of the digital maturity and a true evolution for the digital transformation.


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