Business Informed Decisions or Uninformed Intelligence in a 2.0 Wannabe World

Fact: Only 19 percent of companies say their employees have all the data they need to make better, more informed decisions. 1

Legacy “executive information systems”, and in some cases, failed TQM, CRM and IVR – any business-dubbed acronym assigned to a once disruptive yet sexy piece of technology used to support some business process. And with each time said, the ‘apparently innocuous acronym’, became what corporate decision support & IT leaders would hate the most; the ever-present reminder that they, too, like you or I, believed the promised triple digit ROIs and NPVs and IRRs and TCOs; and we all know how we feel about the typical IVR experience.

And for all of the marketing hype and business-related jargon, none much materialized in the way of extreme financial rewards. In fact, the pains that were felt were invisible to the average eye. They came in the form of the levels of support (i.e. manpower) that was required to ‘support’ users and systems; but hey, they don’t call it disruptive for nothing.

But I digress…

Let’s just say the expectations set were far greater than the actualized returns.

Driven to succeed and with common understanding of importance of sharing information across silos and processes, and free from the burden of role ambiguity, employees can truly uncover ALL of the intersection points affecting a given process, product and plan. And with further analysis, one could establish the root causes and relative impact to the ultimate measure of success for most companies: profitability.

And with boundary-less organizations, come a well-oiled operations machine, free from the clutter and waste that infiltrates overly complex and bureaucratic organizations. The same ones that have meetings to plan meetingsàI know you know the ones …

What comes when one begins to think outside of the proverbial box, and think about things from the customer’s vantage point, is a powerful sense of organizational self awareness, ultimately, bubbling up a call to action to your workforce, resulting in focus and drive…but that’s where I stop…it is stalled by middle management, filled with less than promising mid-managers who know little about mentoring and growing their staff, far too consumed with feelings of being threatened by xxx up-and-comer staffie…

Using this ‘voice of the customer’ along a supply-chain is a powerful technique for designing and developing effective process and project metrics. In many ways, effective measurement determines the success of the projects — A world where BI and project / processes have merged to evolve a new technique called Process/Project Intelligence, where the combined use of project management methodologies (including ISO9001, Agile (Scrum) or Design for Six Sigma) and business intelligence are merged into a true picture of the health of the organization across all verticals and horizontals, where all root causes are explored, eliminated and prioritized. While BI has undoubtedly evolved into a powerful set of technologies suitable for different types of users and information analysis needs over the early ‘EIM’ days, it is far from the ‘single source of truth’ that so many vendors spin into their sales pitch because most systems negate to weave the in element of the business managed processes that geminate out of every department within every organization at some level.

Honestly examining one’s process by actual current state and stop blending the truth through their rose-colored, kaleidoscopic-view of operations, can one move into the thrilling world offered by those at the top of the Process & Project Intelligence pyramid. A place driven by the truth of data, where unified and systematic approaches to understanding one’s business are commonplace rather than exception; where process optimization is key to project prioritization rather than secondary; where development initiatives are driven by the ‘voice of the customer’, rather than the voice of the developer.


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