Mar 16

Introducing the New Organizational Model

New Organizational Model DiagramThe above diagram is my new organizational model which I have referred to in several previous postings. I developed this after several years of reflection and study starting with my MBA work in 2001. I was especially inspired by my Ph.D. work in developing a new model of public leadership and, later, on my study of the lean startup movement.

The new organization is designed to be agile in every aspect from the work products, leadership, and workforce. The organization is also transparent and designed for maximum information flow. Finally, the mission, vision, and strategy is baked into all that the organization does and drives the organization forward.

I will expand upon various components in future postings, but, for now, I want to give an overview of the complete model.

Starting with the upper box with the five chief officers: A common theme in organizational studies is the danger of silos and fiefdoms. There are also the problems with forming a senior leadership team that works together for the good of the entire organization. Therefore, in the new organization, there are only five chief officers that form the senior leadership team.

  • The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – chairs the senior leadership team and is responsible for keeping the organization aligned with the mission and vision by keeping the strategy engine working effectively.
  • The Chief Alliance Officer (CAO) – combines the traditional functions of the chief human resources officer and chief information officer. Responsible for managing the organizational talent and the organizational APIs platform.
  • The Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) – responsible for managing the knowledge and learning workflow of the organization. Also oversees the training and development of the organization’s talent.
  • The Chief Brand Officer (CBO) – responsible for overseeing the organization’s brand: internally and externally. Helps the CEO manage the public-facing side of the organization’s mission and vision.
  • The Chief P4 Officer (CPO) – Oversees the portfolios, programs, projects, and processes of the organization’s Business Engine.

In the middle of the model is the “Business Engine.” The Business Engine is where the work is done by the organization. Instead of a factory floor with fixed production lines, the Business Engine is a makerspace with both a physical presence and virtual presence. Work is performed by a network of project teams that are loosely organized into portfolios and programs. There are few fixed processes, and these processes will be heavily-automated using artificial technology systems using blockchain technologies and deep learning algorithms. The teams will use agile project management, human-centered design, and adaptive case management to manage the work.

Surrounding the Business Engine are four critical components. The most important component, of course, is the “Talent” box with the four types of employees. These types are based on the Alliance model of employer-employee agreements. At the bottom is the Organizational APIs Platform in which the core APIs that run the business infrastructure are available for the talent and teams to build their personalized tools and apps upon. Surrounding the Business Engine on both sides are open data streams that provide the performance metrics of the organization and allows for easy knowledge-sharing and collaboration in the organization. Embedded in the Business Engine are strategy information radiators (Ambient Strategy) that provide constantly-updated information on how well the organization is fulfilling the mission, vision, and strategic goals.

Pulling the organization forward is the “Strategy Engine.” On top of the Strategy Engine is the “Mission and Vision” alignment compass which helps the align all of the organization’s activities toward the mission, vision, and strategic goals. What powers the planning process for the Strategy Engine are the twin concepts of organizational agility and organizational health.

There is a lot of this model that is borrowed and a lot that is new. I don’t believe there is an organization that follows this model but, I believe many organizations could benefit from adopting parts of the model. I look forward to expanding upon the various parts of the new organizational model. I welcome your comments, criticisms, and suggestions.

Mar 16

From Hierarchies to Network of Teams

Deloitte just released its 2016 Human Capital Trends report and it is outstanding! What I especially like is the realization that organizational design is the top HR topic among executives and HR practitioners.

I have found similar results in my research on the new public organization model. Hierarchical models just can't meet the demands for organizational ability and organizational health. In my model, there are programs, projects, and processes. The programs and projects are handled by teams that constantly change and reform as the organization's strategies and needs change. This way, team members can rotate through program directors, project leads, and project team members.

As to processes, I envision a fusion of human workers and artificial intelligence agents. For the purely algorithmic portion of processes, I see a combination of AI agents and blockchain technology. For any exceptions to the processes, adaptive case management will be used to signal for human intervention and refinement of the process.

3d-jump-070615-15colThe best analogy is to think of the organization as a network of teams that work off an organizational IT/analytics platform to build new applications. The closest organizational design that I have seen to what I envision is a makerspace

Jan 16

Are Enterprise-Focused Mobile Apps the Key to Improving Citizen Satisfaction with Federal Agencies?

Two interesting reports out recently. The first is from the IBM Center for the Business of Government and reports on the use of mobile apps in the Federal, state, and local governments. The second report is the 2015 American Customer Satisfaction Index report for the Federal government.  Highlights from both reports:

  1. Since the 2012 Digital Government Strategy, the Federal government has built nearly 300 citizen-oriented mobile apps. In contrast, only 20 enterprise-focused mobile apps have been built. Citizen-oriented mobile apps, as the name suggests, are built to provide government information and services to American citizens. Enterprise-focused mobile apps are used by the agency's employees to increase internal knowledge sharing and collaboration.
  2. For the third year in the row, customer satisfaction with the Federal government has declined. In fact, the rating of 63.9 is the lowest rating for the last nine years.
  3. There were one or two point gains in satisfaction with government processes (68 to 69), information (69 to 71), and customer service (75 to 76) from 2014 to 2015. Website satisfaction was static at 72.

I just finished writing an article for the PA Times where I argued that agencies should increase their building of enterprise-focused (EF) mobile apps. There is not the immediate payoff of a citizen-oriented (CO) mobile app. However, building EF mobile apps will compel agencies to improve their internal business processes, increase collaboration among agency employees, and enhance the ability of agencies to create IT applications. These are long-term benefits that may help raise and sustain better customer satisfaction scores in the future.

Mar 15

Innovating Policy Making with Project Management and Data Science

Last Friday, I wrote about 6 Six Sig’s posting on what policy making can learn from project management. I had similar thoughts when I created Lean Scope Project Management. I even used a proposed Veterans Administration program to demonstrate how project management can be used to implement a policy.

Along the same lines, I am preparing a paper and presentation for the 2015 University of Maryland Project Management Symposium (June 8-9, 2015). I will discuss how to use data science techniques and process mining to create better project management measures. The idea is to establish more advanced and robust project intelligence techniques. I recently spoke about my ideas in an interview with John Hansen in his blog, All About Requirements (English version | Dutch version).

What I am seeing is that the same ideas for creating project intelligence measures could also inform the new field of policy informatics. I have begun some work in this are with my creation of Agile Predictive Policy Analysis (APPA).

I am looking forward to how much synergy arises from combining policy making, data science, and project management.

May 14

Preview of Lean Scope Project Management - Scope Management and Stakeholder Management

I will present my Lean Scope Project Management methodology on Wednesday to the Project Management Institute’s Government Community of Practice. On Thursday, I will release a YouTube video explaining Lean Scope Project Management. I look forward to the comments of project management practitioners and human-centered design practitioners.

The origin story of Lean Scope Project Management (LSPM) came about when I took a two-day course in human-centered design (HCD). I have to admit that I was initially skeptical of design as it did not seem to have the detailed methodology that project management or business analysis has through their respective published bodies of knowledge. Thanks to the class by trainers from the LUMA Institute, I learned that there is a method to design that is just as methodical as project management. In fact, it seemed that HCD could complement project management in two vital areas.

The first area is creating a project scope. Bigelow (2012) calls scope the “fuzzy constraint” of the triple constraint. He argues that defining scope has always been problematic for project managers because of the multiple dimensions of scope (both product and project). Burek (2006) advocates using “joint application development” (JAD) to create a complete scope statement that relies on extensive stakeholder engagement. I agree with Burek but believe that HCD is a better method than JAD for dealing with the fuzzy constraint.

Stakeholder engagement is the second area in which HCD excels. There are several methods to discover stakeholders and to engage them in the design process. That is why LSPM uses HCD in the Design Sprint and Prototype Sprints phases. The design methods help to identify stakeholders, involve them in the project scope planning process, and encourages buy-in for the project outcome. HCD is especially helpful in highly-innovative projects where the solution may be clearly-known,but the methods for creating the solution are not.

In my next posting, I will have a link to the YouTube briefing on LSPM. I hope you view the briefing, and I look forward to your comments.

Sep 13

Communicating the New: How To Spread Your Ideas Today

Just finished reading Kim Erwin's Communicating the New: Methods to Shape and Accelerate Innovation.  It is an astounding book because it introduces a more powerful way of communicating new ideas and innovations.  What Ms. Erwin recommends is moving from the "presentation" form of communication where information is simply transmitted to the audience to the "constructionist" form of communication where the speaker and the audience work together to form the meaning.

You do this through a five-step process. In the first two steps, you prepare your content. In the third step, you analyze your users so that you can prepare them for engagement through the fourth and fifth steps. Listed below are the specific tools and methods for the steps:

  1. Finding the Center - Sharpen your thinking and know what you know
    Tools: Models and frameworks; Build-to-think prototypes; lists and open-ended writing
  2. Framing the Work - Define the new space and Develop a story device
    Tools: Metaphor; Stories; Mantras and Catchphrases; Contrast; Artifacts and Images
  3. Targeting Your Constituents - Fit knowledge to key participants
    Tools: The Communication Plan; Mental Model and Orthodoxy Assessment; Quad A Diagnostic; Organization as Culture Framework
  4. Introducing New Thinking - Create emotional and intellectual experiences
    Tools: Exploration; Immersion; Interaction; Application; Extension
  5. Expanding the Conversation - Reach new constituents and Help ideas "go viral"
    Tools: Communication Systems; Performative Presentations; Demonstration Artifacts

Recently, I have been working with the human-centered design theories and techniques to find a way to integrate them into Agile Policy Making and the New Theory of Government. This book fills in the vital function of combining HCD with communication.