Overcoming Enterprise Disconnect: The Power of Value Stream
Change is difficult, especially in an organisation where the processes and people are set in their ways. Introducing new technology or changing the way things are done can feel like pushing a boulder uphill. But fear not, because there is a way to break down those silos, overcome enterprise disconnect, and get your organisation running like a well-oiled machine.
The Enterprise Disconnect
The enterprise disconnect is because departments and teams work in isolation, with less or no communication. In some enterprises, the different functional silo duplicates their efforts and spends significant time creating documents or artefacts that no one uses. Often no one in the enterprise could see the holistic system and how work flows through that system.
This disconnect leads to waste, rework, lower employee engagement, and dissatisfaction. When teams work independently, there needs to be more communication, leading to disjointed processes, and employees become frustrated, overworked and burnt out. Customers, in turn, receive inconsistent service, causing dissatisfaction.
Silos are the bane of any organisation’s existence. They are groups of people, departments or teams that need to communicate better, leading to inefficiencies and delays in achieving common goals. Silos can result from processes, communication methods or assigning different priorities and goals to other units. They prevent employees from sharing ideas and problems, which prevents the organisation from improving itself.
Silos create extra work for everyone involved in the process, forcing people working on similar projects or tasks within different departments or teams to reinvent the wheel whenever they want to make improvements or solve problems affecting multiple parts of the business. It’s terrible for customers when you have silos because they receive inconsistent service from different parts of the company, or it takes a long time for customers to receive the product/services.
Imagine you’re the captain of a ship trying to navigate treacherous waters. Your crew is composed of people who speak different languages, operate on different schedules, and can’t seem to agree on anything. It’s a recipe for disaster.
There’s a solution: Value Streams! By focusing on eliminating waste, improving flow, and breaking down those pesky silos, value streams provide a powerful tool for organisations to overcome the challenges of enterprise disconnect.
Enter value streams – a way to identify and eliminate waste and improve the flow of work. By breaking down each process step and identifying inefficiencies, you can streamline the workflow and eliminate bottlenecks, waste and delays in the flow of work.
Value stream mapping is an approach that helps organisations visualise the flow of work, the processes, the people who contribute to these processes/activities, and the systems/machines that work needs to go through and identify areas of improvement. VSM helps to bring organisational consensus about how the work is done in the enterprise. The “one piece at a time” approach allows you to focus on each process step individually, and the results speak for themselves.
But let’s be honest; implementing value streams is easier said than done. It’s going to take some serious effort and resources:
- Organisations need to take the time to identify and understand their value streams, products and service lines, and customers.
- Bring all the parties to the drawing room, map out the current state of the value stream, and record metrics for every process/activity.
- Once you have taken your current value stream map, everyone in your team can see the value and non-value add activities, where the duplicated efforts are, where the work flows smoothly and where it is not.
They must also be aware of common challenges such as silos, overlapping responsibilities, and other disconnects that can throw a wrench in the works.
Once you have a handle on your current state, the next part is inculcating the culture of the continuous improvement mindset. Value stream mapping is not static, it is dynamic. Organisations continue to find opportunities to fine-tune, improve their processes and delight their customers.
It’s not going to be a walk in the park, but with the right strategies and mindset, organisations can set sail towards success and leave those choppy waters behind.
Organisations must adapt quickly and effectively in today’s fast-paced and complex business environment. Value streams provide a holistic and integrated approach to managing business processes, enabling organisations to achieve enterprise synergy, drive collaboration, and better serve their customers. Many more are the by-product of high-performing and healthy organisations with continuous improvement mindsets.
At SECTION6, our consultants have expertise in enterprise technology, value stream & flow metrics and can assist you in getting started with value stream & flow inside your enterprise technology unit. Let us help you break down those silos, eliminate waste, and drive success.