Sunday, September 8, 2013

Does Business Endure 're-organization' too Frequently?

A business architecture approach provides a unified structure and context for further analysis.

The speed of change is accelerated, re-organization is a frequent discussion topic across most businesses nowadays, but is it an effective way to embrace or adapt to changes, some even doubt whether firms endure re-organization too frequently, what’s the best scenario to do it, how much change fatigue occurs as a result? Perhaps worse, how often change fatigue is misdiagnosed for resistance to change and investments in remedies are misdirected?

1. Doing Some Analytics First

If using the acronym VSSP (Vision-Strategy-STRUCTURE-People & Processes), and consider that it is somewhat linear, too often change management decisions are based on step three (structure) as the starting point, is it because it’s easy to change or present more visibility? Making change visible doesn't mean it's always the right way to do things. Doing some analysis first: A business architecture approach provides a unified structure and context for further analysis: 
(1) to understand the high-level functions of your organization, and 
(2) to assess the stage in a life cycle the company is at or the type of jobs that need to be done.  
(3) to ultimately guide decision making. The output would be an Operating Model, which is a representation of how IT operates across process, organization and technology domains in order to accomplish its function
(4) Moreover, a gap analysis, skills assessment, efficiency study, workflow analysis, and knowledge of trends and models that work best to meet the business goals are needed before new schemes and designs are created and agreed upon across the business and all shared services. 

2. Good Re-Organization, Bad Re-Organization

The good re-organization should dig through the real issues need to be addressed, or the real causes of changes, and prepare the change following the above analytics steps, walk through “look, listen, question, understand, plan, test and collaboration,” and take advantage of the latest technology trend such as enterprise social platform or other collaboration tools that provide a more effective way in cross-functional communication and cross-project collaboration. 

However, sometimes dealing with structural issues is not always the answer and as such, a constant re-org is probably not dealing with the real issues in the first place which could also be either HR/Culture related or Political. If the re-org didn't achieve the objective in the first place then chances are that it may have been issued in the other areas as stated.

For some management, a re-org is a way of showing they are trying to deliver value – re-org may seem to be visible for changes, but in many cases, it doesn't work out, or it shouldn't be the first step to take if practicing change management. Or many times that a re-org is a great way to "sweep" stuff under the rug and avoid having to figure out why things aren't going according to "plan." As the old adage well put, "a change is as good as a holiday"?

To put simply, re-org should be seen as just another project, not for its own sake, but justify a solid business case, subjected to reality-based cost-benefit analysis, well align people, process and technology, to make change happening not only on the structural surface, but really ensure the culture is harmonized and the right people are in the right position to take the right tasks, and organization as a whole is optimal than the sum of pieces. 


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