your Company’s next Top Model, part III

In the previous parts we introduced the world of models, what they are, how they look like, why they are important and how they relate to Smart Industry 4.0 .

In this last episode we’ll choose your favourite model. But first we’ll have a look at the stage where these models have to put on their show; your company’s IT-landscape. It probably resembles the picture below:

Which might look a bit worrying … on the other hand … I think this is the situation in a majority of the companies. The IT-landscape has grown along with the company. Note the hand-holding-pencil-, foot step-, email- and telephone-icons in the diagram above? That’s all human interaction.

In most companies a majority of the employees work as a information processing resource.

Now, each of these business software solutions and databases contain a part of your company’s models. Only a part, because the rest of the model is in the heads of your employees or in some ‘analogue’ form like hand written papers, sheets, sticky notes and so on.

Though many people within your company use one or more of the business software solutions, there are only very few people, if any at all, that have a notion of the models that are hidden within. Unless you have identified roles like ‘Business process analyst‘ , ‘System/product architect‘ (or similar) that have mapped the process and product models.

To choose your favourite model, this is what you’d have to do:

  1. Determine the reason why your company exists at all. The thing that, if you take it out, the rest of the company has no purpose. Maybe the product you develop or manufacture? Maybe the production technology? Maybe a small team of experts that provide services? This is the ‘holy grail’ of your company. This is the object of affection for your competitors.
  2. Ask your self: where is / who has the knowledge about the ‘holy grail’? If it is in the head of one person, you can think of a few good reasons to model that knowledge. If it is dispersed among tens of people, meaning no one really knows, the same applies. You might even build a knowledge-system based on that model and, in doing so, secure, expose and unlock the ‘holy grail’.
  3. Imagine what it would be if the holy grail was exposed and within reach for everybody(within your company … not your competitor). The bigger the benefits, the bigger the effort you can allow yourself. Model it! Digitize it! And take a leap in to the future(which is not so far away as you might think). Or wait … until the competition does.

If there is more than one candidate, choose the one that looks ‘easy’. And even then, remember that

it is OK to think big and be ambitious but make sure to act small … and learn fast!

If you need any help with that, just give me a call.