HOW DO YOU OPTIMIZE SYSTEMS 

ACROSS BUSINESS AREAS IN A DECENTRALIZED ENVIRONMENT?

In some cases, the business functions of an organization are aligned and structured to allow for systems to be deployed and optimized in a natural manner.  There are few complexities that have to be accounted for.  This is nirvana.  We all know that in most cases, organizations are complex, siloed and decentralized and do not follow a simple model.  How do you optimize systems and create efficiencies for scale in such environments? 

 

Optimization can only occur with a structured approach. Syracuse University is a very complex organization.  In their desire to optimize their systems, they are taking a structured approach.  Each administrative area is performing the following analysis and review.  The analysis consists of reviewing their current systems, identifying what is working well and what is not, identifying short-term opportunities for systems improvement and key integration points and developing a five-year systems plan.  Since the individual areas are performing the analysis within the same timeframe, each individual plan does take into consideration what the other areas are developing and once the individual plans are developed, they will be brought together to develop an overall administrative systems plan.  While the analysis is occurring in the administrative areas, the central technology organization is using the individual area plans to develop a five-year technology spend plan.  JJH Consulting is working with Syracuse University to assist in this effort.  This structured approach will provide Syracuse University with the ability to optimize their systems across the complex business functions and identify key system integration points.

 

The Angle? You can optimize systems across complex and decentralized organizations, it takes structure and focus. The effort and coordination is significant; however, the benefits far outweigh the cost. 

CAN YOU CREATE A CONSISTENT APPROACH TO OPTIMIZE YOUR SYSTEM?

The definition of optimization is to fine tune, refine, improve, enhance, and optimize.  When was the last time you did something for the first time and you felt it was optimized, it worked exactly the way you thought it should work?  For systems projects, I don’t remember a time in which that was the case.  When you think about systems, the norm is to always look for ways to optimize the end user experience.

 

When you implement software, such as Workday, which has a powerful configuration engine, you will make your best educated guess at the time of implementation of how to set up the system via configuration and workflow to meet the end user requirements.

 

Once you are live, the system support personnel will start to change the system configuration and workflows in the hope to enhance the end user experience.  With a structured and consistent approach, you will enhance the experience.  Without the proper approach, you risk creating unintended consequences by enhancing one aspect of the system at the expense of another aspect of the system. With integrated systems, such as Workday, this risk is enhanced.

 

Why take that risk? With a best practice business process based approach, you can first analyze what best practices you want to deploy, compare your goals to the capabilities of the software, decide in a comprehensive manner what you want to apply, and then optimize the system via configuration and workflow to further achieve the goals of the system.  This consistency of approach is critical.

 

The Angle?  Optimize with a purpose, a plan, a strategy.  The more structured your approach, the more likely you will be successful.  Optimization is not a consultant buzzword.  It is the relentless focus to improve, enhance, refine, and optimize the investment your organization has made in a powerful tool, such as Workday.

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