Courtesy of McKean Defense, 'Best Practices for Merging Business Strategy and BusinessTransformation' Dr. Cindy Young has written an article introducing her presentation:
The primary question of this session for all attendees was the “What’s in it for your organization?” as it applied to business development, resource management to include hiring, firing, and succession planning, business service processes and procedures, personnel growth, and operational effectiveness as parts of business strategy and transformation. These all lead to positive firm performance and can be assumed to be goals of most, if not all, organizations. The four pillars of this session were: (a) setting the strategy, (b) integrating technology into continuous process improvement programs, (c) moving from enterprise excellence into strategy and business transformation to reach innovation, and (d) sustainable change management. Merging business strategy and business transformation is a challenge to say the least and it is not something that can be started without a solid plan for continuous process improvement with input from the organization as a whole vice strictly just executive leadership circle of trust.
Setting the strategy was crafted to encompass building employee empowerment and inclusion of employees outside of the executive leadership in the strategy session. The executive leadership is not always aware of the trials and efforts the workforce goes through to achieve the objectives for their customers or within their own businesses. The C-suite may only know that something was completed and those efforts led the way to the next phase of implementation and execution. This supports creation of knowledge sharing requirements that support building or revising strategic goals to support business transformation. In order for knowledge sharing to be effective, there needs to be plan for education and sharing of the Lessons Learned to include after-action reports.
Integrating technology into Continuous Improvement programs included the basis on what the workforce needs to do their jobs rather than the cheapest option or what the organization is used to using. Each piece of technology selected should be evaluated for cost effectiveness and integration into the current technology being used by the organization. The technology should be used to market he Continuous Improvement programs easier to conduct and should not been procured to replace the employee. Technology will not do all of the work. Human thought and interaction is necessary. Most importantly, ensuring employees had the tools they needed to do their job along with the requisite training to do their jobs efficiently with the associated technology.
Moving from enterprise excellence into strategy and business transformation to reach innovation included discussion of knowledge management efforts to support strategic planning to reach innovation whether it’s going into new markets or overall improvements in customer support. We also discussed how an organization can utilize a Business Process Management System for more than just in support of quality standardization, but to help new employees gain an overview of the processes of the organization from the start rather than having them learn as they work through each process. Sharing of the knowledge at the start empowers employees since they know what the processes, and therefore their limitations, of what an employee can do autonomously beginning on Day 1.
Sustainable change management was discussed through the use of customer relationship management and formalized lessons learned programs. Does your organization use customer relationship management to support a single person or group or is this information made available for the entirety of your workforce? Are lessons learned only used for processes or can your organization use them for more fruitful gains such as improving your business development processes? For instance, do you share your feedback received on a win or a loss for a contract with the whole proposal writing team or just executive leadership? A formalized Lessons Learned process which included discussion on sharing wins and losses was discussed.
In this session, we shared ideas and best practices from how an organization can merge their organization’s business strategy and business transformation without losing their workforce, their tacit knowledge and experience, and the momentum their organization has gained in the process. This presentation challenged organizational leadership to think of how they can integrate some or all of these practices into their organization. Key take-aways/best practices were summed up and reinforced the need to incorporate knowledge management into strategic goals, business process management systems, and daily discussions to ensure alignment of customer and organizational needs while supporting autonomy and empowerment ideals.
About McKean Defense
McKean Defense is an employee-owned Naval Life Cycle Management, Engineering, Enterprise Transformation, and Program Management business headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. McKean Defense’s engineers, developers, technical staff, programmers, analysts, and program managers identify and deploy new shipboard technologies, integrate information technology across shipboard platforms, and develop strategies to support the Warfighter. McKean Defense’s employees create strategic solutions to help customers reach new levels of mission support and transform their organizations. It has had considerable benefits with operational excellence since they embarked on this journey several years ago, but how have they sustained this in the organization? Download this slide deck to see Dr. Cindy Young discuss their journey and learn about the best practices for merging business strategy and business transformation, which achieved significant benefits for their organization.
About the Author
Dr. Cynthia Young, DBA, PMP, LSS MBB, is a retired U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer with 23 years of service and is a Program Manager for Fleet and TYCOM Enterprise Support and member of the Strategic Solutions Center within McKean Defense.
She is also an Adjunct Professor in Business Administration at Stratford University at the Virginia Beach, VA campus, primarily teaching project management in the Executive Masters of Business Administration (EMBA) program. Furthermore, she is a past-Chair of ASQ Tidewater, Section 1128. She has also held positions on Section 1128's Section Leadership Committee as the Secretary and Vice Chair. Dr. Young is also the author of The Refractive Thinker(r): Vol XI: Women in Leadership, Chapter 3: Using Leadership to Improve Firm Performance through Knowledge Management.
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