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Chapter 6 - From Silo to System: An Integrated Approach to Transformation

Recommendation #1: Work in cross-functional, multi-disciplinary teams

Rather than working in silos, consider working in cross-functional teams on processes that cut across the internal organization as a whole. McKinsey recommends setting up processes based upon the customer journey, as that is a natural example of an organizing principle that requires multi-disciplinary teams. In both of the above examples, Mavim’s customers did just that. Processes were specifically defined in order to drive customer-facing business results. In case study #1, that resulted in less handling overall and fewer customer touchpoints. In case study #2, the supermarket were able to deliver the products that the customer wanted (sandwiches & energy drinks) at a location that maximized efficiency for both internal operations and the customer. Both companies were adamant that such results were only possibly through the collaboration of a diverse group of individuals who were assigned to processes designed to deliver customer satisfaction.

Recommendation #2: Approach Business & IT Management disciplines holistically

Just as with organizational silos, isolated approaches to disciplines such as Business Process Management, Application Portfolio Management, Enterprise Architecture, Project Portfolio Management and Governance, Risk & Compliance contribute to organizational inertia. The future of these disciplines is not only holistic, but business facing. This means that supporting technology needs to be able to provide functionalities across the entire diversity of disciplines on a level of abstraction that is easy for management and non-IT users to consume. In both case studies, Mavim was utilized to facilitate the integration of multiple business & IT management disciplines in one platform. For both organizations, this created transparency into existing capabilities and insight into the impact of change. The combination of these themes on one platform created a way to engage the leadership team of each organization in a conversation about different approaches, the necessary capabilities, and how to prioritize them.

Recommendation #3: Drive alignment between strategy and execution

Creation of a digital business strategy and supporting initiatives is only a first step towards effective transformation. In most instances, innovative initiatives require new roles, processes, technologies, skills, and resources. Yet, the new capabilities in which a company invests must contribute to stakeholder value. In both case studies, the organizations utilized Mavim to create a context wherein innovative initiatives could be visualized, prioritized, monitored and improved. This made their projects (and entire change portfolios) less susceptible to running out of time, budget, and scope. As illustrated by Case Study #2, it was not only about coming up with the idea to deliver the products in a more convenient way, but about understanding the impact that would have on the organization’s finite resources and existing processes. Ultimately, driving alignment between strategy and execution is about creating a measure a predictability and a way to assess the impact of innovative initiatives on an organization.

Recommendation #4: Invest in technology platforms, not point solutions

Platform technology is necessary in order to support sustainable transformation. Consider this problem from Case Study #1. The previous “owner” of IT had spent two decades developing app on top of app on top of app to meet the needs of the business. In every instance, the priority was getting the app live and functional for the customer. The integration, the people, reports, processes were always second priority and often disappeared from the agenda completely as new problems emerged. Not only was the existing IT landscape draining the company’s financial resources, but they were clearly devoting massive amounts of time to creating one-off solutions. The lack of a common platform and the lack of a systematic approach was driving the company towards bankruptcy. Using apps and point solutions exclusively are inefficient, costly and diminish an organization’s efforts to become agile.

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