Monthly Archives: March 2015

Process Driven Organizations-The Ultimate Approach

What is a Process Driven Organization?

A process driven organization is as it sounds, focused on process. This means that the organization sharpens their process, working to become extremely efficient while maintaining value. This allows for operational growth, efficiency, and organizational knowledge. Many major companies have made the evolution from people driven organizations to process driven organizations given the numerous benefits achieved from focus on process.

Making the Shift from People Driven to Process Driven

People driven organizations are structured differently than process driven. People driven organizations depend on the input from individuals; entrepreneurs, managers, stake holders, etc. This method of operation can often limit efficiency, as progress is dependent on individual decision-making. The same is not true in a process driven organization. A process driven organization is set up so that the operation can run regardless of individual decision-making. The show will go on as long as the process is maintained. In order to make the shift from people driven to process driven, an organization needs to begin implementing some of the following process driven principles.

Process Driven Principles:

Knowledge

The knowledge of a process driven organization is rooted in the end-to-end business system, not in the people employed there. This shift allows the organization to continuously scan the environment to update practices to ensure efficiency in every business process. Improvement is continuous. Training is seamless as employees simply jump into a process with little variation.

Time

Process driven organizations do not find themselves constrained with time as people driven organizations often do. The process driven system is expandable; if additional labor hours are required, the process driven organization hires additional employees and trains them on the process. In this instance, [...]

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    Can Microsoft Power BI be a Game Changer for enterprise dashboards?

Can Microsoft Power BI be a Game Changer for enterprise dashboards?

Power BI takes Microsoft’s popular Excel-based self-service BI features to a whole new level by reconnecting these features to enterprise BI/DW data and adding a compelling search and data exploration experience. It’s truly innovative, and will potentially redefine self-service Business Intelligence.

What is Power BI?

The key functionality delivered by Power BI includes a number of integrated components; all stitched together using Office 365:

Power Pivot. Power Pivot provides end-user accessible, in-memory data modeling for large data sets. Power Pivot was introduced as an add-in to Excel 2010, and since has been fully integrated as an out-of-the-box feature in Excel 2013.

Power View. Power View is a complimentary technology to Power Pivot, enabling advanced visualizations for data models created in Power Pivot. Power View delivers interactive visualizations, including animated visuals and maps powered by Bing Maps. Originally Power View was available only as a SharePoint feature, but has since been integrated directly into Excel 2013.

Power Map. Power Map, previously known by the development name GeoFlow, is an add-in to Excel 2013 that provides still more compelling Bing Map powered visualizations, extending Power View’s capabilities with 3D map visualizations.

Mobile BI Viewer. Microsoft announced (but has not fully detailed) native mobile viewing applications for visualizations created in Power View and published to Power BI sites. The mobile components will meet the growing requirement to deliver BI visualizations to tablet devices.

Power Query. Power Query, previously known by the development name Data Explorer, is an add-in to Excel 2013 that provides a more fluid, open data discovery environment than is provided by Power Pivot alone. Despite its unexciting name, we believe Power Query, together with its catalog and on-premises data [...]

How the Right Metrics will Boost Your Business

Today, data is everywhere. In our digital world, every action you take is categorized, recorded and sent to storage where it is analyzed. When it comes to making guided choices for business success, the right metrics are all important.

With so much data floating around how can we know which of it is useful and which of it is junk? Continue reading to learn more about finding good metrics for your business.

Metrics to Improve Cash Flow

Say you have had 10,000 customers this year that bought your products and services. Metrics will help you determine why they chose to buy from you.

When you discover your business’s cash flow increasing, it is important to know where it is coming from and why.

If you have the right metrics linked to financial reports, you can hone in and boost your bottom line even more.

Metrics Can Improve Quality

Metrics that measure service and product performance can be used to retain customers. With the right information, you can determine where quality improvements are needed.

Often, quality is lost behind the scenes. Perhaps a machine in your production process keeps malfunctioning and countless hours and dollars are spent fixing it. Or are software systems losing important customer information? Getting the right metrics will help you improve quality.

The Power of Customer Metrics

How well do you know your actual customers? The right metrics will take your customer understanding to the next level. An investment in a good CRM system will payoff greatly when collecting this data.

Metrics will also help your business retain customers. You will begin to find answers of where and when customers stop buying from you. These answers may lead [...]

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    Balancing Roles to Be an Effective Change Agent in Your Company

Balancing Roles to Be an Effective Change Agent in Your Company

As you know change agents are vital players in organization progress. When a new initiative needs to be implemented, organizations rely on individuals to step up and be the advocate for change they need. Unfortunately, these individuals usually need to perform their regular full-time job at the same time and may be appointed with out training.

Often organizations appoint change agents across the organization expecting them to be the eyes and ears of change on the ground level – all while still excelling at their current position. Most of the time, these appointed change agents are not provided with training to take on the new workload and find themselves in essence lost. How can someone be appointed to a challenging position assisting change, keep his or her work life balanced?

Developing Change Agents Workshop Teaches the Important Skills to Succeed

When someone is thrown into double duty at work without mentoring or coaching, they may experience more stress and feel challenged to perform. The Developing Change Agents Workshop helps these organizational change agents by teaching them what they need to know about change. People react to change in many different ways. Some are excited and others are resistant. Being prepared and understanding how to deal with different people is a vital skill needed to keep balanced as a change agent.

The workshop teaches attendees how to first understand peoples’ reactions to change, how to manage the people side of change, and how the change or new initiative interacts with current projects and business activities. It’s important to learn from people who have successfully led organization change before.

Workshop Details

The Developing Change Agents Workshop is a 2 way interactive workshop that brings those [...]

Catch the Wave on These Three Business Trends in 2015

As you know, changes in business are happening at such a fast rate it can be challenging to keep up. And 2015 promises an abundance of changes in the business landscape. We’re highlighting three of the biggest trends in 2015, so you can catch the wave and profit. Keep reading to learn what they are.

The Dawning of Generation Z

In 2015, the oldest members of Generation Z will be turning 21. As they become powerful consumers and begin to enter the workforce, sweeping changes are about to change businesses. Generation Zer’s are attracted to risk, view failure as a learning lesson, and most importantly value innovation and new, creative solutions.

Besides a heavy reliance on smartphones, they’re a mobile bunch even when it comes to living situations and buying products. Brands will do best when they hire the Generation Zer’s for internships and entry-level positions to get an understanding of the population. Companies that do so will have first pick of the talent as they graduate.

Business Embraces the Internet of Things

Bigger than just the connection to all different devices, the Internet of Things or IoT includes billions of things from a FitBit to a factory. Poised to take huge bounds in 2015, the Internet of Things is project to grow to 25 billion this year.

This system connects objects together through the internet so you can control all devices you own from your office coffee maker to highly profitable business solutions. When a business is completely connected, that company can receive information immediately and adapt at the speed of light. An astounding 68 percent of companies are already investing in the Internet of Things. Yours should too.

Going Paperless [...]

Leveraging Business Architecture: Why It’s Important

Business architecture has become an increasingly important concept in the world of management. Different than the concept of business requirements, business architecture serves to further define, and build a corporation’s structure so that it can be leveraged throughout the management cycle. In a competitive environment where driving improvement is paramount, business architecture can help businesses reduce risk and costs.

The ideal approach is a customer-focused organization. A customer-centered organization is committed to identifying and achieving the goals of the customer. The customer includes consumers as well as stakeholders. The customer-focused approach promotes consumer retention, greater customer satisfaction and provides business with the opportunity to maximize investments. A business architecture approach can be used to build a customer focused organization. When the business architecture blue print defines a customer focused organization, when challenges arise they are met with this goal in mind.

Essentially, business architecture provides a map of the organization, outlining the purpose of the business while lining up its objectives and demands. This provides the opportunity to define strategies and service delivery. Business architecture blue prints aid executives in planning, decision-making and meeting challenges. Additionally the blue prints are useful to strategic planning teams, project managers, and portfolio managers.

Business architecture is used to align business requirements, connecting the organization’s structure and goals with the business requirements set forth. When these two elements align there is greater opportunity to make more informed business decisions, prioritize initiatives, and identify business functions. With a business architecture blue print, analysts are able to gain a better understanding of how the business functions. This provides them with the ability to identify appropriate initiatives and strategies.

The concept of business architecture provides a framework that connects a business’ [...]

How Will Augmented Reality Shift Our Lives?

Did you know an assortment of augmented reality (AR) applications are being released that are about to shift our reality as we know it? Unlike virtual reality, AR programs keep you in your current environment but provide technology that allows you to augment your experience. For example, an AR application could help you identify the constellations within the stars at night or translate signs the airport of a foreign country to another language for you instantly. The applications for AR technology are endless and the possibility it offers could truly shift our lives dramatically.

The Place of AR Software In Our Lives

If you’ve kept up to date with the latest tech gadgets, then you probably know about Google Glass. These wearable devices are an example of AR technology that places a layer of digital information over the reality as you see it. It can provide maps, weather updates and much more complex functions to enhance your everyday experience.

But Google Glass is just the beginning of the possibilities available through AR. A second wave of technology is about to completely shift our lives forever. But don’t worry. Unlike many science fiction movies, AR is not going to turn people into cyborgs. Instead AR technologies are designed to enhance the creativity and experience inherent in being a human. The technology aims to augment our reality by extending the limits beyond what was previously capable.

Technology has been augmenting the human experience since the 1970s. Take Dr. Steve Mann for example. He invented a wearable computer device designed to enhance his eyesight and has been seeing better since the 1970s. Similar technology has been put into prosthetic limbs transforming a disability into an extraordinary performance. [...]

Keys to Agile Development Methodology

The methodology of agile development can improve efficiency, communication, and compliance when applied to difficult IT projects. An agile approach may be difficult to implement because in its purest form it does not take into consideration the reality of the work environment including; funding issues, stake holders, legal issues, accounting and regulatory regulations. Given this, there are many concepts to understand and misconceptions to avoid when working to implement agile practices into your enterprise.

Don’t Forget About Up Front Requirements

A common misconception is that enterprise agile means less focus on requirements. Determining upfront requirements is still a necessary function however, the complexity and detail of these decisions is limited. In an agile environment, these decisions are less detailed to be more efficient. The requirement areas that cannot be overlooked are establishing: the business’ objectives and rules, who the stake holders are, an analysis of business processes, the scope of the solution, a business case and ensuring adequate project funding. These requirements serve as the foundation of the project and are essential to managing the future of the project.

Avoid Defining Needs Based Entirely on User Stories

While user stories can be valuable in determining a business’s needs, they are unable to do so entirely. User stories can provide great information from the user’s view, however, there are other perspectives to take into consideration. The perspective of stakeholders, managers and executives as well as those creating and supporting the application will all be different. Given this, an agile organization doesn’t rely solely on user stories in defining business needs.

Don’t Entirely Rely on User Stories to Evaluate Compliance and Audit

User stories cannot be used solely to determine an application’s effectiveness. They [...]