Published: Acme Building Materials Case Study
Jun08

Published: Acme Building Materials Case Study

We are proud to announce that SEAS Inc. has published the Acme Building Materials Case Study to the Apple Book store on May 31, 2014. View the iTunes page here. The book is available for download to your iPad or Mac iBooks application free of charge.  The book has an introductory video and several interactive components that facilitate learning. SEAS launched the Case Study on May 15, 2013 by developing problem text for a fictitious company called Acme Building Materials, the original post can be found on this link.  SEAS selected a handful of members to provide thought leadership to solve the business problems facing ABM and develop an answer key. The simulation exercise has been a rewarding experience for the participants and we believe the answer key adds substantial insights to a methodical way to solve complex business problems similar to ABM’s.  The answer key progresses through a structured method to identify all the problems facing ABM and evolves an answer key with the following sections: Executive Summary – Includes cost-benefit analysis with $7M ROI of $1.8M spend, $5M in increased Revenues and $2M in Cost Reduction Situation Analysis – Demonstrating a structured method for identifying and focusing on the problem domain Innovation & Strategy Assessment – Demonstrating the health check of Strategy & Innovation with a roadmap People Assessment – Demonstrating the health check assessment for people & change management with a roadmap Enterprise Architecture Assessment – Demonstrating the health check assessment for EA with a roadmap ABM Turn-Around Roadmap – Demonstrating a comprehensive 2-year roadmap, 3 phases, 3 disciplines, and 2 work-streams: strategic and tactical SEAS thanks the authors, contributors, reviewers, and editor of this case study for their outstanding efforts. Those individuals have put in numerous hours pouring over the information, analyzing, questioning, and developing the answer key. Special thanks to Jeffrey Phillips, VP of Marketing at OVO, for writing the book’s foreword. Jeffrey shares his insights on Innovation and Change Management and the importance of managing change holistically. We hopes that you find the case study insightful and would love to hear from you. We encourage you to rate the book and write a review on the Apple Bookstore. You can also share your thoughts on our LinkedIn group. Happy...

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Gamification: Moving beyond, points, badges and leader boards.
Mar26

Gamification: Moving beyond, points, badges and leader boards.

Leveling, point-tracking, and bonuses can recognize and reward desired activity. Leaderboards and progression indicators can steer individuals to the next tier of personal and business performance. Quests and countdowns can shape behavior. It’s all part of gamification, and it’s having a real impact on businesses worldwide. Gartner predicts that by 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations. Gamification can instill challenge, pay-off, and new perspective into day-to-day tasks, tapping into the same human instincts that have led to centuries of passionate competition and engagement – our innate desire to learn, to improve ourselves, to overcome obstacles, and to win. As business becomes increasingly social, our professional and consumer lives are being built using digital interactions. This momentum can be tapped to improve performance by embedding gaming mechanics into traditional processes. Increasing individual engagement in work, team, and outcomes is a common business goal, and games have proven to be one of the most influential teaming and communication activities across generations and cultures. Organizations can harness gaming principles to improve morale, influence behavior, and get stakeholders passionately engaged in everything from finance, sales, HR, manufacturing, and more. Gamification and Enterprise Architecture From my perspective the work which I like to do and excel in is, Enterprise Architecture. It’s a practice which has to be adopted by the whole organization to steer its state for future success. This success from EA point of view is deep rooted within the holistic collaboration of the whole enterprise, which includes not just the organization but players beyond its boundaries such as partners, suppliers, vendors, market e.t.c. The composite consolidation of the knowledge which each player has, is what shapes an Enterprise and how it performs within a global space. The more closely this collaboration is integrated the better results an Enterprise bears. In the gamification method, every player from all vertical and horizontals of the business, have the opportunity on hand to share their knowledge and propose design of the overall organization/enterprise from their point of view. As a result organizations has a potential to enhance their outputs incrementally. In the world of EA, the fundamental work depends on sound building blocks of and organization. These building blocks if I may sound deviated for the actual practice, are mix of People, process, technology and information, which an organization owns as its most important assets. So if we agree on the above the proposal ahead of embedding gamification into EA practice, can play a major role into future EA works.   How to Gamify Enterprise Architecture? In an organization where EA practice is being followed,...

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eGovernment – Success or Failure
Jan28

eGovernment – Success or Failure

This paper – eGovernment – Success or Failure – describes why eGovernment projects succeed or fail and what can be done do to prevent failure. eGovernment projects tend to need substantial tax money funding. To have a dollar well spent, it is required that stakeholders create the right environment. eGovernment projects need to be reality-checked all through the design, implementation and operation. It is essential for the success of eGovernment projects that the design team build profound knowledge of the gaps between reality and desired outcome. These gaps are related to eight dimensions: information, technology, processes, objectives and values, staffing and skills, management systems and structures, other resources, and the outside world. It is necessary to take measures towards closing the gaps as early as possible. Most countries have engaged into eGovernment initiatives. Where some eGovernment implementations have been successful, others have failed in achieving their objectives, ranging between: Success: most stakeholder groups attained their major goals and did not experience significant undesirable outcomes. Partial failure: major goals were not attained or there were significant undesirable outcomes. Total failure: the initiative was never implemented or was implemented but immediately abandoned. There is little data available about the rates of success and failure of eGovernment, but according to some studies, 60 to 80% of eGovernment projects fail. To prevent an eGovernment project failure, we need to understand why they fail. Every project has gaps between the design and the current state. A key factor to success or failure is the level of difference between the current reality and the model/conception and assumptions built into the project’s design. The larger the gap, the greater the risk of failure. If the gap between design and reality can be reduced, the risk of eGovernment failure can be reduced. Three archetypes of eGovernment failure are identified that highlight the need for better communication between those who need to use and operate the system, and those who are brought in to design it: Hard-soft gaps – Most governmental organisations are dominated by ‘soft’ factors – people, politics, emotions and culture. eGovernment systems tend to get designed according to harder notions of machinery, rationality and objectivity thereby missing the soft factor of government services. Private-public gaps – Many IT systems have been designed in the private sector and shoehorned into a public sector reality which operates very differently. These differences are large and the likelihood of failure is high. Country context gaps – Infrastructure and mind-sets are very different across the world. A system designed for one country may not suitable for another country eGovernment Dimension Model or eGDM provides an understanding of the gaps that can exist...

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ABM Case Study – Strategy Approach Update
Dec13

ABM Case Study – Strategy Approach Update

While developing the strategy of any enterprise, the current-state analysis is one of the key inputs to determine where the enterprise stands. The strategy formulation begins with strategic intelligence gathering and analysis of markets, competitors, technology, and past performance. This provides an information base for strategic decision-making, a common vision for the future, and a profile of the environment in which strategic decisions are made. Typically, the PESTLE and SWOT techniques are used to identify the external and internal issues, challenges and opportunities for an organization. For the ABM Case Study, the Kepner-Tregoe’s Situation Analysis method was used to identify and analyze the issues the organization has been encountering over the years. The Situation Analysis helped the team clarifying the concerns and identifying the actions required along with the seriousness and urgency of the identified concerns. The team initially categorized the next best actions under the headings of strategy & innovation, business, process and people. However, it was soon realized that a strategy layer needs to be built between ABM concerns and the next best action as no measurement criteria was built to determine the success of the next best actions. The absence of a formal ABM strategy was also highlighted in the Situation Analysis. The team agreed to use the Balanced Scorecard Approach to derive the enterprise objectives from the concerns and challenges identified during the Situation Analysis. The Balanced Scorecard Approach can be leveraged for strategy cascading by using top-down approach. At the same time, the same approach is used for the strategy implementation by adopting bottom-up implementation. The bottom-up approach is more about showing the cause-and-effect relationship among all the four perspectives (resources, processes, customer & financial) of Balanced Scorecard. The Situation Analysis indicates that the root cause of the ABM problems more about resources. This includes, low employee motivations & satisfaction resulting in key executives leaving the organization, unavailability of core decision support and report capabilities and learning & growth opportunities. Once the organization makes gains in these areas it will improve the internal operations including the innovation management, change & communication management, capacity planning and customer management etc. The capabilities enhancement in the resource and process areas will have direct and positive impact on the customers (image, satisfaction, loyalty) that will result in financial stability and growth. The team will continue finalizing the organizational objectives, KPIs, critical success factors and initiatives for short, medium and long...

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ABM Case Study Situational Analysis Update
Dec09

ABM Case Study Situational Analysis Update

The SEAS’ Consulting team participating in the ABM Health Check Engagement Simulation completed its Situation Analysis phase.  The team worked diligently across the three streams of Strategy & Innovation, Enterprise Architecture, and Change Management to examine, analyze, collate, and document its findings. The team used Kepner-Tregoe’s Situation Analysis (SA) method to complete the analysis of all issues and enumerated 53 major issues which translated into 73 clarified concerns.  The 73 concerns were further rationalized (eliminating redundancies and consolidating issues with single action to resolve) into 51 specific and prioritized concerns classified by priority, importance, & growth.  Each of the individual streams: Innovation & Strategy, Enterprise Architecture, and Change Management were pegged against these 51 concerns specifying which stream, or practice, leads the resolution of the concern and which streams, or practices, receive the analysis to complete its downstream work. As an example, one of the 51 specific concerns was: “Production Schedules/Forecasts are not used during sales cycle for new commitments.” This concern was prioritized as Seriousness (H), Urgency (H), Growth Trend (Increasing).  It was then assigned to  Business Architecture (EA) to lead its resolution.  The output of this effort will feed the Change Management team to work on the People aspect of resolving this concern such as Training & Communication.  Finally Technology Architecture (EA) will be the recipient of the output from Business Architecture & Change Management team to define the target Architecture for addressing this concern. In the coming few weeks the three streams will complete their analysis of the top concerns and develop the associated roadmaps.  Once that phase completes the consulting team will work on consolidating the deliverables into one body of work that rationalizes the analysis and proposes one roadmap as an output of the Health Check engagement. The consulting team will be posting their individual updates in the coming week to share with the society their findings and experience thus far with the case study. Stay tuned for progress as we continue our journey in solving ABM’s Business...

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Building Strategic Process Architecture
Nov05

Building Strategic Process Architecture

Now a days companies are developing Process Architecture (PA) under the overall umbrella of organization’s Enterprise Architecture initiative. PA is an important architectural element for any organization which has to be done with proper planning and followed by strong methodologies. But before doing that what do we actually mean by the PA, what is its definition and how does it actually helps organizations in their decision making, be it strategic or tactical. There are many definitions for PA and each of them different perspective addressed: 1. The architecture of the business processes of an enterprise is defined as the type of processes it contains and the relationships among them . [Barrow 2007] 2. Process architecture is the picture that says what process types there are in the organization and what there dynamic relationships are: a network of instance at work, all operating at the same time, some activating others and some interacting [Ould 2005] 3. Process architecture is a methodology for identifying and aligning and organization’s key business processes against business requirements and to determine how to organize and implement formal process management [performance Design lab 2011] 4. Process architecture is a schematic that shows the ways in which the business processes of an enterprise are grouped ad inter-lined [Frolov, et al.2009] 5. Process architecture is the structural design of the general process systems and applies fields such as computers (software, hardware, networks etc.) business processes (enterprise architecture, policy and procedures, logistics, project management and any other process system of varying degrees of complexity [Dawis, et al, 2001]   The above definitions though proposed by different thought leaders but each of them is targeting mix of business areas. Although none is wrong but it doesn’t show unique form which can be used as baseline definition for PA. For me PA , it has to have all the aspects of process design to make PA genuinely a value added architectural block for EA. So this is how I see it ” PA is an architecture building block consisting of (people, process, information and technology) PPIT in an integrative arrangement, defined through strategic and tactical relationships between  PPIT “ Having said that PA has its AS-IS and TO-BE state, both are to be developed from organizations strategic and tactical direction’s perspective. There has to be two main objectives of the PA development for organizations: a)      To satisfy customers demands b)      To achieve more efficient processing A sound and consistent strategic PA has following attributes which must be inline and should be defined in structural manner 1. Business Events: All the business events which are occurring for current state or which may occur in anticipated future, should be...

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