Thursday, March 28, 2013

Power, Process, Project, People - Force Three

I will now continue with my series about Power, Process, Project and People. After touching Power and Process. The next thing I will now explore is Project and to once again repeat the definition of the Oxford Dictionaries: An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim. There is plenty of material available in various forms defining and framing project management and project as such, but for the moment I stick to this very simple definition.

To change and move one organization from one state into another projects are the most common approach to achieve that transition. In most cases they have a more or less well defined goal which the project aims for. Each and every project is constrained by various aspects (the most famous representation of these constraints is the iron project triangle, which I might return to). Besides the positive effect of moving the organization any given project also carries some negative side effects, because the organizational change the projects cause are changing the basis for the people who are used to work in that context. Professional Change Management approaches try to cover up for that, but it is not always the most easy thing to be successful with.

So how do I utilize GLUE with respect to this? First of all I use the GLUE Divisions:

  1. Destinations looks at To-Be
  2. Discovery looks at the Transition between As-Is and To-Be
  3. Defence looks at As-Is
Then I use an adaption of Tom Graves SCAN Framework:
  1. EPIC SCAN for Defence
  2. WISE SCAN for Destination
  3. PACE SCAN for Discovery
And then I analyze the flow of information through the GLUE SPACE with a special focus on the information flow between the GLUE Divisions by adding the GLUE Disciplines and GLUE Decks.

Actually all information which is floating through the GLUE circulatory system belongs to at least one project with the aim to somehow transform the organization. Being a part of the project in one way or the other, somehow related to and working myself deeply inside some of them does to the trick. Getting engaged and walking the talking helps to secure that a given project is moving from As-Is to To-Be in the right speed. The closer I stay to the project the more easy I achieve the goal, but of course there is also ways in securing that others can fulfil the very same role. This is also achieved by transforming them via the GLUE Divisions from one architectural (mental) state to the other. And again the easiest and most successful way for me always was to walk the talk and lead by example and not by documents and orders.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Power, Process, Project, People - Force Two

Recently I have started a series about Power, Process, Project and People. After I have touched Power, I now like to reflect a bit on Process and what I am doing with processes in my daily Enterprise Architecture work. Just to repeat the definition from the Oxford Dictionaries: A systematic series of mechanized or chemical operations that are performed in order to produce something. There of course exist way more definitions to frame what a process is, but I stick to this fairly simple definition.
Processes are found a lot in organizations when there are attempts to reuse a successful approach. In most cases they are somehow standardized and formalized by some form of documentation, be it very document centric or a more modern approach by using a business process management suite. Typically the structure of the information is Input > Process > Output with Roles and Responsibilities on the Process and references to other processes. It typically forces People to spin faster and faster and faster (work harder, not smarter) over time, because the Process Performance Indicators are supposed to increase year after year. Every now and then there usually is a massive process restructuring which allows to work smarter (or more accurate aligns Process to more or less strictly follow Power. Quite often process changes (no matter if it work harder or work smarter) lead to massive problems, especially if the people are forgotten in the process change.

So what am I doing with support of GLUE? First of all I am using the GLUE Disciplines to formulate a basic Process.
In the combination with the GLUE Decks and the GLUE Divisions the Disciplines form the GLUE Space. In that GLUE Space the flow of the Disciplines leads to the circulatory system.

When I now look at any given change initiative I analyze how it fits into the GLUE circulatory system and my main focus is to secure that the information circles as fast as possible through the whole system to secure that information is available to everyone involved and can be interpreted and transformed  therefore by everyone. The more it is a circulatory system the better, the more it is a one way road the worse. The product of this circulatory system is by that defined by all involved stakeholders and not just pushed (by power) down to the system or emerged pure to no other choice.

The main reason why I work like this is lies in the nature of the problems I work with. For really simple problems there might be one perfect answer, but in most cases the complexity prevents this: neither the problem at hand is truly simple nor the solution selected can be perfectly simple. A very simple approach would be to package one solution and implement it (or sell it) unchanged as often as possible. By not looking at the greater context this is indeed an approach which makes sense (and most likely generates quite some money). The damage created by this approach is quite often very high, even though due to the friction it also generates quite some innovative ideas (by accident). As always it is a matter of perspective. I do not know where this will lead me to in the future, but at the moment I mainly focus on people. For whatever reason it is the approach with the greatest rate of success so far, even though I constantly try other approaches, nothing has ever been close to beat my current approach. Collaboration with (many) others is by far the best tool for me.

As always comments more than welcome.