Team Performance under Coronavirus Rules

The purpose of this article is to outline protocols for preserving office productivity when knowledge industry team members are required to work out of their homes.

Office workers

  • Work’ is the transformation of  information/ knowledge to action.
  • Work consists of tasks, some of which must be performed in sequence, some not.
  • Different tasks need different skills, so a team approach featuring cooperation and collaboration is key to productivity.

The big question is how does an organization preserve productivity following a transition from on-location teams to virtual teams?

We can approach the question by examining the various attributes of work (what, why, who, when and where).

What – transform information/knowledge into action.

Why – to build, sustain and augment Competitive Advantage.

Who – different skills\individuals based on different needs at workflow tasks.

When – as and when tasks along workflows become “current”.

Where – at the office, now at home.

Essentials for at-a-distance Task Management

  1. Agree on tasks and their sequencing i.e. map out your processes, compile them to build an inventory of workflow templates for use at projects/initiatives.
  2. Roll out your templates to a workflow/workload Case Management Platform i.e. ACM/BPM (Adaptive Case Management/Business Process Management), featuring a workflow engine that auto-posts tasks to the attention of workers, complete with the required skill set tags to enable workers to take “ownership” of specific tasks.
  3. Provide facilities for workers at tasks to view project/initiative data, perform work, highlight progress, record data/observations at tasks, and declare tasks to be complete when the time is right.
  4.  Allow workers to communicate with peers with supervisors re tasks that are current along project/initiative workflows/timelines. i.e. User1-> task -> reachout -> task -> User2 response -> task -> User1. Do not use e-mail.
  5. Allow  workers to micro-schedule their tasks.
  6. Allow supervisors to use workload management tools (i.e. R.A.L.B. – Resource Allocation, Leveling and Balancing) to adjust priorities across Cases\tasks.
  7. Build up project/initiative Case Histories so that workers can view progress, improve decision-making at tasks and anticipate/plan future progress.

 Success with digital transformation

For quick results, contact a hands-on consultant or facilitator who can walk you through the eight steps detailed in “How to Install BPM in a Corporation”.

BPM is key to workflow management – BPM process templates provide background orchestration to guide  project/incident management and facilitate decision-making at key process points along workflows.

Posted in Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Management, Case Management, Operational Effectiveness, Operational Efficiency, R.A.L.B. | Leave a comment

The Link between big data and corporate competitive advantage

The link between big data and corporate competitive advantage

Success in business is all about building, sustaining and augmenting competitive advantage.


Given comparable infrastructure (Capital, Access to Capital, Land, Equipment, Tools, Premises, Staff, Intellectual Property/Knowhow, Current Products/Services, Products / Services Under Development, Projects Awaiting Approval, Technology Trends, Changing Legislation, Competitors) what is it that distinguishes one corporation from another in terms of ability to augment competitive advantage?

If you subscribe to the notion that managing a business today is more complex, has more options, shorter ROI timelines, with increased risk and uncertainty, one differentiating factor is the methodologies in use for strategic and operational planning, monitoring and control.

Let’s start with the problem of making good use of scarce corporate resources.

Most organizations have no shortage of ‘promising’ initiatives that could be undertaken at any point in time but lack the resources to contemporaneously implement more than a few of these.

It follows that strategists need ways and means of ranking prospective initiatives in order of decreasing attractiveness.

For this, they need to be able to inventory candidate initiatives, with an indication of the resources each would need going forward. Clearly, we might as well also inventory existing initiatives with the resources they are using in order to be able to determine on an ongoing basis which resources are available for new initiatives.

Strategists don’t like to tie up any one resource completely as that might prevent new initiatives from being undertaken, so each resource needs a minimum reserve level.  Similarly, they don’t want any one resource to be tied up for too long a period of time.

A practical approach is to dynamically crosslink resources to initiatives (current and prospective). Resources sit in a pool and are assigned to initiatives.

Strategists reasonably want to see all corporate assets/resources/initiatives at one computer screen and have the ability/to drag/drop resources to new initiatives as well as put back resources to their respective resource pools as and when initiatives no longer need these.

The final step is to rank new initiatives according to their attractiveness (i.e. read “according to their ability to sustain or augment competitive advantage”).

This puts senior management in a position to select the more promising and to declare these as ”ready for implementation”.

A  3D graphic free-form-search knowledgebase is the environment of choice here as it can provide visual oversight for tens of thousands of dynamic data points, with hierarchical linking.

Strategy Implementation

Responsibility for implementation of new initiatives goes to operations managers who submit ROI requests or annual budgets.  The only initiatives that should get funded are those that contribute directly or indirectly to strategic objectives.

Operations managers similarly need infrastructure for setting up Projects or Cases, engaging ‘best practice’ protocols for the performance of work, and assessing progress toward meeting Case goals.

Here, the methodologies of choice are BPM (Business Process Management), R.A.L.B. (auto-Resource Allocation, Leveling and Balancing, and F.O.M.M. (Figure of Merit Matrices) at a Case Management run-time platform.

Enter Big Data

Consistent with the trend toward decision-support from real-time predictive analytics, organizations are seeing dramatic increases in the quantity of data being collected as part of workflow management.

Given that one cannot analyze data that one does not collect, corporations do not today unduly agonize over what data to collect / not collect.

Collecting data carries with it no obligation to analyze the data and, within reason, the incremental cost of collecting more data rather than less data is not significant.

Two examples of practical use of big data are as follows:

  1. Operations Level (predictive analytics)

Overlaying of Case data at decision branching points along best practice template instances can guide users in the selection of sub-pathways to engage (e.g. similar Cases went this way, 60% of the time).

  1. Strategy Level (connect-the-dots gaming exercises)

Consolidation of operational data to corporate dashboards/KPIs at graphic free-form search knowledge bases, gives managers the option of being able to challenge trended data by engaging connect-the-dots searches across their corporate knowledge base. (e.g. we are projecting a 10% increase in sales, which is 120% of goal, except that, on analysis, the competition is increasing at a higher percentage, so maybe 10% is not “good”).

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Why we collect data . . what we need to do with it


Data is everywhere.

We collect data “for the record”, we collect data for use by predictive analytics algorithms and we collect data for use by humans and machines when making decisions.

Data, by itself, is highly important but not highly useful.

Contrary to popular opinion, unstructured data does not necessarily have to transition to structured data.

I will explain.

The usual flowgraph options for data go like this:

  1. Structured data -> data storage -> analysis/organization -> information -> knowledge -> decisions.
  2. Unstructured data \ structured data -> data storage -> analysis/organization -> information -> knowledge -> decisions.
  3. Unstructured data -> data storage -> free-form-searches -> information -> knowledge -> decisions.

All three work, providing the organization has methods, tools and platforms capable of managing the workflow. 

Except that many decision-makers short-circuit the process as follows:

Uninformed state of affairs               -> decisions

Data (structured or unstructured)   -> decisions

Information                                          -> decisions

Legacy knowledge                               -> decisions

My differentiating list for data, information and knowledge is as follows:

Data:                    Data, simply what it is – “. . all we want are the facts, ma’am”.

Information:       Processed, interpreted, or analyzed data.

Knowledge:        Increased level of confidence in Information that builds over
                              time (but can also decline over time).

Now for the explanation of how unstructured data can be as useful, at times, more
useful, than structured data.

Consider the following Strategic Planning platform (i.e. hosting multiple Entities, multiple hierarchies, thousands of data points), all accessible from one computer screen.


3D-Free-Form-Search Knowledgebase

Most corporations review/update their strategic plans at regular intervals (i.e. every 18 months, these days).  Absent ways and means for reviewing ongoing initiatives for their continuing contributions to strategy, the organization reverts to business-as-usual following publication of each strategic plan.

The problems are:

  1. Things change (e.g. changes to implementation priorities, changing customer needs, competitors leapfrogging “innovative” designs that are on the drawing board or in-progress).
  2. Information declines in value and needs periodic refreshing.
  3. Knowledge needs to be upgraded as a result of #2.

If you have experience with auditors or law enforcement investigators, you know that information virtually “leaps off the page” for some of these folks. They sense the need to drill down (e.g. when and where).

One way for non-auditors/non-LE investigators to make better use of information is to make use of 3D free-form-search Knowledgebases (3D-KBs) to launch “what-if” analyses and “connect-the-dots” exercises.

3D-KBs do not need to rely on structured data. Unlike searches across structured data, a free-form-search at a 3D-KB may be able find a phone number that was not properly entered into the “Phone Number” field at a relational database management table.

3D-KBs do not rely on invented “key words” – the search engines scan full text with the result that everything other than “the, and, and but, etc.” becomes a keyword.

Our experience with Strategic Planning Methods, Tools, Platforms

Civerex and its partners Global Initiatives and HNCT are in the business of evolving Infrastructure Protection plans for clients – our process starts with an inventory of all infrastructure/resources for each client.

From there, we assess risks/vulnerabilities, we remediate vulnerabilities, we evolve detection, avoidance, counteraction protocols. This takes each client to a state of “Readiness”.

Over time, we build on Readiness to bring a client to a state of “Resilience” (changes to Readiness as a result of daily scanning the horizon of incidents across the client industry area/geo-location, etc.).

When all of this fails, we move along to a set of protocols for “Recovery”.  The happy scenario is to train on Recovery profiles but never have to invoke them.

Moving Forward

If you want to improve decision-making at your organization, get on board with 3D-KBs. You will need a method, working tools and a platform.

Your options are to invent these out of your ‘garage’ or call us for mentoring.

Our approach to consulting engagements is arrive on site “loaded for bear” (i.e. we do our homework), and we start planning to leave from the time we arrive (i.e. our main deliverable to each client is the transfer of planning expertise and technology).

We do not push “buy-low-sell-high” and we won’t borrow your watch to tell you what time it is.


1 800 529 5355

Posted in #strategy, Corporate Infrastructure Protection, Database Technology, Decision Making, Resource Based View, Strategic Planning | 2 Comments

Success Achieving Operational Efficiency & Effectiveness (methods, tools, platforms)

With reference to my recent article called “Avoiding Transformation Program Fails”, operational efficiency and effectiveness need methods to avoid madness.

Transformation Initiatives need tools at generic workflow/workload management platforms.Success

Method: CPM for Once-Through Initiatives

CPM is the method of choice for once-through implementations, ACM/BPM is the method of choice for on-going transaction workflow/ workload management.

CPM handles what, where, who, when and why – you get to see full project/initiative detail from the start of any initiative through to the end objective (i.e. typically “ribbon cutting”, followed by a settling-in phase).

CPM puts a strong focus on predictive analytics in that ES-EF-LS-LF (Early Start, Early Finish, Late Start, Late Finish) and “float” trending will show time-spent plus projected time-to-completion and cost-to-date/projected cost-at-completion. CPM also handles resource allocation, leveling and balancing (R.A.L.B.).

Method: “Cases” for b2b, b2c, c2b Initiatives

In respect of Digital Transformation, particularly in the area of b2b, c2b and b2c, it is usually not possible to anticipate forward task timing, or costs.

What organizations do have is an inventory of process templates (linked tasks) that can be hosted at “Cases” (i.e. “Case” being nothing more than a cursor position in a relational database management system).

Cases allow Case Managers to manage Cases.

This sounds silly but it emphasizes that Managers in hierarchical organizational structure silos do not “manage” initiatives that span multiple silos.

Case allows staff to come out of their silos and perform work “at Cases”. When they are done, they go back to their silos.


Let’s pause a moment to improve our understanding of “work”.

The purpose of “work” is to convert inputs to outputs. This generally requires the expenditure of time and money.

Work ties-up or consumes infrastructure/resources. What this means is you cannot contemporaneously, in most organizations, take on all promising initiatives over any highlighted timeframe. Few organizations have unlimited infrastructure/resources.

Next, whereas there are many ways to get from “a” to “b”, analysis of work in any area of focus typically reveals a short-list of more efficient/more effective ways of performing work. These are workflow “best practices” (not necessarily industry best practices, not always a corporation’s best practices, not always an individual’s best practices).

The method of choice for representing a linked suite of tasks is BPM (Business Process Management).  My view has always been that BPM evolved from CPM (Polaris Project 1957).

Cases are capable of hosting best practice workflow templates and workload management engines.

The way to get to workflow/workload management is to map out best practices, compile the resulting workflows, roll these out as templates made up of linked tasks and use workflow/ workload management software to post the right tasks to the right people at the right time for information/data collection. The actors perform the work, record any needed/useful data and commit tasks. The workflow engine immediately, absent imposed delays, posts the next-in-line task(s) for information/action.

Cases also accommodate workload management.

We know from behavioral analysis that staff like to micro-schedule their work.  Given a task list with a one-hour window between, say, two meetings, a worker may today prefer to finish off a few small tasks OR advance the status of one large task. As for tomorrow, the same worker may prefer to do the opposite.

Best to give actors some flexibility in the performance of work for other than “production line” work.

Whilst individual workers are micro-scheduling their tasks, Case Managers frequently need to re-allocate, level and balance workload (i.e. worker “a” is on vacation; worker “b” has too many allocated tasks; a customer requires that a project be accelerated or deferred).

As with CPM, methods, tools and a platform are needed for the management of Cases.

The methods of choice for workflow management are BPM/R.A.L.B. but we need an additional method that consolidates efficiency (i.e. doing work the right way) and effectiveness (i.e. doing the right work).  The additional method is F.O.M.M. (Figure of Merit Matrices).

F.O.M.M. decreases subjective variability in the assessment of progress at Cases – i.e. given a set of best practices, Case Managers and staff will routinely deviate from these (skipping tasks, re-visiting already-completed tasks, recording data at not-yet-current tasks, inserting tasks not in any workflow template).

Now for the Platform in “methods/tools/platforms”.

Workflow/workload across Cases (most workers work on several Cases at a time) requires a Platform (i.e. an e-workspace per worker, comprising a Task InTray; ways and means of micro-scheduling tasks; facilities that enable collaboration across workers/Case Managers; easy viewing of task instructions; easy recording of needed/useful data at Cases\tasks).

When designing a Platform, make sure you involve Change Managers – these folks have direct, close experience with end-users of Platforms.  Change Managers know that if a new Platform does not make work easier than at a previous Platform, it will be difficult to onboard users and keep users on board.

Bottom line . . . .

BPM and R.A.L.B. positively impact efficiency, ACM/R.A.L.B./F.O.M.M. positively impact effectiveness.

A workflow/workload Platform allows workers and Case Managers to achieve efficiency and effectiveness.

Posted in Adaptive Case Management, BPM, Case Management, Operational Effectiveness, Operational Efficiency | Leave a comment

Success Evolving Corporate Strategies (methods, tools, platforms)

With reference to my recent article called “Avoiding Transformation Program Fails”, here are some guidelines for an orderly process for making “good” use of corporate infrastructure/resources (i.e.  putting a focus on building Competitive Advantage).

The model our group has used for over 20 years starts with an inventory of Successinfrastructure/ resources (Capital, Access to Capital, Land, Plant, Equipment, Tools, Premises, Staff, Current Products/Services, Products / Services Under Development, Projects Awaiting Approval, Technology Trends, Changing Legislation, Competitor actions).

Organizations should strive for a mix of top-down and bottom-up “candidate initiatives”. Each candidate initiative draws down on corporate infrastructure/ resources. Few corporations have sufficient infrastructure/resources to take on all ‘candidate initiatives”.

Accordingly, each significant candidate initiative needs to be subjected to a threat assessment, risk/reward analysis and an ROI/SROI categorization, with a clear statement of the extent to which the initiative will contribute to building Competitive Advantage.

The final step is funding of a few initiatives from a short list of ‘promising initiatives”, with attention to having a balanced portfolio of initiatives (high risk/high return vs low risk/low return; short duration vs long duration).

From here, Case/Project Managers assume ownership of approved / funded initiatives.

Building, sustaining and augmenting Competitive Advantage requires methods, tools and a platform).  You can’t expect to carry out the planning on the back of an envelope.

We recommend RBV (Resource-Based View) to all clients for “viewing” infrastructure/ resources and we recommend F.O.M.M. (Figure of Merit Matrices) for non-subjective ranking of candidate initiatives.

RBV is not software, it’s a method.

RBV is exceptionally useful for strategic planning purposes when practiced at a platform that supports RBV as it lets planners “view” all the infrastructure/resources of a corporation.  The core concept behind RBV is that better decisions result when strategic planners can “consider” all elements impacting a decision.

Here, below, is an “empty” template for the Bahamas Hurricane Dorian Recovery Project comprising 25 Entities, with 100-500 instances per Entity, each instance having 20-50 data elements.

Our expectation is that the number of data points for the recovery project will exceed 500,000.

Bahamas_Hurricane_Dorian_Recovery_Project3D Free-Form Search Kbase Platform (1)

Here is what the same data looks like when it is not viewable at a platform that supports RBV.




“3D free-form-search Kbases” do not rely on “key words”, nor do they require users to build tables\fields. Most of the data at these Kbases arrives via generic data exchangers from multiple remote data feeds.

Stay tuned for “Success achieving operational efficiency and effectiveness (methods, tools, platforms)


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Avoiding Transformation Program Fails

McKinsey & Company claimed in 2013 that 70% of Transformation Programs Fail (AIPMM, September 2013)BusinessFailure

The McKinsey breakdown on fails went like this (Employee Resistance: 39%; Lack of Management Support: 33%; Inadequate Resources or budget: 14%; Other: 14%).

I don’t see much evidence that this has changed over these past seven years.

My first takeaway viewing the slide presentation was that it was mostly about not taking the time up-front to model the run-time platform users would eventually be using.

Since work is all about converting information into action, system designers should reasonably look to a generic workflow/workload management platform where organizational processes can be mapped, rolled out and made available to users for modeling purposes.  If the user perception is that work is easier under the new system than under the current system, employee resistance is likely to decrease.

The mapping should be done by the users, with a facilitator present.  Clearly, having to learn a notation or language in order to be able to map out a process is a turn-off.  Same for having to build/maintain database tables, building data display/data collection Forms at process steps and putting in place any required rule set development.

The solution here is to have an initial modeling phase that uses images of eventual forms and summary narrative descriptions of rule sets. Real forms and rule sets can come later.

My second takeaway was that a good portfolio management  platform (proposed initiatives, threat assessments, ROI/SROI and explicit funding/project auditing mechanisms) relieves Management of the need to provide ongoing “support”.  That said, the fast pace of business today requires that Management continuously scan the horizon for opportunities/problems and monitor the progress of initiatives during implementation phases.

Stay tuned for a description of orderly processes for planning and managing Transformation Programs.

“Success Evolving Strategies (methods, tools, platforms)”

Then, a second article

“Success Achieving Operational Efficiency and Effectiveness (methods, tools, platforms)”

Posted in Adaptive Case Management, BPM, Case Management, Competitive Advantage, Operational Efficiency, Operational Planning, R.A.L.B. | Leave a comment

How to Install BPM in a Corporation


It is difficult to recommend a “best” way to install BPM in a company.

The approach needs to vary with the consultant, and vary with the client.

One-size-fits-all, ends up predictably fitting none of the players.


Photo Credit Jill Wellington

Here below is the script we recommend for our consultants:


Do a live session with a few stakeholders where you build a small workflow (10-20 steps) of the client’s choice (steps, directional arrows, all steps using the same placeholder Form, all steps with the same routing i.e. “all”).

Make sure the workflow has at least one (1) manual branching-decision-box.

Compile the workflow and roll it out to an ACM/BPM workflow/workload platform.

Stream a Case record onto your compiled workflow to generate a template;

As the BPM engine posts steps according to the logic of your  template, record some data at the placeholder Form at each step, then commit the step.

Go to the History to show that the platform records the data that was entered at each step at the placeholder Form with an auto-date/time stamp.

[quick build – this session must not run more than 1 hour]


Now, repeat #1, where some of the steps have different Routings (i.e. replace “all” with e.g. “contracts”, “design”, “production”, “shipping”). Model the workflow with a small group of stakeholders.

[illustrate Routing as an attribute of workflow steps]


Replace the placeholder Forms along the workflow with, assuming the client can provide these, images of Forms needed at each step in #1.

Make sure there is an additional “memo” Form field at each Form. This is very useful during modeling to capture notes (i.e. wrong Form, missing Fields, wrong Routing,  wrong sequencing of steps, etc.).

[illustrate Forms as an attribute of workflow steps]


Upgrade your workflow by adding a Rule Set that automates your branching decision box step. Set the routing at the branching decision box to “system”.

i.e. install a rule at each option at a Yes/No decision box where an upstream form picks up a Yes/No value at, say, a combobox and automatically resolves the decision box when the decision box becomes “current” along the worklow template. 

[introduce the client to workflow branching/re-merging]


Show the client how to build a custom workflow step Form and encode this to one or more steps.

Make sure there are two steps that feature the same step Form, to illustrate that data recorded at the 1st step flows along the workflow to the 2nd step.

[upgrade of #3]


Now, compile, roll out and re-run your latest upgrade of your workflow where you skip a step, re-visit an already completed step, insert a step not in your workflow.

Mention that Rules can be put in place at steps to guard against extreme, unwanted excursions away from “best practices”.

[demonstrate that your solution accommodates excursions away from “best practices”]


Illustrate re-direction of steps where a supervisor overrides the auto-routing by assigning a step to a named user.

[demonstrate escalation as part of RALB (Resource Allocation, Leveling and Balancing)]


Explain that “Case Managers are the folks who close Cases” and that some non-subjective means is needed to show progress along a workflow, typically along an “S” curve.

[illustrate non-subjective decision-making for Case closing]


On site vs GoToMeeting or equivalent web-based sessions?

Make sure with remote sessions that you can accomplish a few of the #2-#8 steps in no more than one hour. Combine steps where possible but avoid long drawn-out remote sessions as  some stakeholders have short attention spans.


Onboarding stakeholders

During client sessions, let a stakeholder take over your mouse/ keyboard.  If the client is willing, let them do some of the processing at steps #1 and #2. The more stakeholders participate, the greater their level of confidence, sustained onboarding, etc.


Increasing the chances of a successful ACM/BPM implementation

Once the company is on board with ACM/BPM make sure that top management understands that a separate set of methods/tools/software/platform can (should) be put in place for building, sustaining and augmenting strategic competitive advantage (infrastructure/ resource inventory, risk assessment, vulnerabilities, remediation, funding initiatives).

Explain that the way to narrow the gap between strategy->operations and operations-> strategy is for top management/operations to build initiatives, fund the more promising of these and set the focus at Cases on Initiatives, not processes.

Do not hard sell this to the point of losing the operational efficiency/effectiveness engagement by over-complicating.


See 300+ blog posts that go back to 2010 – many relate to BPM.

Posted in Adaptive Case Management, Business Process Management, Case Management, Competitive Advantage, FOMM, Operational Efficiency, Operational Planning, Planning, Process Management, Process Mapping, R.A.L.B., Risk Analysis | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Corporate Agility – where the rubber meets the road . .

Corporate agility is essential today for building, sustaining and augmenting corporate strategy and for operational workflow/workload management  (i.e achieving operational efficiency & effectiveness).

It seems today as a result of the persistence of BPM (Business Process Management) practitioners over 20 years,  corporations are in good shape to achieve agility in the operations area.  (no-code/low-code for process mapping and re-mapping; run-time workflow/workload management platforms; and, to an increasing extent, real-time predictive analytics decision-support).

With minor exceptions, things are not at all as advanced in the area of strategy building.

Consider the need for corporations to evolve strategy and operational response to cyber and terrorist attacks. If you go to Wikipedia, you will see that in respect of the latter there are 2,000 + incidents per year sourced from 4,000 + terrorist groups.

Suppose you have mining operations in a country like Burkina Faso, West Africa. Your strategic variables are available national infrastructure protection plus corporate-specific infrastructure protection plans and event/incident response tactics.

Most corporations lack the resources/skills to evolve comprehensive Infrastructure Protection Plans on their own, so they have to rely on external security consultants.  Most of these groups are selling man-hours, so their preference is to arrive and never leave.

Civerex and its partners HNCT/GI take corporations through the same  readiness/ resilience process, but our end objective is tech transfer that allows our clients, going forward, to build / own/ manage their own strategic and tactical plans for threat identification, threat assessment, vulnerability identification/ remediation, readiness and response.

Most of the work involves no code, no database construction, no application system building, but significant semi-real-time data collection setup and frequent tweaks by clients to their strategy and operating procedures.

An Infrastructure Protection Plan (IPP)  Kbase can easily comprise 50,000 data points, inclusive of protocols for emergency response to chemical, biological and radiological attacks.

Worldwide 3D Kbase IPP template plus corporate-specific template.


Engaging a search for “Burkina Faso” – notice that the search results show the country of interest, nearby countries, terrorist groups operating within the country of interest, incidents at the country of interest and that filtering has reduced the number of entities of interest from  9 to 4.Corporate_Infrastructure_Protection_BURKINA

Right-clicking on the search node (green node) takes the user to a listbox of the “hits” across the highlighted entities for easy browsing of the node content and any linked URLs and linked files.

Posted in #strategy, Competitive Advantage, Corporate Infrastructure Protection, FOMM, Operational Planning, Risk Analysis | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Corporate Infrastructure Protection

Corporations have finite Infrastructure and scarce Resources.

infrastructure protection

Corporations need methods to evolve strategic internal initiatives from their Infrastructure and Resources.

Corporations need methods to protect their Infrastructure and Resources from external initiatives (i.e. unwanted events and incidents).

The purpose of this new series of posts is to demonstrate that corporate strategic planning and corporate infrastructure protection planning can/should be carried out within the same e-platform.

It will immediately become obvious that the methods/steps for Corporate Strategic Planning (CSP) are different from methods/steps needed for Corporate Infrastructure Protection Planning (CIPP).

Not so obvious is that an e-platform that is capable of hosting RBV (Resource-Based View) is the platform of choice for practicing both CSP and CIPP.

Strategic Planning

The usual approach to strategic planning is

   Infrastructure/Resources Inventory ->

Strategy ->

   Initiatives ->

      Competitive Advantage

Reading between the lines, the process unfolds as follows:

  1. Corporations have finite infrastructure and scarce resources.
  2. Infrastructure/resources decay over time.
  3. The only way to increase competitive advantage is to evolve initiatives that allocate Infrastructure/resources and make good use of such infrastructure/resources.
  4. Each initiative needs a risk rating, ROI, goals/objectives, and a timeline. It is important to avoid biased mixes of initiatives within the range “low risk, high return, short timeline” and “high risk, low return, long timeline”.
  5. Strategies/initiatives/goals/objectives need periodic monitoring and, where needed, adjustment.

Corporate Infrastructure Protection Planning

The model for Corporate Infrastructure Protection planning is

External Events Inventory ->

   Risk Assessment of Possible Events ->

      Vulnerability Assessment/Remediation ->

         Event Detection ->

            Incident Avoidance/Counter Action(s)

If avoidance/counteraction tactics fail, the corporation moves forward to

Incident Management ->


Reading between the lines, the process unfolds as follows:

  1. In the area of Infrastructure Protection, events come from the outside. Usually, there is no advance warning of an event.
  2. Events quickly escalate to incidents to damage/destruction.
  3. Corporations need to have an inventory of possible Events and a ready set of ways and means to prevent events from becoming incidents, plus, when this fails, ways and means of managing incidents and recovering from incidents.
  4. Corporate assets can have strong links – if one link in a value chain breaks, an entire set of assets can become dysfunctional or be destroyed.
  5. Events/incidents need to be pre-assessed for risk.
  6. Time is of the essence – some incidents require counteraction within seconds of the detection of events.
  7. Event detection is  a 24 x 7 job.

Strategic Planning is key to building competitive advantage (i.e. strategy -> internal initiatives -> competitive advantage), Infrastructure Protection Planning puts a focus on readiness and resilience (i.e. external events awareness,  events, incidents, recovery).

What is remarkable is that corporations that subscribe to RBV (Resource Based View) can carry out strategic planning and infrastructure protection planning at the same e-platform.

The obvious starting benefit is a common inventory of corporate assets (i.e. assets to be deployed, assets to be protected).

Stay tuned to learn how you can build strategy and infrastructure protection plans in an e-platform (i.e. 3D free-form-search Knowledgebases).

Posted in Corporate Infrastructure Protection | Tagged | Leave a comment

Unlocking The Secrets To Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage

secretsCompetitive Advantage is the result of better use of available Resources. 

NOTE: In this article “Resources” picks up Infrastructure plus Renewal Resources plus Non-Renewal Resources.

The range of Resources for any corporation can include:

Capital, Access to Capital, Land, Equipment, Tools, Premises, Staff, Current Products/Services, Products / Services Under Development, Projects Awaiting Approval, Technology Trends, Changing Legislation, Competitors.

We know from RBV (Resource Based View) that corporations that are able to “view” all of their Resources tend to make better decisions re building up a proper mix of initiatives that draw on these resources (i.e. avoid high risk / low return initiatives; avoid initiatives that tie up key resources for too long a period of time; terminate or cancel initiatives that are non-performing).

Clearly, Operations needs to put a dual focus on work that advances the state of initiatives and work that is supportive of ongoing initiatives (i.e. maintaining compliance with external rules and regulations).

A problem arises when Operations puts too sharp a focus on, for example, processes.

There is no direct path between “continuous process improvement” and success from the implementation of corporate initiatives.  Whereas process improvement impacts efficiency, it only impacts effectiveness marginally.

The direct path from work to competitive advantage is as detailed below:

It’s not that difficult for an organization to transition to this model.

Actors who perform the work and oversee the progress of work need a workspace (commonly called “Case”).

The workspace must have an undercurrent comprising

  • orchestration from background BPM,
  • governance at the Case\Initiative level,
  • workload management i.e. RALB (Resource Allocation, Leveling, Balancing)
  • non-subjective assessment of progress toward meeting goals/objectives i.e. FOMM (Figure of Merit Matrices).

See some 300+ articles on the importance of orchestration from workflows, governance, workload management and non-subjective approaches to decision – making for both strategy development, and for achievement of operational efficiency and effectiveness

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Posted in #strategy, Adaptive Case Management, BPM, Business Process Management, Case Management, Decision Making, FOMM, Operations Management, Resource Based View, Strategic Planning | 2 Comments