No matter how clean and accessible your business documentation is, it is dead weight if it’s out of date. And this is the sad reality in many organisations today. Your business is growing, optimising, and doing things differently every day. Document maintenance becomes a nightmare. Continue reading
“We had some great documentation but it is now out of date from all the changes we made in the past years”
How many times do we put the effort into constructing something only for the projects we run to invalidate it. This is especially the case with operational documentation. Organisations get it in place for a whole host of reasons but so many just ignore updating it when they run a project which becomes a false economy as the update job will happen at some time. Once they are established in a job, the organisation forgets that useful asset and ignores it when they make changes to the way they work.
So you are embarking on an operational documentation review. The reasons can vary: an upcoming audit, a standardization mandate from above, or more efficient knowledge transfer. No matter what the case, the task doesn’t exactly scream “sexy” but it needs to be done and it needs to bring solid results. Continue reading
With the pending end to the year and a new financial year starting for many of our clients I pose this question to you: why is it that the business cycle for strategy and budgets must so often be annual? We see so often in the corporate landscape that firms aligned decisions processes to artificial cycles driven by financial reporting. Good ideas have to wait until they match the budget and finance cycle and in my view (as well as possibly many others who felt trapped by this before) this just does not make sense. I have written on this topic before (“Same procedure as every year”) and I strongly believe it is time that organisations break the annual cycle deadlock.
These are provocative questions but relevant in so many places in IT and business. Many of of us hearing the terms capability maturity measurement (CMM) will immediately switch off, but please keep reading, I promise not to be as boring as the average CMM survey in this blog entry!
We have seen these methods applied across many business and IT processes in recent years. For a while every organisation wanted to be CMM rated to the top level 5 in all sorts of areas – disaster and business continuity planning, development processes, data management, IT security and many others. Just recently I have seen the latest offerings in supplier and vendor management approached in the same way. For a time every senior manager pushed by consultancies was jumping on the bandwagon of assessment. One can wonder how many initiatives in this area have now been assigned to the archives or are gathering dust somewhere. Having said this, I don’t believe that the need has gone away even if the latest fashions have moved on to other areas.
We have discussed extensively on this blog the selection of solutions and their alignment to business processes, but an aspect of IT strategy that must not be overlooked is the consideration of suppliers and the active management of vendors to fit the strategy.
One of the main problems with those facing change within their IT structure is the lack of commitment to a great IT strategy. Simply put, unless you follow through and commit to your strategy, it will never get done.
Going into companies as a IT consultancy, I have seen all sorts of manifestations of this – mainly in a reluctance to let go of old systems. The task of assessing old servers kept in broom cupboards, personal databases operating outside of the main corporate framework, through to racks of servers in data centres still running ancient hardware is often a daunting one. It is likely that nobody knows exactly what is where and how accurate data can be extracted.