Mark Stemberger (2004) Preobrazba podjetja: organizacijski, procesni in informacijski vidik. MSc thesis.
The business transition model: organisational, process and information technology aspect The business environment is dynamicaly changing. faster, with greater impact and deeper, unprecedented consequences than ever before. The very origin of change lies within globalization and its impact on increased innovative and sales activities of existing competitors and potential entrants, who are looking to diversify and increase their markets. The pace of the research and development cycle of technological innovativeness is increasing, thus rendering products and major investments in production facilities obsolete. The marketing niches are becoming ever smaller, buyers more informed and educated, consequently demanding that their products and services be cheaper and of greater value (to them), more personalized to their (current) needs, delivered faster than ever before. The Internet and information technology have converged the markets, decreasing the transaction costs, and through standard, integrated software business applications decreasing the competitive differences amongst competitors. The business operations have become more transparent, competitive advantages smaller. Buyers (and employees) change their suppliers (and employers) with greater ease than ever before. All of the above factors have increased the rate of internal as well as external change. Change has become ubiquitous and omnipresent. Businesses and organizations must rethink their strategies and continuosly reevaluate their current position within their value chain. They must ask themselves three fundamental questions: (i) what justifies their existence, (ii) what competitive advantage do they still retain and, (iii) until when? These dynamics as listed above are likely to dillute the company's competitive position in its single business entities, thus forcing the enterprise to seek and relentlessly pursue new ways of building and reinforcing their competitive position. Such competitive advantage derives from (i) doing something different, (ii) doing the same thing, alas somewhere else or (iii) doing the same thing but in a different way. This implies (i) a flexible process organization (and flexible individuals), (ii) an ability to collect and process data, understand and interpret information, (iii) quick and effective decision making, (iv) greater company adaptiveness (projects that transform the organization) to surpass their competitors and (v) increased innovativeness and creativity (new products and services, innovative processes and business models). The ability to sense, respond and adapt to change from the environment is a basic premise of competitve advantage of any business and organization in today's competitive setting. Businesses and organizations must constantly test their competitiveness to seek new innovative ways of maintaining, enhancing and increasing their competitiveness. This thesis is based on several years of my own consulting work as well as my independent consulting background for numerous business transformation projects. These projects encompass a wide assortment of activities, including business reengineering, improving processes, implementing ERP and other software systems, restructuring business functions in different industries, implementing process organisation, creating project management culture, repositioning company brand name and its products, developing new market niches and other restructuring and/or improvement projects. This thesis presents case studies based on my own diverse industry in such as areas as hotel and congress business management, electrical handtools development and manufacturing, metal processing industry (metal furniture), and paper processing industry (carton boxes), distribution of stationary and office supplies, food retail and information technologies. Inthe introduction and the chapter devoted to change, I dwell on the topic of change, its origin, reach, impact and consequences. The reasons for change are outlined and its causes stipulated leading the reader deeper into the effects of change in todays's business world. The »file rouge« of the thesis is found in the business transition model, which guides the reader step by step through the entire paper, keeping the premise clearly visible at all times in spite of the focus on various components of the business transition model in each chapter. The ultimate goal of the presented transition model is to enable a business or any other organizational structure to meet and adapt to the challenges of existing or forthcoming change. This thesis follows a logical sequence of process steps, dictated by the model itself. In the first step of the model, a business analysis and appraisal of the situation is performed examining either the entire organisation or a singular business function (or process or business unit) in it. The reader encounters a porfolio of analytical tools which are well known, recognized and frequently used in performing business analysis. It is clearly indicated that the presented analytical tools are not complete. The range of tools and their extent of application depends upon the situation and the goals of organisational appraisal as well as the skills and personal preferences of an (internal) business consultant. The second step continues with the creation of the essential business blocs crucial to conducting any business or running any organisation. Organisational vision, mission and values are emphasised. These three components also form the very foundation and the first layer of business essentials. These are followed by strategic goals and the strategy itself. I specifically outline the fact that this area is unnecessarily mystified and too highly praised (above other business blocs). If organisational vision, direction and goals are not succinctly communicated, then any path (strategy) will do... Three different strategic models are presented along with various strategic modes, helping to differentiate or enhance and sustain differentiation of an organisation or a company from its competitors. A case study is provided to facilitate a better understanding of strategic positioning and a choice of the right strategic model along with application of suitable strategic mode. The third step of the business transition model presents the organisational model. This chapter depicts the understanding and visualisation of an organization where modern concepts of the process organization are enlightened through means of a case study. Modern concepts of matrix organisations are presented, with a special emphasis on key account management and its implications. The fourth step of the business transition model focuses on reengineering and improving business processes. Various techniques of business processes are depicted from real world business cases, derived again from my own consulting practice, ranging from value chain analysis to data flow diagram, process mapping and business modeling with UML. A case study of a company in the stationary and office supplies business depicts the application of the UML business modeling technique. This chapter concludes with a metamodel of development of IS for managing business processes and integration. The fifth and the last process step of the business transition model, tackles information technology (IT). The reader is presented with an integrated model of an IT infrastructure and advanced further from the planning stage to implementation an information system (IS). Along with this concept yet another one emerges, a methodology called EMRIS 1. This chapter concludes with contemplation about strategy and information technology, where the concept of open platforms and web services with standards and protocols are discussed. The business transition model continues with the depiction of the first, of the two orthogonally positioned processes, decision making and the creation of decision models. The reader is taken through the basics of decison making, with an emphasis on the actual decision making process. The principles and application of the use of quantified hierarchical multiparameter decison models are demonsrated by employing three case studies. The final two topics of this chapter, project evaluation and optional project space, complete the picture of complex decision making process, to make it more transparent and objective. This thesis concludes with the second orthogonally positioned process, project management. Internal and external change are the triggers to any project activity, which can be efficiently analyzed by a thorough, systematic and disciplined application of project management practice. This includes: the business appraisal that defines, plans and executes business transition projects, adaptation projects and other type of projects. Projects, however, must be ranked; resources are scarse, time valuable and the company must be goal oriented. Hence, in order to rank projects, projects are positioned in a matrix »urgent-important«. The reader is provided three different aspects of business transformation projects: (i) projects that create an organizational platform, (ii) projects that create a technological platform and (iii) projects that create an entrepreneurial platform within an organisation. This is displayed in a project uniqueness vs. project complexity matrix which helps the company to position projects according to the (i) company’s ability to execute them (highly complex projects demand specialized know-how; these type of projects are candidates to be executed with the aid of specialized companies) vs. (ii) the company’s capacity to execute the one-time or other unique projects. These types of projects are likely to require assistance from outside companies or to be performed entirely by outside companies because of the potential opportunity costs and risks.
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