Technology and business processes are locked together. Each supports the other, each is dependent on the other--a mismatch between them can be deadly, a great match can mean synergy and profits. They can make or break the business you are trying to run.
That's why I developed this executive 10-minute benchmark tool, to help you see those relationships more clearly, and to generate an enterprise process/tech snapshot as a kickstarter for strategy planning. It may help you know where you need to transform your business or whether you can simply bring it into sharper focus.
The highest-level parts of business are grouped into 4 big categories: Things You Sell, Your Customers, How You Work, and Your People. For each area, rate it 0-10, asking yourself:
--does it do what I need?
--is it current? Does it reflect best practices, or a legacy that can be improved? Or retired?
--does this process take advantage of the existing technology?
--does this technology fully support the existing process?
--does process hold back our technology, or does our technology hold back the process?
--is this a pain point or a reward center?
--is it more complex than it should be?
--does it add value or competitive advantage? Could it?
Here is an example I populated to demonstrate the concept. Formulas average your input across the categories, and automatically flag red-yellow-green depending on the values entered. At the bottom is an average across all the processes and technologies.
Here is a blank Process and Technology Dashboard Tool you can copy to do the exercise yourself.
--This version is directed at the C-suite, especially the CEO or COO, or another officer who has an overview of the entire company. Clearly, a lot of sub-processes and technologies are rolled up into their highest levels in this version of the tool. To work this idea as part of a strategy evaluation, I recommend that the first iteration be a gestalt response--not a compilation of metrics, but the C-suite's sense of where things are.
--By expanding the idea, and pushing it out to departments, you can then build similar reports at higher detail, adding lines under Supply Chain, for instance, to list all the component processes and technologies. The end result will be a map of your entire enterprise process/technology system.
--Compare results generated closer to the processes with those predicted by executives. The differences will point out the accuracy--or lack thereof--of many of the executive business metrics you use.
--How do your existing strategic plans fit with this view of your enterprise? Are you paying attention to the right things, at the right level and sense of urgency?
Please do give me feedback; this is the first publication of this tool and this idea on Infrics.com. I am building out toolsets to be part of an overall offering for on-site workshops on Strategy in the World of the Future.