Monday, January 22, 2018

How to Embed Prioritization Mechanism into The Multitude of Digital Management Disciplines

The challenge of digital management is to set the priority right in strategy execution and manage the tactics with efficiency.

Modern businesses often get trapped into “busyness,” overwhelmed with too many business initiatives, and overloaded with short-term business concerns and continuous digital disruptions. The reality is that there are a lot of things that can go wrong and it is not always easy to identify what is important.

To enhance its business effectiveness and maturity, how can organizations embed prioritization mechanism into the multitude of management disciplines to improve organizational responsiveness and overall business maturity?

The organizational structure management: Flatter structures will help speed up organizational response to changing markets and enable the business to break down the silo, and prioritize works more effectively. High mature digital organizations integrate organizational design (OD) into the process design and organizational re-engineering, embed the prioritization mechanism into performance management, to enable employees to do their work more productively. Tuning the organizational design and structure to achieve a high level of autonomy is the symbol of digital maturity. From a prioritization management perspective, the effective reorganization should dig through the real issues need to be addressed, or the real causes of changes, and prepare the change following the following logical steps “look, listen, question, understand, plan, test and collaboration,” and provide a more effective way for cross-functional communication and cross-project collaboration. Digital makes an impact on the speed to run the business, the empathy to their people, the prioritization skills to get important things done, and the orchestration of their capability in high mature digital organizations. Ideally, the physical organizational structure, relationships, and virtual platforms and social connections wrap around each other to ensure clear responsibility, smooth information flow, and engaged workforces who can set the right priority to accelerate performance.

Innovation management: Organizations have limited resources, but there are so many things that need to be achieved. Many businesses took a big bite of resources to keep the lights on, only left very little for doing innovation. Thus, resource management becomes an important prioritization management discipline to improve innovation effectiveness and efficiency. The resource needs to be assigned scientifically, to make sure that the company can manage people, assets, and resources to meet the business goals for innovation. Prioritization is also a sort of “balance” skill, to know when to take the gas pedal to harness innovation and when to take the brake to control the risks. Embed prioritization mechanism into digital innovation management is about how to strike the right balance between increasing productivity and encouraging innovation; between setting the standard and let “out-of-the-box” thinking flow; between risk management and risk tolerance; between discovering the new way to do things and “we always do things like that;” and it’s about optimizing control and improving working performance.

Performance management: Organizations need to both “keep the lights on” and focus on long-term business performance as well. The best way to find the balance between working on the business while doing business is to optimize the process - create a rhythm of meetings that establish clarity around the top priorities of the company. Embedding prioritization mechanism into performance management is about how to take a well-defined approach to define strategic goals and measurements, cascading them out to frontline teams, using clear methodologies and personnel to effect improvements, making regular reviews to chart the progress and fine-tuning efforts, and then review those priorities on a regular basis. The pitfall is that often the top managers haven’t done enough to set the right priority and communicate strategies thoroughly with employees. Without effective communication and prioritization skills, the gaps only enlarge. More specifically, the Balanced Scorecard Framework is a great prioritization mechanism for selecting, scoping, and aligning specific business initiatives to overall strategic objectives and the budget. It is also very useful for facilitating discussions and ensuring management for understanding the various trade-offs, put these key success enablers in the spotlight for all team members, and unify their efforts to achieve the common performance goals.

The challenge of digital management is to set the priority right in strategy execution and manage the tactics with efficiency. Prioritization management is not so easy. From a change management perspective, it is difficult to take the decisions in which order do the changes and prioritize between changes. It is important to prioritize things, make use of clear targets, communication and embed prioritization mechanisms into the multitude of management to unlock performance and unleash digital potential.


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