How aware are executives of the ability of their team to deliver new objectives that stack up on a long list of existing objectives and assignments that all need to be completed?
How comfortable do executives feel being held accountable for the timely delivery of their team’s projects?
The goal of any executive is to have true transparency into their organization and to constantly have their finger on the pulse of all the activities going on around them. It is challenging enough to have a good idea of what is going at any given moment in an organization with many moving parts and shifting priorities. But the absolute goal for any executive is the ability to have the kind of confidence in the running of an organization that they can actually predict how the organization will act in the future and to then be able to anticipate, adjust and react to issues before they even occur.
What is the value of prediction to businesses? What is the real gain for companies being able to accurately predict the outcome of their action, activities and processes?
Predictive execution is the ability to deliver real value to customers, both external and internal, by having the confidence to guarantee and execute on commitments. Companies with predictive execution have access to real time data and a view of the complete picture of the scope, risks and interactions when they first start planning future actions.
The modern enterprise is more complex and lives in a more sophisticated business environment than ever before. Economies change, the rules change and the speed with which it all happens is accelerating all the time. In order for the modern enterprise to be able to keep pace with the oncoming traffic of change and the dynamics of the business environment, companies need to be able to make accurate decisions that are based on the lessons on the past while being focused on the planning of the future.
For example, let’s say an account executive needs to commit to a customer in regards to the delivery of a certain product that requires custom development. Unless this executive has a clear and complete picture as to the goings on of his company’s operations, he is playing a game of estimation or guestimation and his chances of failing to deliver on his commitments are very high.
If that executive is not aware of the fact that one of his colleagues made commitments to another customer or that his development team is busy working on something else or that even an outbreak of the flu in the team is causing delays, then he has no way to stand up to his commitments to the customer and will end up looking bad in front of his management and even worse, to the customer he gave the commitment to.
Now, let’s say our executive is working in a company that has implemented the relevant tools and processes to document all the activities in the company, from strategic project to small ad hoc tasks both the ones that being executed in the present and the ones planned for the known foreseeable future. The power of these tools and processes is the ability to incorporate the entire team in the day to day management of the tasks. When every employee is encouraged and required to update their status on a regular basis, this information will be the real-time data that management can base their mission critical decisions on. A modern company does not have the luxury to wait for weekly updates from the team to ensure that tasks are on track. Information needs to be live and accurate for fast paced and accurate decisions to be made.
Now, when our executive approaches the process of making a customer commitment, he has a clear picture of the availability of the people he needs, the budgets and the different issues and risks that are currently waiting to be resolved with their respective commitments. This allows our executive to provide his customer with the most accurate delivery date possible while knowing that his team will have the best chance to execute the project in a timely fashion. Also, if this requires a reshuffling of priorities within his enterprise, he can use these tools and processes to provide the business case that will justify the change.
Another aspect of predictive execution that is critical for business to effectively utilize the real-time information coming from their organization is the ability for all the ‘islands of information’ within an organization to be integrated and enclosed within a single information loop. Companies naturally seek out the best of breed CRM, ERP, HR and Project Management tools that suite their unique organizational processes. The challenge is to get these systems to not only speak to each other, but also to pass the relevant information to the relevant people at the relevant time. Having a single hub as the center of these tools, closes the loop and ensures that the information reaching the decision makers is accurate, timely and relevant.
With this kind of data on hand, in real-time, companies can better understand the dynamic nature of their business, make the decisions needed at the time they are needed and then execute with confidence. With the right tools and the right processes, you can build your organization into a predictable and dependable enterprise where deliverables are delivered on time and on budget.