“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
Business environments throughout organizations tend to be complex. It appears easier to make existing processes more complicated, than to start from scratch and come up with simple, lean designs. However, the simplification of complex architecture plays a vital role in ensuring continual strategy implementation.
Building a Strong Foundation
In our previous blog post, we explained the significance of conducting pre-mortems to save transformation projects. It takes more than a few meetings to set the stage for a successful transformational initiative. It all starts with a simple and effective architecture strategy, which will ultimately help define how the implementation will take form.
There are a few delicate balances that are to be maintained in the ideal architecture framework. For starters, it must be simple and stable enough for organizational learning purposes. At the same time, there should also be room for progression to cater to changing needs, trends, and technologies. Less is more, and quality trumps quantity.
Eliminate the Unnecessary
Out of all the features that are available to organizations, as much as 60%-80% of them are rarely used. It is for this reason alone that we highly advise that initial implementation of projects be limited to simplified architecture with minimal functionality. It may initially appear difficult to let go of impressive feature sets on intricate systems, but if they are not being used, they are not needed. Enhancements can always be added on (as needed) once you’re further into implementation.
The attributes of complexity control are to be strategic, transparent, comprehensive, and sustainable.
Know the Difference Between Needs and Wants
“It isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want.” – Steve Jobs
The key to productive dialog and effective action planning lies in understanding that legacy features and processes do not need to be included in the new solution. Transformation teams should be able to define the business processes that customers actually need, rather than the ones they want, or used to have.
This drastic move in change management can be viewed as a form of organizational decluttering. As such, it should be handled properly, with constant communication of the vision, and active participation of all the affected decision makers.
The simplification of complex architecture will make the vision easier to communicate to team members of all levels, and easier to implement once all is said and done.
In our next post, we will discuss the value of engendering trust between partners, and how to build that trust before embarking in transformational initiatives.
For a complete transformation pre-mortem blueprint, click here to download our latest eBook, Transformation Pre-mortem: Navigating through the Pitfalls (Part One).