Saturday, January 25, 2020

Allocating Business Capital Scientifically

The capital and resource allocation (money, focus, time, and people) commitment will be fuzzy until the key challenges are understood and agreed upon. 
We are moving from a considerably static industrial age with information scarcity to the digital age with knowledge abundance. To adapt to the increasing pace of changes and fierce competition, it is important to create a dynamic business environment that enables information and knowledge flow frictionlessly, evaluates and allocates business capital based on strategic management perspectives and executes the business strategy effectively.

The management's vision as stated through the mission statement and strategy: The strategy is nothing but the answer to the question where the capital and resources should be allocated to get the max leverage for the advancement. Most businesses start with a vision and establish a set of strategies to achieve it. But plans are nothing, planning is everything in today's dynamic business environment. The assessment of business current statement needs to include pure health check techniques, customers feedback, business partner relationship analysis, cost estimations which includes operational cost, financials, vendor cost, people cost, process optimization cost, technology update cost, as well as those key elements which can be applied to give a holistic picture of what is working or not in order to allocate capital and resource scientifically and reach the "future statement"  in a step-wise manner.

The capital and resource allocation (money, focus, time, and people) commitment will be fuzzy until the key challenges are understood and agreed upon. The executive team needs to provide a clear vision to the staff, share the differentiating recipe for how their strategic approach will accomplish "goals" that exceed those of their competitors, allocate capital and resources scientifically, and then decide how best to reach it for implementing the strategy smoothly.

Whether the product/service set and roadmaps are consistent with the strategy: Most of the time the so-called "strategy" document only gives the goals and objectives but does not state the roadmap or path to achieve the goal. The best-managed companies and those that achieve long-term success, nearly always evolve their vision, mission, strategy, goals with the changing times and market conditions. Business management needs to ensure the risks and assumptions are understood and manageable, and they have enough capital, resources, and necessary skills to implement the business strategy;

It’s critical to make a roadmap that is consistent with the strategy, set goals for capability shaping and competency building through capital allocation, portfolio rationalization, enterprise architecture roadmaps, operational reliability metrics/dashboard, and people management, etc. Organizations that achieve seamless alignment, integration, collaboration, and synchronization will outperform their competitors and tend to be highly responsive to the business dynamic and achieve high-level organizational maturity.

How effectively the strategy has been articulated internally and externally: With the very characteristics of digital new normal such as hyperconnectivity, interdependence, fast pace of changes and continuous disruptions, the strategy needs to be articulated both internally and externally; strategic alignment means that the strategic intent of the business can be understood, both within the organization and the ecosystem.

It's important to analyze total cost, total value, and total impact in order to improve the success rate of strategy management. There is a concept of the “golden thread” that can link the business strategy to investment goals or business benefit, allocate the multiple capitals for enabling strategy implementation, developing and nurturing business potential and performance. The more effortlessly you can guide, align, integrate, and optimize important business elements such as people, process, and technology, the closer you can implement the strategy smoothly.

Employees' ability to execute consistently over time:
Today’s knowledge workforce includes many tangible and intangible factors. Running a high-performance business needs to allocate business capital effectively. Besides financial capital, there are all sorts of capital: Human Capital including all the talent, competencies, and experience of employees and managers. Information Capital including all data which can be refined into business knowledge and insight. Structural Capital including knowledge, processes, software and intellectual property. Relationship Capital including all key external relationships that drive business growth, with customers, suppliers, partners, and financing partners, to name a few. Etc.

In finance dominant organizational culture, people have been called human costs, human resources, human assets, and human capital. Human Capital does make sense within the context of the goals of a company. To compete, businesses rely so much on their people assets or human capital, to reach their goals and succeed. It is an investment that is needed in order to achieve the business goal and build a competitive advantage.

Valuation based on financial metrics and projections for future revenues, cash flows, and income: Make sure the executive team first understands what it needs to drive future business growth and improve cash flow. Put the framework in place to map the strategic objectives into KPIs and then determine what capital investments will accelerate the changes you want to see in your KPIs, and make the evaluation based on financial metrics and project future revenue.

Measurement is always the means to an end, not the end itself. Define how you will measure success in meeting that purpose and vision. and revenue growth. The overall value achieved has to be judged at the enterprise level considering the overall satisfaction over each combination of cost, schedule, performance, and satisfaction of the customer, user, and stakeholders consider important to them.

As organizations are at a different stage of the business lifecycle, they have their focus, and they should have their own set of specific and measurable goals and objectives. It’s critical to allocate business capital effectively, mind resource and investment gap seamlessly, and enforce a holistic resource management discipline to unlock the organizational performance, potential, and competency.


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