The Enterprise Transformation Manifesto summarizes the golden rules for improving enterprises, respecting the values and fundamental interests of society. It is aimed at decision-makers and offers them a summary of the main topics that prepare the enterprise of the future.
It concerns every function in the enterprise, starting with:
- executive management, who will find in it a unified discourse and a list of principles to guide their transformation programs;
- communication and marketing departments, for whom the signing of the manifesto is an opportunity to affirm certain values of their enterprise;
- transversal functions (strategy, transformation management…) which will appreciate the repositioning of enterprise architecture.
The manifesto will also be of interest to academia, called upon to favor an interdisciplinary approach, around which teaching content can be organized (see, in particular, chapter 7).
This painting by Raphael was long used as the logo of the Praxeme Institute. It was chosen, of course, for the reference to Ancient Greece and because it evokes the patronage of some of the most brilliant minds of humanity. But we can also find in it a magnificent symbol of the methodology.
In the center, Raphael has positioned Plato, who has been given Leonardo de Vinci’s features and Aristotle who, so it is said, has borrowed Michelangelo’s face. Plato is pointing his index finger towards the sky, revealing thus the source of truth that resides in the ethereal sky of ideas. Aristotle, on the contrary, his hand outstretched towards the floor, indicates that the truth is to be found from facts that have been observed, analyzed and sorted. We know today that no science, no body of knowledge would know how to constitute itself without input from both approaches. The same is true of the methodology:
- the depository for the Praxeme corpus, including the method, communication material as well as the generic models and reusable components;
- the guarantor of the spirit of openness and freely available resources;
- the coordinator of all work around the method.
For more information: see the statutes of the association.
Some key facts
- Founded in October, 2006.
- General assembly every year in December, as part of the Symposium (which is open, in part, to the public at no charge).
- The College of contributors brings together, once a year, the decision-makers who support the initiative for an open method.
- The products developed by the association or in partnership are available free of charge, under a creative commons license, on the wiki.
- Members, contributors and partners: see the logos in the right-hand column. For more information about the actors of the initiative: see the Chorus section of the wiki.
The Praxeme Institute’s main mission, as defined in the statutes of the association, is the development and promotion of the Praxeme open method. To better reach this goal, we are led to provide other material and services. Thus, our activity is organized according to the Organum structure, the method’s proposal for managing project-related material. The sections of the Organum have been given Latin names, used in several European languages, facilitating thus their use in international projects.
This “TransOp” diagram superimposes three structures to deal with a critical subject: the continuum between operations and transformation. The agile enterprise must seek better integration between everyday activities (the operations) and transformation activities, which are seen to be more exceptional.
This schema brings several traditions together:
- that of quality, with the Deming wheel (or PDCA for Plan-Do-Check-Act);
- that of methodology, with the opposition analysis-design completed by execution;
- the current discourse on transformation.
The classic analysis-design dichotomy alone is not enough to cover the whole transformation chain and provide an account of enterprise life. It emphasizes study activities to the detriment of everyday activities. We therefore have to complete it with a third type of activity: execution, which is far more important in terms of volume. This is all the more necessary, as we now have to think about a closer linkage between operations and transformation, so as to increase enterprise agility, that is to say its capacity to rapidly adapt itself.
Put in place the improvement loop
This tripartition of Analysis-Design-Execution enables us to cover the complete scope, which can also be analyzed using the Deming wheel (PDCA). This schema allows us to draw a parallel with the quality approach.
The analysis encroaches on the “check” part. This means that there are two levels of verification or, more likely, two levels for the observation results to be taken into account:
- one, common, with the decision made by the producers (or the ones who execute);
- the other, more exceptional, which lies within the improvement loop for practices.
Mobilizing all the actors with a view to continuous improvement
On a larger scale and to clarify the roles involved in the transformation, we can position the separation between the transformation activities and the execution ones (the operations) on these templates. The transformation begins with a particular level of analysis: the “meta” analysis – if we can call it that – which exploits internal and external observations, takes a step back from the existing practices and raises questions about the running of the enterprise. This data is then used in the design phase, which consists in imagining new ways of working.
The diagram shows that operational managers have to understand the broader scope of their role: not only are they responsible for the day-to-day operations, as designed and stipulated (the execution, including verification), but they must also consider things in such a way that makes them actors in the transformation.
This philosophy can be summed up in one watchword: “We are all actors of the transformation!”
For further details:
The enterprise is a complex object. It cannot be approached without an analytical framework that organizes the subject matter. This is the role of the reference framework or methodological framework (conceptual framework). Thus, all the enterprise concerns, whether they be strategic or tactical, when they concern the organization, the performance or the logistics, are included in a full and rigorously structured description. In this way, every piece of information or decision is given one, and only one, place in the enterprise description Repository. We thus avoid wasting time and effort and can take advantage of the expertise of all concerned.
The Enterprise System Topology identifies and articulates seven aspects which enable us to apprehend the full reality of the enterprise. Contrary to “views”, these aspects are defined independently of points of view and are isolated using the internal logic of the Enterprise System. The method links them carefully together, so as to create a harmonious transformation chain. All along this chain, information and decision elements are expressed, formalized and progressively transformed into concrete solutions.
For more information: see the “Product” page on the wiki.
The value chain can no longer be simply linear. It has to integrate information gathering, retroactions and transformation decisions. Innovation, enterprise agility and the capacity of an enterprise to quickly adjust itself to a changing environment come at this cost. The value chain becomes “looped”, integrating feedback at all levels of the enterprise and encouraging collaboration. Furthermore, it becomes more complex by mobilizing partners.
The value chain, such as the one drawn by Michael Porter, is often seen as linear: the enterprise gets its supplies, manufactures, sells and provides after-sales services. Yet, at each point of this “chain”, precious information appears. Who better than the sales representative to get a feeling for what prospects expect? How can the designer come up with the idea that is guaranteed to appeal to the public? Are the marketing or communication departments told when there is a serious malfunction or persistent problem?
The value chain really must be “looped”, that is to say that systematic and rapid retroactions must be put in place. The schema proposed here shows:
- the seven generic actions that make up all value chains;
- the relations between these actions, including the required retroactions.
The recommended approach starts from the semantic aspect, that is to say the “business” objects which express the business fundamentals. It is by studying their lifecycle that we can best anticipate any disruptions and prepare the enterprise to react to them.
For further information, please see the following documents:
Praxeme is an enterprise methodology. It can be applied to any organized and voluntary system: organization, information system or technical system. It covers all aspects of these systems: from the culture and values of the enterprise to its infrastructure, via knowledge, the organization and the processes. This interdisciplinary approach answers the need to link specialties together to think the enterprise as a whole and aid in its transformation.
Enterprises, government agencies and other organizations evolve in an ever-changing environment; they deal with uncertainty on a daily basis. Continually alert, they have to adapt, modernize and transform themselves.
Praxeme provides an analytical framework of the enterprise, in all its dimensions. Its procedures and methods enable it to capture all the elements that make up the reality of the enterprise, as well as the significant elements in its environment. Acting on the enterprise presupposes that we understand and apprehend it in all its complexity. To this end, Praxeme assembles the analysis and representation techniques that are of benefit to the strategy, design and transformation.
Scope of the method
Praxeme aims to cover all the enterprise aspects, from values to infrastructure, from strategy to deployment (see the reference framework). Those who promote Praxeme think, indeed, that the main need of an enterprise is to organize the synergy between the disciplines and specialties that are not used to working together.
Applications of the method
Praxeme has been able to demonstrate its use in very varied contexts:
- enterprise transformation and business architecture;
- overhaul of information systems;
- redesign of business processes and organizational innovation;
- modeling of technical systems (weaponry, drone systems, transport systems);
- IT projects.
For more information on the applications: see the wiki.
Praxeme covers both levels:
- the method, a set of practical answers to the question “how do we…?”;
- the methodology, discourse on the method.
The methodology is presented through guides which establish the fundamentals of the method and justify the measures. The methodological guides are aimed at people – method or quality engineers, enterprise architects, trainers, transformation managers… – who need to understand the overall logic and implications of the approach Praxeme provides.
The structure of the method
The Pro3 (pro cube) schema shows the chapters of the methodology:
- Product: What are we talking about? What is the object that we are building or transforming (the enterprise, a federation of enterprises, a socio-technical system, an application…)?
- Process: How can we organize ourselves? How can we work together?
- Procedures and methods: How can we work individually? How can we work well?
Understanding the internal logic of the Product is, in our opinion, a prerequisite to answering the “How” question. The analysis of the overall aim sits atop this structure and brings us continually back to the question of justification, the question which extends the methodology to the quality domain.
Most enterprises and organizations are faced with the same difficulties as regards design and control: whether it concerns how they are run or how they are transformed, their processes or their information systems, the acknowledged complexity everywhere dominates and drives to despair.
Rather than responding to these difficulties in a haphazard way, with necessarily limited means, several actors have joined forces in order to develop an open method. Praxeme is the result of this pooling of investments. It is an enterprise methodology that covers all aspects of the enterprise, from strategy to deployment.
- After the initial work carried out for SAGEM and SMABTP, the white paper, in 2004, defined the initiative and formulated some of the principles of the method.
- In 2006, the Praxeme Institute association was founded.
- Today, strengthened by the support from the French government and several other actors, the association is developing version 2 of the method.
A brief chronology
- 2003: first contribution, contribution from SAGEM Defense (first version of the methodological guides, applied to the overhaul of drone system control stations)
- 2004: initiative launched, publication of the White Paper, contribution of SMABTP (Praxeme for SOA)
- 2005: initial communication
- 2006: founding of the Praxeme Institute
- 2007: first “Exceptional days”
- 2009: Praxeme recommended as a method for designing information systems in the General Interoperability Framework (RGI: Référentiel général d’interopérabilité)
- 2010: publication of the Enterprise Transformation Manifesto, signature of a cooperation agreement with CESAMES
- 2011: contribution of the “Performance Tree” method, donated to the open corpus
- 2012: exceptional training course “Business Architecture & Transformation”
- 2013: Praxeme adopted by the Interministerial Directorate for Information and Communications Systems (DISIC), launch of version 2
For more details: see the presentation about the initiative on the wiki.