The third in a series of interviews with specialists in enterprise architecture
Recently I interviewed three experts who shared their deep insights into the enterprise, including management consultant Elizabeth Southerlan, an associate for international consulting firm Oliver Wyman.
All are noted enterprise experts in strategy, enterprise architecture, and transformation and operations improvement.
In a series of detailed interviews they share their deep insights into the enterprise. Here are excerpts, with links to the first two below.
Southerlan specializes in technology and operations management problems in the healthcare industry. She holds a masters in engineering and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Q– What are practical tips on enterprise transformation?
“….It is important to understand who is leading the transformation, who is involved and who is affected….To begin to transform an enterprise it is very important to understand the current state of your enterprise from each of these perspectives and in both a qualitative and quantitative way as much as possible.
“When you know the current state, it’s much easier to understand what you may want the future state to look like and what the pathways or possible ways to get to the end state are….”
Q — You are one of the leading authorities in this area so how can the audience implement analytic capability and enablement?
“….Obviously thought needs to be given to the type and architecture of the information systems that are being installed, but what I think is equally if not more important are the governance principles and at times, specific processes that are instilled within an organization.
“Data governance and guiding principles around this governance and also processes that direct and empower those involved with the collecting, interpreting, reporting and reacting to this data are extremely important….”
Q — What are your most useful processes for operations improvement?
“….From an industrial engineering standpoint and many other standpoints, the process and value stream mapping (something I’ve recently been using), is a hassle map which maps out where a customer or consumer may come across different pain points within a process….
“It is extremely important to spend time at all levels within the organization….Developing tools that allow you to easily capture insight from these interviews and then slice and dice them in ways that provide you the ability to look at them the way that the organization views its operations is extremely valuable….”
Q — In all the work that you do, let’s mine your expertise and share that with the audience. What are the most useful tools and resources that you use?
“….I would say the most recent tool that I’ve been using (and I think you’ll find this with most strategy assessments), are the interviews. Truly understanding where the organization thinks it is versus where it might be, also an understanding of what the rest of the competitors within the industry might look like is something that consultants have the ability to do because they are able to benchmark many companies within an industry and then outside of an industry against each other.
“I also know that hassle mapping is a process or practice that is extremely important and really communicative to the audience. “
Q –How do you see EA evolving and what will it look like in five years??
“….Going back to the qualitative versus quantitative, I think that the more Enterprise Architecting is used in parallel with how the many industries become advanced in working with unstructured data will be extremely helpful. I would say that Enterprise Architecting in the next five years will become more quantitatively operational, so that they’re able to take a lot of the information that we gather around organization information knowledge processes and use it in a way that is a little more structured….
“I also think that translating the principles that are in use to design the IT architecture for an organization can be translated to other parts of the organization, especially during transformation….”