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In the quest to simplify, innovate and transform, organisations seek stable, confident and future-safe IT to act as a value partner rather than a cost driver.

IT must address complexity.

David Ludlow gives insights - How Companies Are Taming Complexity – And Why It’s Not Enough

Integrating new technologies is one of the most critical challenges IT will face over the next 5-10 years. We’re facing ever decreasing budgets, continuous business growth and the need for transparency and compliance.

As described well a recent blog by SAP’s Paul Helms, ‘Organizations spend so much money just keeping the lights on that there is no room left for business innovation’.  Cost of quality is explained in the ICE BERG effect – above the water is what is visible to all; hidden underneath the water are the costly, time consuming activities that prohibits you from taking those crucial extra steps.

Addressing the HOWs

In my work with the SAP Advanced Center of Expertise, I meet customers who are trying to answer some common questions:

  • How can we increase the quality and maturity across our Operations processes?
  • How can we increase the Value of IT and ensure we meet business expectation?
  • How can we free those valuable resource time?

Quality Management

The path to becoming a mature IT organisation involves tools to support increased automation, proactive actions (monitoring and alerting) and setting new expectations in the minds of people. The human factor is sometimes the most difficult to deal with!

Quality Management methodology focuses on identifying challenges and risks, understanding weaknesses and ultimately identifying ways to improve efficiency and increase maturity of the IT processes.

A common feedback from organisations implementing the Quality Management methodology is well summarized by a customer I worked with recently “It gave a new perspective of how continuous improvement influence day to day operations and with some effort, we achieve better efficiency and faster resolution of issues”

Quality Managers (QM) roles and associated topics are:

  • Quality Manager for Business Process Improvement
    • Business satisfaction, Value of IT, Business and IT alignment
  • Quality Manager for Business Continuity
    • Job Management, Root Cause Analysis, System monitoring and Administration
  • Quality Manager for Protection of Investment
    • Test Management, Security, Custom code management, Change Request and Control management
  • Quality Manager for Integration Validation
    • Technical Risk management, Project validation, Q-gate management

Plan, Do, Check, Act, Adjust

Quality Managers align closely around Processes, Tools and People. Within a KPI framework and close collaboration between Business and IT, they work on the continuous improvement principles of Plan, Do, Check, Act and Adjust.

Through an iterative approach, Technical, Business and Quality KPIs are reviewed regularly and adjusted as part of the process to drive continuous improvement.

Key Success Factors

Organisations are different, but there are some common elements which are present in any successful continuous improvement programme:

  • management commitment
  • awareness of the continuous improvement initiative
  • strong focus on IT governance (possible review of this as one of the QM tasks!)
  • recognition of small achievements – which will lead to overall bigger success.

Whether it’s ITIL, Agile, Green IT – they key objective is realisation of VALUE.

Run Simple is real business value. BUSINESS VALUE is the ultimate focus when aiming to improve and innovate.

Let me know your views on approaching continuous improvement.

Find out more:

SAP’s Bill McDermot’s 5 Questions To Avoid Wasting Time remain a go-to guide on how to confront complexity in business.

Send your query to ACCOE@SAP.COM

Advanced Customer Center of Expertise

Martie Van Blerk, SAP Customer Center of Expertise, EMEA

Connect with me on LinkedIn