Enterprise transformation

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 continuum between operations and transformation


Seeking agility

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 new value chain

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.

These two characteristics, looping and complexity, call for a new approach to the enterprise and another model.

The new value chain

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.

This schema serves as a guide to revise the enterprise processes. Such an action concerns what Praxeme calls the pragmatic aspect of the Enterprise System.

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: