Methods seem to be the answer to all business change issues, follow a methodology and all is well. As the years pass I see repackaged ideas with new fancy names, promoted by fancy graphics, delivered by accreditation and expensive training courses. Each one is the new silver bullet that becomes the mantra of the cult that follows it. In reality the problems stay the same and things rarely change for the better.
Methodologies actually restrict creative thought, create silo thinking and result in increased costs in change due to focus on method rather than outcomes. What is needed is a more critical evaluation of methods using the right tool for the right tasks not just blindly following the latest craze.
These thoughts stem from thinking about Dave Snowden’s work on Cynefin which I was introduce to earlier this year – see earlier posts. It illustrates that one dimension thinking results in trying to apply a method to inappropriate scenarios. Why do I say this? Well previously I was a business process management acolyte I did lean and had played with 6 Sigma now and again. I was in “disorder” see Cynefin Model but didn’t know it!
My business architecture paradigm was – strategy, design, deliver in a holistic top down approach what I now realise that this is fine for the simple and obvious domains and perhaps for complicated – “the fine engineered watch” – but not for the complex and chaotic. Here centrally controlled design blue prints, EA and holistic business architectures just don’t fit.
Whilst the holistic business architecture approach it is still valid in many cases, as a method it does not fit every organisation, especially those based on emergent strategies and evolutionary change.
So, time to think about dynamic operating models and techniques in these more challenging zones.