Gartner EA: The Management Nexus

Presenters: Anne Lapkin and Colleen Young

One thing all of the presenters in the EA Summit are very good at doing is using consistent diagrams across all of their presentations. This is at least the third presentation where I’ve seen this flow diagram showing linkage between business goals and strategy, and business planning and execution. Unfortunately, Anne points out that the linkage is where things typically break down.

Colleen is now discussing strategic integration, which begins with an actionable articulation of business strategy, goals and objectives. From there, she recommends a standardized, integrated, results-based management methodology. As a result, she claims that we will see exponentially greater benefits from enterprise capabilities and investments.

Anne is speaking again and emphasizing that we need a unified contextual view. This consists of a goal, which is one level deeper than the “grow revenues by XY%” which includes a future end state with a timeline and measurable targets, principles that establish the desired behavior and core values, and relationships.

Colleen now has a great slide up called, “The Implication of ‘Implications’.” The tag line says it all- “Unclear implications lead to inconsistent assumptions and independent response strategies that inevitably clash.” Implications that must be investigated include financial implications, business process implications, architecture implications, cultural change implications, and more. All parties involved must understand and agree on these implications.

A statement Colleen just made that resonates with my current thinking is, “Based upon these implications, what do I need to change?” All too often, we don’t stop to think about what the “change” really is. Work starts happening, but no one really has a clear idea of why we’re doing it, only an innate trust that the work is necessary and valuable. If the earlier planning activities have made these goals explicit, the execution should be smoother, and when bumps in the road are encountered, the principles are right there to guide the decision making process, rather than on relying on someone’s interpretation of an undocumented implication.

Once again, this was a good session. I know I’ve commented on a few sessions that they could have been a bit more pragmatic or actionable, this one definitely achieved that goal. I think the attendees will be able to leave with some concrete guidance that they can turn around and use in their organizations.

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