Strategy and Portfolio Management

 

A well planned strategy is the necessary bridge between brilliant leadership and excellent execution. Without it, your entire organisation cannot hope to respond quickly and effectively to challenges and changes within the landscape on which it operates.

Strategic planning involves identifying objectives, understanding what resources are needed to attain them, and then allocating the resources to the appropriate units to ensure they are used optimally towards the achievement of desired objectives. Among the end results which can be reflected by your team members are:

  1. Deeper understanding of the competitive environment;
  2. Snappy execution of plans;
  3. Faster, more aligned actions; and
  4. More intelligent and apt responses against strategic moves of the competition.

We understand the need to institute strategic management in such a way that your organisation can easily adapt to unforeseen developments. As such, all our solutions are formulated to make your organisation not only well-guided but also as dynamic as possible.

Strategy Formulation

Before you can proceed to map out any strategy for your company, you’ll have to study your company’s current environment. This will help you determine what courses of action should be taken to be able to navigate through such environment on your way to the end goal.

If you’re not a full time strategist, such a task can either be very daunting or deceivingly easy… the former can prevent your team from getting started, while the latter can lead your team astray.

Ideally, strategy formulation should be carried out as quickly and as efficiently as possible so you can move on to implementation before the competition can react. Our methods can enable your leaders to hit the ground running each time they set out on a strategic plan.

How?

  • We can assist in accurately applying strategic tools like SWOT and Gap analysis, then help integrate the results into an effective strategic plan.
  • We’ll train your team how to carry out effective research techniques so that the information they gather will really be what we need. This is because the tools mentioned earlier can only work effectively if the inputs were picked intelligently. Of course, if you want the entire process expedited, we can also conduct the research ourselves.
  • We’ll establish best practices for top-down, bottom-up, and collaborative strategic management processes. We’ll even show you how to organise and hold meetings where team members are constantly engaged and in-sync, so action plans can be developed and relayed fast.
  • We’ll see to it that strategies for all functional departments (such as IT management, supply-chain, HR, marketing, and legal) are in line with your business strategies, which should in, turn be aligned with your overall corporate strategy.

Strategy Evaluation

Your strategies have to be periodically assessed if you want to determine whether they are attuned to variations affecting your organisation. These changes may include new technologies, emerging competitors, new opportunities, as well as unexpected developments in the economic environment and political climate.

While no time limit is imposed for the build-up of resources vital to the attainment of a specific objective, the window of opportunity can shut on you before you can start amassing such resources. Given this possibility, it is important for your strategies to undergo evaluation processes that will determine whether you should pursue them or not.

Using only the most reliable evaluation techniques, we’ll help you establish whether:

  • Your strategies will place your company in a position that will give it competitive advantage or will erode whatever advantage the competition already has;
  • Your strategies are consistent with the landscape on which your company currently traverses;
  • They are realistic enough in relation to the resources you have on hand;
  • The associated risks have all been identified and the appropriate control measures have already been put in place;
  • The time frames for their full realisation are both realistic and acceptable.

Portfolio Management

In today’s highly competitive market, many of the more successful enterprises are driven by project-based systems.

Now, there’s always a tendency for project managers to become overenthusiastic and to come up with a number of projects that can’t be sustained by available resources. If your project-based company frequently runs out of resources, then either you just have too many projects running or too much is being allocated to a select few.

In both instances, the problem does not necessarily lie on the individual project managers themselves. Rather, what is needed is the ability to have full control over existing projects and investments.

Your leadership should be able to rank projects in terms of their impact to your organisation’s growth, positioning, and profitability. This will give you sufficient information when deciding which projects to pursue, prioritise, or shut down. These are the benefits you’ll gain from our services:

  • A vivid presentation of the big picture. Only when you can step back from all the detail and see the interplay of investments and resources will you be able to make wise decisions regarding how and where to position them.
  • The ability to distinguish between projects with the highest potentials and those that are outdated.
  • Access to expertise that will help you distribute your present IT infrastructure, human resources, financial resources, and facilities across running projects to obtain the biggest benefits for all stakeholders.

Contact Us

  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK

Check our similar posts

How DevOps Could Change Your Business

Henry Ford turned the U.S. auto industry on its head when he introduced the idea of prefabricating components at remote sites, and then putting them together on a production line. Despite many industries following suit, software lagged behind until 2008, when Andrew Clay Shafer and Patrick Debois told the Agile Conference there was a better way to develop code:
– Write the Code
– Test the Code
– Use the Code
– Evaluate, Schedule for Next Review

The term ?DevOps? is short for Development and Operations. It first appeared in Belgium, where developers refined Shafer and Depois? ideas. Since then, DevOps became a counter movement against the belief that software development is a linear process and has largely overwhelmed it.

DevOps – A Better Way

DevOps emerged at an exciting time in the IT industry, with new technology benefiting from a faster internet. However, the 2008 world recession was also beginning to bite. Developers scampered to lower their human resource costs and get to market sooner.

The DevOps method enabled them to colloborate across organizational boundaries and work together to write, quality assure and performance test each piece of code produced in parallel.
DevOps? greater time-efficiency got them to market sooner and helped them steal a march on the competition.

There are many advantages to DevOps when we work in this collaborative way. Cooperation improves relationships between developers, quality assurers and end users. This helps ensure a better understanding of the other drivers and a more time-effective product.

Summary of DevOps Objectives

DevOps spans the entire delivery pipeline, and increases the frequency with which progress is reviewed, and updates are deployed. The benefits of this include:

? Faster time to market and implementation

? Lower failure rate of new releases

? Shortened lead time for bug fixes and updates

The Psycho-Social Implications of DevOps

DevOps drills through organization borders and traditional work roles. Participants must welcome change and take on board new skills. Its interdepartmental approach requires closer collaboration across structural boundaries and greater focus on overarching business goals.

Outsourcing the detail to freelancers on the Internet adds a further layer of opportunity. Cultures and time zones vary, requiring advanced project management skills. Although cloud-based project management software provides adequate tools, it needs an astute mind to build teams that are never going to meet.

The DevOps movement is thus primarily a culture changer, where parties to a project accept the good intentions of their collaborators, while perhaps tactfully proposing alternatives. There is more to accepting a culture than using a new tool. We have to blend different ways of thinking together. We conclude by discussing three different methods to achieve this.

Three Ways to Deploy DevOps in your?Organisation

If you foresee regular DevOps-based projects, consider running your entire organisation through an awareness program to redirect thinking. This will help non-participants understand why DevOps members may be ?off limits? when they are occupied with project work. Outsourcing tasks to contracting freelancers can mitigate this effect.

There are three implementation models associated with DevOps although these are not mutually exclusive.

? Use systems thinking. Adopt DevOps as company culture and apply it to every change regardless of whether the process is digital, or not

? Drive the process via increased understanding and feedback from key receivers. Allow this to auto-generate participative DevOps projects

? Adopt a continuous improvement culture. DevOps is not only for mega upgrades. Feedback between role players is paramount for success everywhere we go.

You can use the DevOps concept everywhere you go and whenever you need a bridge to better understanding of new ideas. We diminish DevOps when we restrict its usefulness to the vital role it plays in software development. The philosophy behind it belongs in every business.

Systems Integration as a means to cost reduction

System integration in an organisation refers to a process whereby two or more separate systems are brought together for the purpose of pooling the value in the separate systems into one main system. A key component of process consolidation within any organisation is the utilisation of IT as a means to achieve this end. As such, system integration as a means to cost reduction offers organisations the opportunity to adopt and implement lean principles with the attendant benefits. The implementation of lean techniques requires an adherence to stated methods to facilitate the elimination of wastage in the production of goods and services. In summary, the lean philosophy seeks to optimise the speed of good and service production, through the elimination of waste.

While analysing some of the traditional sources of waste in organisational activities, things like overproduction, inventory, underutilised ideas, transmission of information and ideas, transportation of people and material, time wastage and over-processing stand out. The fact is that companies can eliminate a significant portion of waste through the utilisation of IT to consolidate processes within their organisation.

Adopting lean principles calls for the identification of all of the steps in the company value stream for each product family for the purpose of the eliminating the steps that do not create any value. In other words, this step calls for the elimination of redundant steps in the process flow. This is exactly what the utilisation of IT to consolidate processes offers a company. For instance, the adoption of a central cloud system across a large organisation with several facilities could increase efficiencies in that company. Such a company would drastically reduce the redundancies that used to exist in the different facilities, eliminate the instances of hardware and software purchase, maintenance and upgrade, modernise quality assurances processes and identify further opportunities for improvement.

Perhaps, from the company’s point of view, and from the perspective of lean process implementation, the most important factor is?the effect it has?on the bottom line.’reducing the number of hardware, eliminating the need for maintaining and upgrading hardware, removing the necessity for software purchase and upgrade across facilities also contributes to a significant reduction in operational costs.?This reduction in the cost of operations leads to a corresponding increase in the profit margin of the company.

Applying system integration as a means to cost reduction can also lead to the reduction in the number of people needed to operate the previous systems that have been integrated into one primary unit. Usually, companies must hire people with specialised knowledge to operate and maintain the various systems. Such employees must also receive special training and frequent ongoing education to constantly stay informed of the latest trends in process management. With the integration of the system, the number of people needed to maintain the central system will be significantly reduced, also improving the security of information and other company trade secrets.

Based on an analysis of the specific needs that exist in a particular company environment, a system integration method that is peculiar to the needs of that organisation will be worked out. Some companies may find it more cost-effective to use the services of independent cloud service providers. Others with more resources and facilities may decide to set up their own cloud service systems. Often, private cloud service system capabilities far exceed the requirements of the initiating company, meaning that they could decide to “sell” the extra “space” on their cloud network to other interested parties.

A company that fully applies the lean principles towards the integration of its systems will be able to take on additional tasks as a result of the system consolidation. This leads to an increase in performance, and more efficiency due to the seamless syncing of information in a timely and uniform manner.

Companies have to combine a top-down and a bottom-up approach towards their system integration methods. A top-down approach simply utilises the overall system structure that is already in place as a starting point, or as a foundation. The bottom-up approach seeks to design new systems for integration into the system. Other methods of system integration include the vertical, star and horizontal integration methods. In the horizontal method, a specified subsystem is used as an interface for communication between other subsystems. For the star system integration method, the subsystems are connected to the system in a manner that resembles the depiction of a star; hence, the name. Vertical integration refers to the method of the integration of subsystems based on an analysis of their functionality.

The key to successful system integration for the purpose of cost reduction is to take a manual approach towards identifying the various applicable lean principles, with respect to the system integration process. For instance, when value has been specified, it becomes easier to identify value streams. The other process of removing unnecessary or redundant steps will be easier to follow when the whole project is viewed from the whole, rather than’the part. Creating an integrated system needs some?patience?in order to work out kinks and achieve the desired perfect value that creates no waste.

Contact Us

  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 – IRL
  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 – UK
Implementing Matrix Management

Matrix management is a culture change. More than the hierarchical structures, lines of responsibilities, modes of communication and channels of decision-making, it is a concept that needs to be planned ahead and managed appropriately over time.

Implementing matrix management to any organization can be confusing. It is essential to ensure that it fits right to your business strategies, skills and competencies. With this, realizing matrix management should not be taken lightly. Careful stages should be considered, instead.

Here are the steps to proper implementation of matrix management:

Consider Your Business Context

You need to evaluate your organisation to analyse what are your development needs with regards to skills, products, services and market environment. This will help you decide on what type of matrix structure you will apply in your organisation. Consider the following questions in building up your context:

  • What is our strategy?
  • Where are the demands in our business?
  • What are the structures that our competitors currently employ?
  • What are the talents that my people possess?
  • What are other business organizations doing?

Set Your Implementation Scope

Next, you need to define the parameter and set the scope of your implementation. What area in your business do you think matrix management will successfully work? There are several things that you need to consider in setting your scope. You have to make sure that it works well with your overall business strategies, that it can be excellently communicated and easily understood. Also, you must ensure that you acquire the necessary talents and skills in the business to deliver the new system of responsibilities.

Implement the New Structure

When you have already decided what structure type you will implement, you are ready to give it a go. You will need to establish new communication channels so you can monitor the progress and receive feedback effectively.

Here?s how to apply the matrix structure:

  • Highlight your development needs
  • Define roles based on outputs and not inputs
  • Line up procedures and systems to support the structure and the behaviour that comes with it.
  • Invest in training and development
  • Support the key people in the structure by coaching them to better adapt in changes
  • Communicate regularly
  • Monitor progress and make necessary adjustments

Review the Matrix Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

Organisations that successfully implement matrix management adapt to the changes in their environment. With this, they do regular evaluations to highlight the need for changes and revisions. The review can either focus on the structure only or to the entire process as a whole. The results can alter the structure, the roles involved and the responsibilities taken.

The process of implementing matrix management follows a step-by step method. Each stage is equally important with the rest. Hence, if you plan to exploit it in your organisation, you have to recognise the purpose of each step and follow it appropriately. Balance is the key. And when you achieve stability in matrix management, amidst the complex changes in the world of business, then your organisational success is just around the corner.

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