We recently posted an update to a white paper called “Becoming a Decision-centric Organization” to our site. Having worked with a fair number of organizations whose success or failure is determined by the decisions they make I see many that are handicapped by systems and approaches that are centered on processes or functions. Becoming more decision-centric is critical for these organizations and a decision-centric organization has a number of characteristics:
- The first, and most critical, is also the most obvious: Focus on decisions
It is important to get executives and management to focus not just on strategic decisions but also on the tactical and operational decisions that happen every day, every week. This focus on decisions needs to extend to tracking how well decisions worked out, linking decision performance to business performance and understanding how the organization interacts with its decision inventory. A focus on decisions can improve business rules and analytic implementation efforts and even help organizations think more effectively about their BI and reporting projects. A focus on decisions can align analytics efforts with the business and drive more business-friendly data mining.
- Build Decision Management Systems
Having focused on and understood decisions, a decision-centric organization builds Decision Management Systems. This generally involves adopting business rules management and predictive analytic technologies and using them to build decision services, decision-making components in an SOA. For more on the technologies involved in this check out our platform technologies report.
- Use these Decision Management Systems to simplify, streamline and standardize processes
I have written a white paper on this topic and spoken on it repeatedly – check out these slides for instance. The bottom line is that many processes seem complex because they have decision making embedded in them and many organizations think they have multiple processes because the decision-making is different in each case. Extract and manage the decisions separately and processes get simpler and less numerous.
- Use a focus on decisions to become more real-time, more event-driven
Being an event-driven organization, moving more interactions to real-time, means making more decisions automatically when events happen (what should we do next) and in real-time. A decision-centric organization makes this move more easily because it understands the decisions that drive its business and so can respond to events in real-time more effectively.
If you want to become a decision centric organization start by making an inventory of the repeatable decisions in a business area. Decision Management Solutions, the company I run, does this kind of thing for customers often (see some sample engagements here) so drop me a line if you are interested in our services.