Multimodel Harmonization Is a Value-Added Approach
Conducting process improvement activities in a multimodel environment is today’s reality. If not harmonized, such efforts can lead to perceived and real competition between technologies, their associated improvement initiatives, and the change agents championing each. The competition between reference models, standards, and other improvement technologies, rooted in an unplanned approach, is costly. Through a reasoning framework for technology harmonization, technologies can be categorized and composed strategically, robust process architectures can be built, and joint implementation (or execution) effectively achieved. The potential benefits, as evidenced by real case studies, warrant the effort.
Following are some of the tangible and intangible benefits that can be realized by a harmonized multimodel approach:
- Business focus rather than improvement technology focus
- Cost reduction through economies of scale for all aspects of improvement technology implementation
- Cycle-time reduction for overall improvement efforts and the realization of performance objectives
- Culture change related to establishment of enterprise processes, measurement systems, and more
- Process robustness to an ever-evolving and dynamic world of regulations, as well as models, standards, and other improvement technologies
- Long-term, sound, and effective organizational approach to technology selection
- Ability to deal effectively with different structures and terminology of implemented improvement technologies
- Cost reduction in relation to audits and assessments for operational units and projects
Just as there is no single one-size-fits-all solution for process improvement in a multimodel environment (hence the development of a reasoning framework for technology harmonization), there is no single, universal benefit. Each organization will place a priority on a different dimension of value based on its mission, culture, current performance status, and so forth.
The authors thank Lynn Penn and Lockheed Martin IS&GS for sponsoring preliminary research activities on process improvement in multimodel environments. These whitepapers were written through this sponsorship.
We also would like to acknowledge Alan Lawson, visiting scientist at SEI, who provided key inputs to our discussion of the value proposition from both technical and business viewpoints.