The Modern Business Management Environment: Operating at the Speed of Business
Modern business management is more than a concept, it’s an integrated approach to everything an organization does—and that requires an environment built around it.
In the last two blog posts we’ve looked at the concept of modern business management, or MBM, from both the top down and bottom up perspectives. Success requires both elements to not only coexist but also to be fully integrated, and that leads to the subject of this blog—the fully integrated modern business management environment. Let’s start with that word integration; it’s the cornerstone of making MBM work. MBM combines enterprise agility with portfolio management to enable an organization to adapt and adjust quickly and with minimal disruption. That cannot happen unless every element of MBM is tightly integrated, minimizing inertia and maximizing the ability to pivot when business circumstances change.
In part, that can be achieved through streamlined processes, effective communication links and common goals, but those elements will only get an organization so far. True integration that binds an organization tightly together and optimizes performance requires two other elements that on the face of it couldn’t be further apart:
- An integrated technology platform that combines project portfolio management (PPM) functionality (investment management, planning and modeling, financial management, etc.) with project execution, collaboration and business intelligence (BI). Only when all of these elements combine can an organization obtain the information it needs to make the right decisions and the insight necessary to make those decisions swiftly and with confidence.
- A cultural evolution that empowers employees at all levels to do whatever is required to ensure the organization is continuously adjusting to optimize performance against opportunities, to satisfy customers’ evolving needs and to overcome challenges as efficiently and effectively as possible.
It is this cultural evolution that will take the longest to achieve but which ultimately will provide the springboard to even greater success. MBM combines the ability to act quickly with the ability to make the right, results-focused decisions, and that cannot happen consistently unless the culture is such that people at all levels of the organization have the information they need to make those decisions. That in turn requires an open and transparent leadership function combined with short communication links that minimize the number of layers between goal setting and project execution.
Information alone is not enough. There must be a culture of empowerment in which all employees know they are trusted to leverage that information to make decisions on their work designed to optimize the attainment of business results. Inevitably some of those decisions will be wrong, but a few mistakes cannot derail the commitment to rapid and effective change. That will only happen if the enterprise culture is such that staff at all levels feel part of the achievement of business results, and all functions understand the role they play in delivering those results.
When this environment is created and encouraged, an organization has an opportunity to attain “MBM nirvana.” While not every organization will be able to reach this point, when all levels are able to operate together, the opportunity exists to identify, acknowledge and react to upcoming shifts in the operating environment so quickly that they are effectively driving industry change rather than reacting to it. This will result in not just market leadership but the potential to dominate the market by creating and driving future trends. When an organization is perceived by its customers as driving change, competitors will struggle to compete.