Modeling value and agility

Image: Modeling value and agility

New management tools provide a means for anticipating market changes, assessing their end-to-end impact, and determining the necessity of an agile response.

Download Technology Forecast: Fall 08

If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.  —Kurt Lewin

Do more with less. Be more innovative. Manage continuous change. Anticipate market shifts. Bias investment toward differentiation. Standardize wherever possible to reduce costs. Deliver value from acquisitions. Make information a strategic weapon. Create a sustainable infrastructure. Be more agile.

Management teams in today’s bewildering business environment are expected to meet all these requirements, and they face a constant flow of decisions regarding them. They agonize over priorities in the hope of getting traction on a few, but they often end up with an unwieldy list. Project teams, meanwhile, tread water waiting for decisions to be handed down from higher up. Once priorities are clear, project leaders too often take contradictory approaches to deal with their own microcosms. Optimizing for one initiative seems to mean suboptimizing for another.

Enterprises struggle with this dilemma for at least two reasons. First, they tend to deal with change piecemeal, the entire organization reacting in poorly coordinated fashion. Second, they apply new strategies and tactics directly to operations without first understanding their effects, which can lead to disruptive, unintended consequences.

In scores of conversations with business and technology executives, PwC has observed that many apparently unrelated initiatives share a common challenge: to manage initiatives in an era of continuous change without tearing the organization apart by lurching from one initiative or crisis to the next.