Most CSPs (about 63%) are already establishing programs to build a culture of collaboration in their organizations. We want to share our thoughts on and experience with this subject with you. Our conviction is that a DNA evolution path like that shown in the figure below is required.
In order to slowly move out of organizational silos and constraints, the first step is to ascertain the related costs quality challenges and delays in taking new products/services to market. Then everything becomes clearer. However, there still may not be any significant improvements. The following are symptomatic:
- Business rules vary across product portfolios.
- RACI charts and solution milestones are not consistently defined, especially for large enterprises and complex deals in managed services.
- Process frameworks need improvements to handle the exceptions and customer change requests, but that flexibility is still absent.
- Operational teams have to be trained to adopt an E2E perspective on the service delivery and customer journeys to get them up to speed.
- Key performance indicators are mostly still driven by operational teams, making it difficult to identify the root causes and correct overall process inefficiencies.
In this context, it is very difficult for experts and managers to efficiently collaborate and coordinate activities outside their respective areas of responsibility. They can improve things in their individual areas, but this can have unintended negative repercussions on other departments. So what can be done to remove these roadblocks and achieve a genuinely agile organization?
SAFe deals with operational and development value streams. Lean Six Sigma addresses end-to-end process flows while using SIPOC to simplify them. But neither of these approaches tell you how to organize your people. We suggest starting by structuring teams based on a process- and solution-driven operating model.
This way, employees’ values, norms and behavior are driven by the E2E process instead of by departmental KPIs and incentives. The employees then belong to the process and are organized into competence centers with cross-functional teams for sales, marketing, IT, customer care and network operations. Some of our clients are taking the Tribe approach, while others are using applying the Swarm approach. What most of them share is that they are establishing new organizational designs with key elements of Holacracy, network or decentralized organizational models.
We suggest the following cultural framework for supporting the new organizational design and ensuring that beliefs, values and norms are aligned with a horizontal collaborative approach.
The more self-managed collaboration and coordination behaviors emerge from a CSP’s organization, the greater is the probability that it will succeed in the new digital economy by demolishing its organizational silos and transforming into an agile organization. This implies investing in changing beliefs, values and norms to create organizational simplicity within a very complex delivery environment, while also modifying the system in which people operate by adopting an overall process- and solution-driven operating model and attracting new talent with the right predisposition. Horizontality is one of the three key elements of agile organizational DNA.
The DNA evolution - the missing link to an agile organization - is all about employee horizontality, customer intimacy and managing uncertainty.