A recent McKinsey paper titled Jump-starting resilient and reimagined operations had some great advice for operational executives working on re-starting and reimagining their operations for a COVID-19 world. In particular, it identified 5 themes that will share post-COVID-19 recovery efforts in operations:
- Building operations resilience
- Accelerating end-to-end digitization
- Rapidly increasing expense transparency
- Driving the future of work
- Re-imagining sustainable operations
These really resonated with me and I wanted to write some posts about each of them. Today, let’s focus on building operational resilience though “transforming for agility”.
When organizations focus on improving agility, much time is spent thinking about asset management and upskilling workforces. There’s a focus on making supply chains more dynamic, easier to change in the face of difficulties. All this is good. But what about your information systems? It’s all very well adding a manual workaround as a one-time temporary measure. But what happens when the need for quick workarounds does not subside? When the constantly changing nature of the epidemic, its geographic concentration and the regulatory and consumer context means that you have to make workaround after workaround? At what point should you take a hard look at your systems and transform them for resilience and agility?
A resilient system allows you to change its behavior quickly in response to regulations and market shifts. It generates data about what’s working and not working so your business owners can make choices about its behavior. And it allows them to make these changes, simulating the impact of the change in advance and ensuring that it is made safely and effectively. It does this not by allowing manual overrides (which you shouldn’t), but by integrating people’s expertise directly into the system and giving business experts tools to make the changes they need.
Digital decisioning lets you add this kind of capability to your existing systems. Extracting and automating the critical decisions that must be made differently today (and tomorrow) from the rest of your IT infrastructure gives you agility. Using business rules and a Business Rules Management Systems to execute the logic of your decision ensures you get operational efficiency and consistency. And with the right approach – a DecisionsFirst™ approach – you can integrate machine learning into these decisions in a way that reflects the data you have. Only if you can externalize and manage your operational decisions in this way can you deliver the resilience and agility you need.