2013-09-26

Enterprise patterns: Anisotropically Decentralized Organisation (ADO)

Business situation: Branch Offices (BOs) with different level of skills and staffing have to carry out similar processes; the Central Office has to support them. (A possible BOs - CO scenario is local governments - federal government.)

Consider that any activity can be decomposed in four logical steps (similar to PDCA cycle):
  1. Plan: preparation for the work to be done;
  2. Do: execution of the work; 
  3. Validate: checking of how good and correct the work has been done; 
  4. Reflect (also can be called re-factor): analysis of the newly obtained experience and results to propose/implement some improvements to similar work which will be done in future.


Under decentralisation, each step can be carried out in a few different combinations of the participation local (L, i.e. at a particular branch office) and central (C, i.e. at the headquarters) resources. For example, if a particular branch office has no experience with the procurement of a particular type of service then such procurement should be carried out at the HQ. It is considered that central resources are capable doing any activity (which implies also any step within any activity).

Possible combinations are:
  • [C] fully centrally (i.e. no delegation) 
  • [L] fully locally (i.e. complete delegation) 
  • [LC] with central post-control 
  • [CL] with central pre-advice 
  • [CLC] with central pre- advice and post-control 
Only some of those combinations are really applicable in each of those four steps.
  • Plan – C, L, LC, CL, CLC (some consultations between local and central resources are possible and sometimes are mandatory) 
  • Do – C, L (actual work can be done only by one resource) 
  • Check – C, L, LC 
  • Reflect – C, L, LC 
Those combinations are not independent and they are combined in a few variants which are actually some kind of degrees of decentralisation of a particular activity.

Variant
Plan
Do
Check
Reflect
Comments
0
C
C
C
C
No local capabilities are available for a particular activity
1
C
L
C
C
Local staff have some work capabilities a particular activity
2
CLC or LC
C
LC
C
Local staff have some management capabilities but those people need some guidance and/or technical assistance for carrying out a particular activity
3
LC
L
LC
C
Local staff have some management and work capabilities but those people need some guidance and/or technical assistance for carrying out a particular activity
4
L
L
L
LC
Local staff have sufficient management and work capabilities to carry out a particular activity without guidance or technical assistance except for reflection
5
L
L
L
L
Local staff have sufficient management and work capabilities to carry out a particular activity without guidance or technical assistance; they are capable for continual improvement / optimising via reflection


Those variants also may be considered as branch office capability maturity levels:
  • 0 none 
  • 1 technical 
  • 2 managerial 
  • 3 defined 
  • 4 managed 
  • 5 optimising 

The trick is how to choose the best variant which should be used for a particular activity in a particular process instance within a particular branch office to be done with particular people (implied branch office staff). It can be done some kind of an “decision” system which
  • “knows” processes, activities and local specifics;
  • traces the actual capabilities and expected performance of people and processes; 
  • estimates different risk factors (political, financial, etc.) and degree of compliances; 
  • helps to choose the best (in particular circumstances) variant and - justifies any other actions. 

Such a decision system should be systematically consulted “between” normal activities. In some sense, it is responsible for overall controlling, measuring of outcomes, overall planning and overall guidance during the cause of execution of project’s normal activities. It should be carried out by central resources because it should have access to the enterprise-wide knowledge. Such a decision mechanism may work together with DAM pattern - http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2012/07/practical-process-pattern-dam.html

Thanks,
AS



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