Consulting Services

Strategy and Operational integration

Our view of strategy is it to be based upon real-life dynamical systems, like ecosystems, corporations, governments and societies, which are systems in constant flux or change. Since change is constant (1st law of thermodynamics), it suggests that all forms of planning must be infused with systemic characteristics so as to keep plans & strategies relevant in a constantly evolving business landscape. This is unique and well removed from traditional strategic planning, still steeped in mechanistic modelsthat assume a neat, ordered world, usually called the “clock-work” universe. This view holds that future events and things are predictable, ordered, stable and functioning without surprises, much like a mechanical watch, hence the term mechanistic predictability. A theoretical world where Newtonian physics ruled for thousands of years, based upon the premise that if we know the momentum and location of an atom, it allows us near-perfect predictability, meaning the future behavior of the system. Such deterministic versions of universal behavior have been proven wrong, especially relating to complex adaptive systems, which are systems having high degrees of complexity, randomness and chaos inherently making control and predictability impossible (Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle and duality of the wave-particle from Quantum mechanics). The study of such dynamic systems falls under the broad category of complexity science, which accepts unpredictability, chaos, random behavior and entanglement as core systemic aspects. Practically, this confirms that traditional strategic models need to be upgraded to ensure it contains robustness and flexibility as the model thinking is embedded in a Cartesian paradigm. Knowing this to be fact, and having experienced the liberation from Mechanistic notions of command and control, have resulted in our firm and our clients, making great strides, intellectually and financially.

Complexity science reveal the waste of resources we invest into manipulation and control of events we actually can never truly control, whilst it suggests we invest our resources, thinking, planning and action into areas that provide us the ability to influence outcomes, as opposed to control them. This is achieved by understanding systemic “Attractors” or forces within any business and social landscape. Our business architecture tool (BAT®) is designed to optimally use all resources toward adaptive planning, capable of dealing with uncertainty and unpredictability a natural feature of everyday life or, the real world. We focus upon integration as opposed to fragmentation, ensuring the holistic picture is retained at all times. The iterative nature of our solution framework, as well as it’s “fractal-centric” design, alleviates the need of endless consultative initiatives since the model is designed to lend itself to “continuous adaptation” and “self-regulation” core aspects to ensure responsive and flexible organisations.

Refine, Develop and Implement business process

Understanding business processes and operations from a mechanistic manner is still common practice, and although this approach brought management science many victories and improvements, it is known to lack core elements of dynamism. In other words it assumes that everything will go as planned. It also assumes that all people, plans and operations (the business system) are perfectly controllable and predictable, discarding sensitivity to initial conditions (the butterfly effect from chaos theory). Solutions & processes that adopt linear, cause-effect model thinking cannot be used to address dynamic problems. Even our best staff and suppliers do not always perform the way we expect them to perform; even the most expensive technology sometimes fail; that business situations are dynamic and not static; that actions and reactions are often non-linear and disproportional. These insights are extremely useful in re-engineering processes by introducing features able to accommodate intuition, innovation and creativity into the organisation. Process features or algedonic-alerts like Requisite Variety, Attenuation, Amplification, Supplementation, and Self-organisation are systemic constructs that allow organisations to be responsive, without sacrificing governance and transparency controls. Starting to think and work systemically, is the key destination we wish to reach with our clients, since systemic maturity is mandatory to build truly “viable process architectures”. Using self-regulation as an iterative process model for the organisation to meet its growth targets and to help build internal capacities to navigate the dynamics of a competitive landscape.

Business integration

This is probably the most important aspect in any business. Ensuring effective integration of core enablers: “Process, People & Technology”. The manner these systems are integrated is unique to each business, and is the cornerstone of any successful enterprise. It is a common that organisations often place a greater relative emphasis upon 1 or 2 of the three areas (e.g. having the best financial system, yet not having conducted the necessary training to manage and use the system effectively, or not having the processes aligned to the technology deployed). Systemic integration of these areas increases efficiency of the business, through more effective symbiosis between the enabling architecture of any business. Our integration approach incorporates core sub-systems, both internal to the organisation (People, Process, Technology (BAT®), as well as external “forces” impacting the organisation (EVC©), presenting a holistic or systemic view. This approach yield insights of how business policies, rules, regulation and practices impact upon the organisation, clarifying risk and reward considerations, prior to taking action or implementation of projects.

Programme management

Over the years, our ability to work across countries and collaborate across borders on large programmes required us to refine and improve upon our programme management offering, ensuring that it’s standards are able to integrate effectively in the different models in use by different agents and agencies. Our ability to co-ordinate and manage multiple projects aimed at meeting a single, or specific group of objectives have resulted in having a number of repeat clients, purely based upon value creation. The programmes, and their respective sub-projects may indeed be executed across departments or business units within one organisation, or across a spectrum of “stakeholders”. It is our systemic feedback loops (recursive feedback loops) that increase our rate of success on such complex assignments.

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Project management

The co-ordination of specific tasks and objectives designed to deliver predefined results is yet another key area of competence. Project management is based upon the “hard systems science” body of knowledge, and most effective when problem statements are well defined and known. However, in most instances the problem statement (RFP or tender documents) itself are ill-defined and vague, which directly affects project managers and their deliverables or milestones. To prevent or minimize these risks, our models enhances the PMBOK with “soft-systems science” tools, like VSM, SSM, etc. The need to have both soft and hard systems features within a sound methodology, ensure that risks are pro-actively management via algedonic alerts (advance warnings of risks and challenges). These features ensure that our implementations are able to mitigate loss and risk to a much higher degree than those contained in traditional project management. Viewing assignments systemically ensures that our project management goes beyond the management of budgeted figures and timelines. We are consistently focused and dedicate extra effort to managing the relationship between time, cost and quality since the goal is a direct function of how these three areas are prioritized by the client. This is vital due to the great inter-dependence of these base elements (e.g. to deliver ahead of time does not necessarily imply higher cost or more resources). It is the systemic optimization of these areas, which yield a result befitting the constraints of the project or client.

Cost engineering

The ability to analyse and de-construct any business activity into its most granular or lowest levels of resolution, allow business owners to identify key cost drivers, important to any organisation. Having such intelligence, feeds into many aspects of the operations, like the design and implementation of KRA’s and KPI’s. This cost-engineering service allows for effective cost management, and serves as the basis for studying relationships between the individual parts, giving greater understanding to the dynamics of the whole “system in focus” which may indeed be the entire organisation, or one or more of its projects.

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