Thursday, October 20, 2022


Only initiatives that support the value achievement should be implemented.

Business is nowadays complex, to manage business initiatives successfully, the logical scenario and different information are needed to achieve high performance. The more stakeholders can impact a business initiatives seriously, the better chance the change will exceed the business expectations. 

Most of the common failures of business initiative management are due to a disconnect between the customers’ true needs & wants, and that business is getting ready to deliver. How to leverage the priorities of different stakeholders is strategically critical to improve business effectiveness to solve the right problems and build business competency.

It’s crucial to leverage the architecture view, to ensure the business initiative fits for the big picture of organizational transformation:
Any initiative, even a very technical one, should have a business objective associated with it. Behind many critical business initiatives, there are numerous points-of-view and reference points of varying stakeholders. Theoretically, every business initiative is to solve a certain problem and achieve a certain value. However, in management practice, many well-intentioned business initiatives don’t deliver the expected value because any business initiative involves a certain degree of risk in it. 

There are various reasons for business initiatives getting lower than expected business results. It’s important for such initiatives to be backed up by executive sponsorship and commitment and advocated by leadership. Business architecture is an effective tool to govern by providing business knowledge and context; finding the prioritization mechanism based on defining the risks, constraints, and trade-offs that a business faces. Insightful architecture can lead formal business requirements initiative by performing stakeholder needs analysis; enterprise system requirements development and management. It also helps to define the priorities in a logical and visible fashion; provides a holistic understanding of intentions and goals of varying business initiatives, and analyzes all critical success factors accordingly to ensure the overall portfolio management effectiveness.

It’s important to leverage finance discipline to make sure that the business initiative can be managed on time, on budget to create expected value:
Companies should always align these business initiative decisions with well-established principles of financial management. Return on investment value proposition should be an overall measurement based on the combination of cost, schedule, quality, performance, and satisfaction of the various stakeholders. Besides financial return, business initiative ROI is expanding into other less measurable, but no less tangible areas that cannot be measured fully in time or dollars.

In reality, many business initiatives fail because the management under-estimates costs, over-estimates revenue. Any business initiative is a corporate investment; analyzing the data is also critical to understanding the measurements. A set of qualitative and quantitative performance indicators should show a clear link to business management between business initiative and value generation, enhance finance discipline and improve return on investment.

It’s critical to leverage system views to ensure business initiative portfolio management can build cohesive organizational capabilities: The initiative portfolio is a significant component to build business capabilities for enabling organizational growth and maturity. The ability to define multiple sub-portfolios and views gives each of the stakeholders their unique view into business initiatives, programs in their area of interest. The effective portfolio management systems can support a holistic view of the enterprise through their user-defined capabilities, to achieve finely tuned business value.

Often, those business initiatives at the strategic level are not isolated, but require a holistic management approach. System view helps the business management see interdependence of business functions, interconnection of different pieces; allow gap identification, enhance portfolio rationalization or risks mitigation, etc. Every business initiative needs to solve certain problems. Companies with an effective business initiatives portfolio management can translate strategic goals into business initiatives, to develop business capabilities, and integrate them into cohesive competencies.

It’s important to keep eyes on what matters, identify what generates the most value for the company and express that in strategic objectives, analyze potential pitfalls, and set the right priority. Only initiatives that support the value achievement should be implemented. Besides best practices, lessons learned are always important to improve business initiative management effectiveness and produce high performance results with consistency.


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