Exploring an IT Operating Model for Enterprise 2.0 – Part 3: Process Management


In Part 1 of this series, I suggested that the implications of Enterprise 2.0 for the IT organization are dramatic.  I also suggested that the ways of designing and executing an IT Operating Model in a Web 2.0 context are quite different from traditional approaches.  In Part 2, I outlined the major elements of an IT Operating Model as being:

  • Processes – how we perform activities that deliver predictable and repeatable business results through competent people using the right tools.
  • Governance – how we make and sustain important decisions about IT.
  • Sourcing – how we select and manage the sourcing of our IT products and services.
  • Services – our portfolio of IT products and services.
  • Measurement – how we measure and monitor our performance.
  • Organization – how we structure and organize our IT capabilities.

In the next series of posts we will consider how these elements can be dramatically improved with Web 2.0 capabilities.

Web 2.0 and Process Management

Process Management, including all phases of process design, deployment, automation, including work flow and continuous improvement, are well-served by collaborative approaches and Web 2.0 tools.  With minor add-ons, SharePoint plus some creative use of Wikis works well for most aspects of process management.  Furthermore, once you are in a browser and on the web, you have access to a plethora of collaborative tools that are helpful when performing process management work, including project management, mind mapping, polling, voting, training and communicating, financial modeling, drawing, 3-D modeling, and so on.  Cheap, and in many cases free, these tools let you create a productive environment, or even a “process management toolkit” for reengineering your IT operating model.

Microsoft, in their “People-Ready Process” approach to Business Process Management argue (appropriately, in my opinion) that you don’t need to standardize on a single tool – the needs and preferences of analysts, process owners, architects, and so on, as well as the tools with which each may be familiar, will vary.  Also, most of these Web 2.0 tools are evolving rapidly, so focus more on the techniques and building the skills, while being prepared to switch or upgrade tools as the market allows.  (Obviously, you need to work closely with your collaboration managers and enterprise architects to ensure they are well informed about what you are doing, and that you don’t create any ‘unpleasant surprises’ for them or the IT operations environment!)

Graphic courtesy of Microsoft People-Ready Process: Collaborative Process Design

Not Just About IT Processes!

Note that while my primary intent and focus for this series of posts is using Web 2.0 approaches in the design and deployment of IT Operating Models for an Enterprise 2.0 world, the same approaches apply to Enterprise 2.0 business process management.  However, I generally feel that the IT organization is well served “doing unto themselves” before they go too far “doing unto others”!  This is a matter of both need (i.e., IT organizations need a healthy dose of collaborative process management!) and experience (i.e., IT organizations should gain some first hand experience in the approaches before they plunge into business process management 2.0!).

Not Just About Web 2.o Tools

As IT professionals, we inevitably gravitate towards the tools, but collaborative approaches bring so much more than useful tools.  I find that with collaboration, it is so much easier to follow agile methods – thereby delivering value sooner.  It also brings the issues of organizational and cultural change to the foreground.  It is an old cliche that “people don’t resist change – it’s being changed that they abhor!”  By bringing a broader swath of stakeholders into end-to-end process management, the challenges of process deployment, adoption and ongoing refinement are significantly reduced.  People are far more engaged in their processes, including their design, use and improvement.  Furthermore, the rapid, iterative methods afforded by such collaborative approaches also facilitate a “design for implementation” approach – helping eliminate design flaws up front, and to iron out kinks faster than traditional methods allow.

Tell us about your experiences with collaborative business process management.  What’s worked well for you?  What not so well?  What have been the benefits?  What have some of the impediments been?

Cartoon courtesy of Doug Savage, Savage Chickens

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3 thoughts on “Exploring an IT Operating Model for Enterprise 2.0 – Part 3: Process Management

  1. Pingback: Exploring an IT Operating Model for Enterprise 2.0 – Part 4: IT Governance « IT Organization Circa 2017

  2. Vaughan you talk about operating model. Is this the model Gartner refers to as “Operating Model” (Central Federated Decentralised)? or are you referring to a Target Operating model, sorry confused

    Reply
    • Sorry to have confused you! Central, Federated, Decentralized could be thought of as types of Operating Model, though those labels really don’t tell you much – and most IT Operating Models are in fact hybrid combinations of these (e.g., central IT Infrastructure, federated business relationship management and governance and decentralized responsibility for purely local applications.)

      So, when I refer to an IT Operating Model, I’m talking about all the aspects of how IT “operates” across the enterprise. This could be a way of describing the current state ‘reality’ or a ‘target’ IT Operating Model. Most of this series of posts was about a target model.

      For more on this, please see the other parts of this series of posts.

      Reply

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