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Advanced Program Management with Scientrix

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Clarify the strategic ambitions

Getting people to understand and buy-in to the strategic ambitions is a challenge in most organisations. Without this buy-in the likelihood of successful strategy execution is low.

The Scientrix digital solution provides the following crucial benefits for clarifying the strategic ambitions:

  • Enable colleagues to provide input in the design of the organisation’s common purpose.
  • Enable colleagues to align with the common purpose.
  • Clearly understand what contribution they make to propel the organisation forward.

These benefits for the first phase in enterprise program management enable the strategic ambitions to be clarified.

 

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Align portfolios and programs

Portfolios and programs are often poorly aligned. The risk of poor alignment is that efforts are wasted on projects that have no real impact on the business.

The Scientrix digital solution provides the following crucial benefits for aligning portfolios and programs:

  • Align efforts to achieve the desired results.
  • Eliminate duplications across the organization.
  • Improve prioritisation of programs and projects.
  • Improve collaboration across the organization.

These crucial benefits that Scientrix technology enables allows for the successful alignment of portfolios and programs.

 

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Unpack programs

From the time that a cross-functional project has started until first results have been achieved, a large amount of time has passed. The problems with the slow pace of execution is that: substantial coordination is needed, there are limited methodologies available to unpack and align projects, there are limited collaboration tools available, no clear accountabilities and responsibilities of projects and lastly there is not a sufficient overview of existing projects.

The Scientrix digital solution provides the following crucial benefits for unpacking programs:

  • Provide a framework for the rigorous unpacking of programs into projects and tasks.
  • Enable cross-functional collaboration and active engagement of employees.
  • Enable agile methods for managing and executing projects.
  • Create a transparent overview on the success of the program.
  • Provide the use of project dashboards to ensure a common approach in methodology.
  • Deal with different levels of complexity and scope.

Through Scientrix technology, organisations will be aligned and deliver the strategy together by collectively unpacking programs.

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Generate value creating ideas

Creating ideas is one thing. Generating value creating ideas is an entirely different thing all together. Normally there is no shortage of ideas in an organization, however the art lies in filtering and prioritizing the right ideas.

The Scientrix digital solution provides the following crucial benefits for generating value creating ideas:

  • Provide thought models and tools to support idea creation.
  • Enable the effective filtering and prioritisation of ideas.
  • Provide visibility from idea creation to value creation.

The benefits provided by Scientrix allow for the generation of value creating ideas.

 

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Manage projects successfully

Although project management is a well-established methodology, there is still a substantial lack of successful project execution. This is because of a lack of formality, skills, tools, and discipline discipline with the risk of creating disengagement since people do not understand the value which projects bring to the organization. All too often people are working in a silo culture and the consequent battle to understand the ‘why’ behind projects.

The Scientrix digital solution provides the following crucial benefits for managing projects successfully:

  • Avoid getting lost in planning by acting in an agile fashion.
  • Solve the ‘why’ issue of through clear cause effect relationships.
  • Provide the right project level oversight.
  • Align project objectives with overall goals.

These crucial benefits enable projects to be managed successfully and strategy execution to be accelerated.

 

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Govern execution and performance

Governance execution is concerned with putting the right structures in place in order for organisations to efficiently and effectively execute their strategy. A successful governance model ensures a form of collective management, which enables an assessment into the organisation’s position in relation to achieving its overall goal.

The Scientrix digital solution provides the following crucial benefits for successfully governing the execution of performance:

  • Enable the effective strategy and evaluation of the strategic framework.
  • Provide oversight of the extended innovation funnel.
  • Streamline communication and process flows for governance.
  • Bottom up and top down governance.
  • Provide corporate wide KPI dashboards and intelligence.
  • The ability to actively communicate and track decisions and actions.
  • Tagging of initiatives and KPIs.

These benefits provide a platform for 3 layers (corporate, team and individual), 3 pace (systems of: record, differentiation and innovation) and 5 pillars (strategy, innovation, execution, results and people) governance model. Scientrix enables one of the most powerful governance frameworks available.

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Design and Execute a Finance Strategy

Finance and integrated Risk Management

Finance and integrated risk management is a discipline that includes the setting of the financial destination for the organization and advising on the selection of strategic options to reach that outcome. It further encompasses the development of financial plans to ensure that the organization delivers on the agreed targets and that resource utilization is continuously optimised. Finally, financial management ensures that the organization is economically efficient, identifies risks at an early stage and provides adequate and concise accounts for the use of resources to all stakeholders.

Finance Strategy and Execution – To Design and Execute a Finance Strategy:

Every function in an organization impacts on strategic alignment. Finance, like all other organizational units, needs to design a strategy aligned to the overarching organizational goals – cascading it down to process or initiative level in each responsibility area. This process is critical, in an ideal world every person in the finance organization, from the boardroom to the backroom, would understand the strategy, be fully committed to its vision, and understand how their individual actions support the bigger picture.

Scientrix is an ideal solution for defining a finance strategy that is aligned with the corporate and business strategies; cascading it down to every individual in the finance organization, as well as clarifying cause-effect relationships. It helps to reduce the complexity in the finance world, creating a blueprint that can be used as a template to align and standardize purpose, structure, scorecards, processes and internal controls across multiple finance units. This is also ideal for the induction and training of new finance employees.

Finance Management – To Ensure Effective and Efficient Processes:

Although the Finance division aims to play a stronger strategic role, the management of the basic processes often remains a challenge. Finance has started to use process quality controls such as ISO, and other process documentation, but these tools are not delivering robust processes. Although ERP systems have contributed a lot in making processes more stable, there’s little transparency regarding whether the finance processes are efficiently deliver the required outcomes.

Scientrix provides a way to speedily obtain an overview of all the finance processes, aligning them with critical outcomes, breaking them down step-by-step into detail and then linking internal controls to the processes. In this way the finance director has an integrated view of the processes, process knowledge and process performance data.

Finance Management – To Effectively Manage Costs Across the Enterprise:

Cost in an organization can essentially be managed through budgetary control and strategic cost management.

Budgetary control is an effective way to ensure that an organization’s expenditure remains within approved limits for each cost centre. The tracking of cost centre expenditure, and the endless amounts of reports and details, makes it cumbersome and doesn’t provide a concise overview of the spending, the trends over time and the corrective actions – within one view.

Scientrix integrates the cost centre and the accountability structures in the form of a matrix, and a matrix-in-a-matrix, thus providing an immediate overview and identification of problem areas. It condenses and organizes cost information layer- by-layer to provide an overview, clarity and reduction of complexity in a collaborative way.

Strategic cost management is about designing a strategy on how to reduce costs by setting stretch targets and fundamentally challenging the business model and its inherent cost structures. It’s about what we do, where we do it, how we do it and how well we do it. The challenge is to design a solution across the organization, covering all strategic levers and cost drivers, and outlining clearly cause-effect relationships in such a way that the investment in changes yields substantial results.

Scientrix is ideal for designing an enterprise cost management solution that aligns key strategic levers, demonstrates cause-effect relationships and tracks initiatives from inception to results. It facilitates rigid thinking processes that explore all possible options.

Finance Management – To Design an Integrated Performance Management System:

Setting 3 to 5 year financial-planning targets are meaningless if they’re not linked to efficient strategy and execution. It all starts with identifying the expectations of the capital market and then defining a set of overall financial targets regarding profitability, liquidity and growth for the organization. The enterprise then designs potential strategies on how to achieve these financial targets. Finance has to quantify these strategies using financial modelling tools, ensure that the KPIs and targets are correct and that the proposed strategies will achieve the desired financial outputs. Once this is ensured, a rigorous performance management process with direct links to the reward system needs to be deployed.

Scientrix with its sound mathematical underpinnings supports the design of the strategy and cascading process, as well as ensuring an implementation of a fully integrated performance management system.

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Request a Demo at matrixteam@www.scientrix.com.

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Make Strategy a Dynamic, Always-on Process

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Strategic Analysis

In essence, strategic analysis enables a uniformed understanding of changes that are happening externally – outside the organisation and aligning to these changes internally – within the organisation. This enables a deeper understanding of the opportunities and threats these changes bring to the organisation. The overall purpose of strategic analysis is to enable organisations to deploy or redeploy its resources more intelligently.

Scientrix provides the following crucial benefits for successful strategic analysis:

  • Organize industry research across segments, product lines and regions in a matrix.

  • Integrate traditional mind tools leveraging the matrix.

  • Capture and integrate data & analytics required for rich analysis.

  • Enable enterprise wide participation in the strategic analysis.

  • Contextualize your operating model to possible future scenarios using the matrix.

These rich, dynamic, and collaborative benefits of the first phase of enterprise strategy management create a rigorous understanding of the impact that the strategy will have on the organisation. Aligning and analysing the internal and external dimensions of the organisation creates true strategic value.

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Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is the process of defining: a common purpose, their strategic ambitions and borders, their value proposition to clients, their operating model and strategic programs. This is also the phase where decisions are made about execution priorities and the allocation of resources.

Scientrix provides the following crucial benefits for successful strategic planning:

  • Align the operating model to the strategic ambitions in a matrix.

  • Granulate the strategy to a level of precise and focused initiatives.

  • Identify and track strategic programs through to completion.

  • Design rich client value propositions.

  • Leverage collaborative technology to enrich the strategy.

These benefits of Scientrix enable the organization to work together on the strategy and see it through to successful execution.

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Execution Planning

Execution planning is defined as cascading the strategy across the organization. Additionally, it is about understanding people’s contributions, concretising initiatives and establishing measures. This will enable the strategy to be anchored in individual performance agreements.

Scientrix provides the following crucial benefits for successful execution planning:

  • Cascade the strategy with speed and quality.

  • Concretise initiatives through initiative dashboards.

  • Create Key Performance Indicators in seconds.

  • Integrate initiatives and Key Performance Indicators into performance contracts.

Strategy execution fails when employee and team performance is not aligned to organisational performance. These benefits will enable employees across the organisation to be engaged, allowing for successful strategy execution.

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Strategic Governance

Strategic governance is concerned with execution monitoring. This consists of creating an effective governance system that ensures the strategy is executed effectively. This pace-layered governance model operates at 3 levels: making sure the strategy is still relevant, sufficient good ideas are prioritised and lastly that the execution is happening.

Scientrix provides the following crucial benefits for successful governance execution:

  • Apply different styles of governance over initiatives.

  • Seamlessly enable the update of KPI and initiative dashboards.

  • Visualize the performance trends overtime.

  • Align and integrate performance tracking with employee contracts.

  • Understand the level of innovation created in the organization.

Without an effective governance model, strategy execution remains a pain point.

Request a Demo at matrixteam@www.scientrix.com.

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From Strategic Planning to Strategic Agility

The Problem

I know, it’s old news: The speed of change is increasing and management (in theory and practice) is not adapting fast enough. There is this great clip from Gary Hamel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aodjgkv65MM) that highlights the point quite well.
From a strategy perspective we actually see a change in the focus as outlined below.

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So, if speed and agility of strategy and execution is key to strategic advantage how come that in most organizations the traditional strategic planning process still looks something like this:

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Let me explain:

  • Executive Management conducts a yearly Strategy off-site meeting, typically with some industry or management guru and his crystal ball to understand what is going on and define the future strategy;
  • The head of strategy then produces a 50 page “strategy deck” as a tangible result;
  • To comply with governance rules this strategy then needs to be presented and get approval from the more or less interested board members;
  • Thereafter the strategy needs to be communicated to the staff. Typically in “tell & sell” town hall meetings where questions are invited but not really appreciated;
  • In order to stay (politically and budgetary) relevant the divisional or department heads then start thinking how their areas can contribute to this strategy. This is done within their areas (silos). The less we have to involve others the better (easier) it seems to be;
  • But very soon operational reality and firefighting sets in again and the “strategy stuff” is then handed over to a Program / Project / Strategy Execution or Results Improvement Office (whatever the flavour of the month for the naming of this unit is). They have to do the tracking and the admin work and ideally leave operations alone.
  • The PM (??) Office then prepares regular reports on the implementation progress for the Executive Committee and prepares and tracks the high-level scorecard;
  • Finally the EXCO then reports back to the Board on the strategy progress. Normally just in time before the next cycle starts and all begins again.

As a consequence this process has SIGNIFICANT shortcomings:

  • The Strategic Relevance of the Plan is below 40% because
    • The environment changes faster than a yearly cycle
    • There is a lack of collective commitment in the Exco
    • Business complexity is growing and becomes overwhelming
    • The defined strategy is typically too fluffy, not clear enough to granulate
    • Strategy is perceived to be something to keep EXCO busy but must not interfere with Operations
  • People Engagement is only around 30% because
    • Staff members don’t understand the “WHY”
    • Staff members often lack critical thinking skills
    • There is a disconnect between the “thinkers / modelers” and the “executors / doers”
    • There is a lack of role and expectation clarity (management problem)
    • There is unresolved tension between “Line” work and “Project” work
  • Project success is only around 35% because
    • There are persistent silos that hinder cross-functional collaboration
    • PMO’s collect & manage project information rather than designing programs & portfolios for strategic success
    • There is too much work in progress (we start too much and finish too little)
    • There are inadequate governance mechanisms (everything is treated the same)
    • “Business-as-Usual” projects are not on the PMO radar

What is needed?

In order to address these shortcomings we need to drive agility in the company. Here is what I am talking about:

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Let me explain what we mean by this a bit more in detail:

  • SENSE
    Increase the alertness of ALL managers across the strategic landscape. This is not only the responsibility of the strategy department. Each manager needs to have an understanding of the developments and trends outside which might impact his / her work.
  • THINK
    Increase the level of thinking by creating cognitive tensions and making new connections across dimensions. In general people need to think better and more. Cognitive tensions such as reducing budget whilst demanding more results drive creativity and innovation.
  • DECIDE
    Decentralize decision making, introduce flexible (bi-modal) governance models and insist on transparency. Empower the front line through delegation of authority and critically review governance with a view to customer centricity rather than compliance only. Drive transparency and traceability rather than strict workflows.
  • COMMIT
    Get collective commitment for a common direction. Spend the necessary time to REALLY get the executive team on one page regarding their perception of reality and priorities in the company. Once this is consensed you have less politics further down.
  • ACT & ADJUST
    Commit the necessary resources and use modular structures to increase flexibility. Modular product design has proven extremely valuable in the automotive industry and other applications. So why not using modularity principles in organizational design or management in general to speed up re-configuration?
  • SPEED
    Granulate / cascade strategy fast to increase the speed from strategic intent to action. The faster we can break down high-level intent to operational action the faster execution can start.
  • EASE
    Leverage technology to accelerate collaboration, sharing, coordination, remodelling and execution. Technology is progressing fast but manager’s adoption remains behind the curve. Where is the new breed of IT managers that focus on driving business value rather than slowing down organizations through exaggerated IT governance & compliance models?

Our Approach

We believe the need for (Business) Agility in companies can be driven through applying a unique matrix-based approach combined with a specifically tailored software platform for this purpose.
The Scientrix Matrix is clear, simple and easy to communicate:

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It starts with clearly outlining the purpose and then breaking this purpose down into its most important dimensions and dimension variables. In the intersects we can then make the connections between the 2 dimensions.

The intersects can then be further granulated into next level down matrices, creating nested matrix structures:

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This genial approach ensures overview, focus, alignment and easy granulation / cascading from strategic down to operational level.

The Scientrix™ platform allows to visualize this as follows:

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Projects & Tasks can then be managed using Kanban boards.

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Results can be displayed to measure the effectiveness of the selected strategies:

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In conclusion Scientrix can help to drive Business Agility in your company.


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Power Your Vision

Good leaders have a vision, an intention, a purpose, even a massive transformational purpose (MTP). For the visionaries this is the exciting part of the conversation, being able to paint the virtual picture of an amazing world. Articulating a purpose in sufficient detail for a common understanding and source of inspiration. Breaking down the components of organizational, client, product and capability strategy, trying to disseminate all the thoughts into a transparent format and connection to the teams with sufficient ownership to continue the inspiration. Bridging the gap between the existing organization and the future, illustrating the component strategies, initiatives, measurements and tasks to make up the plan.

So just having a vision is not enough, the hard part is managing the move from where we are now to where we want to be, the day to day process of transparent problem solving, connecting and managing organizational performance. An inspired workforce is a productive workforce and connected leaders inspire people, hence powering the vision is just as important as the vision itself. There are of course many ways to power this vision, communication and connection being a major component, leaders don’t have the capacity to personally engage with every employee, and this may not be the most effective method in today’s virtual world anyway. Digital tools have made it possible to articulate vision, plans and objectives with stakeholders, enable real participation and open dialogue to form meaningful virtual relationships in the most efficient way.

For me having a vision is part of life’s excitement, a perception of the future, with a deliberate intention of earth and stars, and enough space for deeper thinking and serendipity. Whilst noting that even as an individual this visionary way is significantly influenced by digital channels. So it makes logical sense that leaders and organizations with a vision, aiming to connect across a wide range of individuals, teams, communities and locations, can really utilize digital tools to their advantage to drive performance.

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A Collaborative Approach to Make Strategy Management Happen

With the economy remaining in a tight position, many organizations are looking for a more innovative approach to strategy formulation and execution. What the more progressive organizations are looking for in Strategy Management is REACH, RICHNESS, SPEED and EXECUTION.

One of the largest banks in Africa is one of these early adopters and progressive organizations. This bank was faced with increasing cost pressures and a highly innovative competitor. The Executive Team identified the need for a process that will enable meaningful and focused large-scale engagement, stimulate innovative ideas and drive successful execution. The decision was made to use the Scientrix Strategy Matrices and Collaborative Technology platform.

The objectives for the project were outlined as follows:

REACH: Reach the best experts inside and outside the organization and include a diverse and broad base of people in the solution design.

RICHNESS: Effectively and efficiently foster the development and communication of rich knowledge, innovative ideas, concepts and strategies in an aligned way.

SPEED: Design solutions, with broad participation, with speed. Improve the cycle time between planning and execution. Make strategy design more dynamic.

EXECUTION: Create close and dynamic feedback loops between knowledge, initiatives and results.

The Executive Team liked the idea of the Scientrix matrices and platform from the start and believed it was a novel, simple but powerful way to align thinking and achieve reach, richness, speed and execution.

But to create a more collaborative enterprise is no easy task and deploying the technology is only one part of the process.

Moving from a silo, highly political, demand and control environment to a more net-working and collaborative environment is a real challenge. No wonder the executive team was mostly concerned about adoption and participation.

They asked the Scientrix team to come up with sustainable solution.

After extensive research the team came up with a new collaboration framework. It was clear from the start that the project would fail if we did not apply a disciplined, but fun approach. Creative sparks were flying and finally our success model emerged. We applied the Scientrix matrix method to come up with a new framework to ensure successful collaboration.

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Effective Leaders Need a Bird’s-Eye View

The Problem

Whether you’re a CEO, president, general manager or managing executive, your ability to consistently maintain a comprehensive view of the organization you’re leading is crucial.

It’s this bird’s-eye view that will enable you to effectively direct, guide and facilitate what’s needed to successfully strengthen and grow the business. When leaders find themselves overly engaged in a particular aspect of the business, they may lose sight of the bigger picture. Although there are times when focused attention may be necessary, a leader’s prolonged shortsightedness can weaken the momentum of a thriving organization, or worse, generate dysfunctional communications and operations.

Individual contributors, as well as managers, are required to focus on a particular project or department within an organization. It’s the leader of the organization who is responsible for setting expectations and standards for interdepartmental communications that will minimize noncooperation and maximize collaboration.

Healthy organizations have leaders who understand the connect-the-dots approach. Maintaining a full-page view allows a leader to promptly identify and understand the strong and weak links within an organization, and offer strategic direction. Your ability as a leader to dive in when you identify weak links, engage employees in recommending solutions, delegate effectively and promptly return to the helm and your bigger-picture view will allow you to continue to serve your employees and organization well.

In today’s work environment, like their employees, leaders find themselves stretched to the limit with multiple and immediate demands. Search the Internet for “behaviors leaders need to demonstrate” and the search generates more than 16 million links. In the midst of incredible pressures to perform, making it a priority to maintain overview will catapult your ability to lead effectively. (from Donna Rawaday)

The Approach (Matrix Structure)

The Scientrix™ matrix is an ideal approach to ensure overview and focus for leaders. Starting from a clear understanding of their ambition leaders can create a matrix structure that covers the landscape (big picture) and allows to prioritize and then deep-dive into the relevant focus areas. This can be done on corporate-, departmental- or team level.

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The priority intersects in this Matrix can be granulated further to gain more insight resulting in a matrix architecture for a specific ambition.

Here are some exemplary use cases which provide the much needed overview and focus for leaders:

Revenue / Growth Matrix:

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Functional Finance Matrix:

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Customer Experience Matrix:

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As can be seen granulating and visualizing ambitions in a matrix format is easy to understand, provides leaders with overview, helps to focus on the critical issues and reduces the fluff & noise in team conversations.

Once the landscape and the focus areas are clarified, leaders and their teams need to ideate and prioritize initiatives (projects), assign execution responsibilities and monitor progress and overall results. All this must be seamlessly linked as depicted below:

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This will ensure that leaders have the bird’s-eye view on the relevant landscape and transparency on the execution progress towards their ambition.

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The Beauty of the Matrix

In 2003, Scientrix pioneered the use of a Matrix architecture for complex problem solving. Complex problems have more than one dimension, a dimension being a concept that can be broken down into variables. Matrix architecture enables us to integrate multiple dimensions within a problem statement, to subdivide the problem into parts and to master one part at a time within the context of the whole.

Why a matrix?

Since the beginning of time, the structure of the Matrix has appealed to the human mind. A Matrix is simple, powerful and accessible to everyone. It enables us to filter out noise and construct brilliant solutions through collaboration.

Normally our minds can only deal with 3 to 5 concepts at once, but in a Matrix we can deal with multiple concepts and the interrelationship between these concepts simultaneously. We can also construct solution architectures that enable broader participation while maintaining the cohesion of the different parts. These architectures require a combination of engineering, architecture and practical solution construct. But let’s start at the beginning:

The First Matrices

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Fig1.1 Early matrices
The earliest known example that illustrates the beauty of the Matrix dates back to 750 BC, with the introduction of the Roman calendar. Attributed to Romulus, it was later reformed by Julius Cesar in 60 BC. The Julian calendar was then adapted into the Gregorian calendar, which is the most widely used calendar today. The days and months are placed in a grid, allowing for months with an odd number of days, which occur due to the varying times between new moons of either 29 or 30 days.

The ancestor of modern chess was another early Matrix. Said to have originated in India in the 6th Century, this game of strategy was called Chatarunga, which means ‘the game of four armies’. Played on an 8 x 8 uncheckered board, its pieces were similar to those of modern chess.

The ancient Egyptians constructed their pyramids on a perfect square, representing the four corners of the earth, and mirroring the architecture of heaven supporting the four winds. The Great Pyramid is the most accurately aligned structure in existence and faces true north, deviating by only 3/60th of a degree.

Leonardo Da Vinci used the ‘grid method’ in his works and teaching. Gridding makes use of a frame with squares, enabling the artist to transfer the outline of the observed subject in each square to a drawing’s corresponding squares, creating more accurate proportions and perspective.

The Matrix or grid also contains the Fibonacci sequence and its golden spiral, also known as the mathematics of nature.

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Fig1.2 Fibonacci golden spiral
Even today, grids underlie the design of most modern architecture: the terrazzo floor of Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiral Guggenheim Museum reflects a pattern of circles inscribed in a squared grid.

The 8 Attributes of a Matrix

The Matrix has 8 key attributes that are very powerful for complex problem solving, strategy design and execution.

To imagine the application of the Matrix in strategy, just replace the word landscape with strategy in the section below.

1. Dilenates Scope, Outlines a Landscape and Facilitates Overview

A Matrix delineates scope along two dimensions. It outlines a landscape, a playfield, a portfolio, a canvas or a game, and facilitates the overview of all the elements within a landscape.

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Fig1.3 The matrix landscape

2. Enables Coordination, Clear Positioning and Alignment

It enables coordination, alignment and clear positioning of elements within a landscape through the coordinates on the two axes.

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Fig1.4 Matrix alignment

3. Contains cells in a Landscape where Creativity Sparks

Each intersect in the Matrix is a cell that holds a rich repository of variables. It can be seen as a nexus point – a place where many variables meet. The Matrix orchestrates and aligns the contents of these ‘rich’ cells. Imagine one dimension is output and the other is input. The resulting nexus point will be a value-creating opportunity. At Scientrix we believe that art is borne out of art. A creative spark is ignited where one dimension meets another.

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Fig1.5 Matrix connections

4. Facilitates Seamless Cascading of Landscapes

The Matrix ensures seamless cascading of concepts, level by level, while sustaining the linkage between the elements on the way down. It ensures that everything in a hierarchy is connected in a continuous flow of value.

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Fig1.6 Matrix cascading

5. Enables Interconnectivity within a Landscape

The Matrix establishes relations that reinforce the variables within each dimension, by combining the variables of the same dimension. A kind of ‘internet of things’ in an ecosystem of thinking.

6. Enables Deep Granularity of a Landscape

A Matrix-in-a-Matrix represents a system-within-a-system. This Matrix enables deep diving while sustaining cause-effect relationships, both linear and non-linear. It spirals to link everything together in an ever more granular universe.

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Fig1.7 Matrix deep-dive

7. Enables Multiple Perspectives of a Landscape

When a solution has too many dimensions, the complexity becomes overwhelming. At that point, the most effective dimension needs to be identified and the other dimensions analysed in relation to one another, as if looking at a landscape from multiple viewpoints.

8. Enables Constellation of Landscapes

In a creative, highly agile world, rigid architectures or structures can limit change and prevent organizations from moving forward faster. A constellation of landscapes is created where all parts pull together.

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Fig1.8 Matrix connections
In many ways, a Matrix represents the integration and relationship between different tree constructs or dimensions. It is imperative to move away from silo concepts and manage a company’s enterprise architecture holistically. The Matrix can make sense of chaos within an organization and be a tool for designing a structure that unleashes the full potential of the people and resources within it.

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Fig1.9 Matrix tree constructs
Ultimately, the beauty of the Matrix is that it starts to form an ‘inner web’, a place where people and organizations connect, where knowledge is contextualised and where value is accelerated.

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Management Success in the 21st Century

My success, as a leader, depends on the success of my team and the contribution we make to the strategy and success of our organization. It is thus my role as leader to give direction to my team:

  • Understand the context in which we operate in.
  • Clarify the purpose of our team.
  • Define our objectives and measures in line with the organization’s strategy.

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My responsibility is to structure each team member’s work in such a way that everyone’s role in the bigger scheme of things is clear. I do this by clarifying and aligning the contribution of each person to the overall objectives of our team and ultimately to the organization.

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Using a Matrix provides insight into where each team member needs to focus, giving them a better understanding of the value of their overall contribution. Essentially, using a Matrix brings about a change in leadership style, moving away from silo contributions and individual performance, towards a more collective and inclusive approach to team success. But aligning strategy and contributions is not enough. My team and I need to govern our performance collaboratively, manage our initiatives from idea creation to completion and, on a daily basis, plan and execute tasks effectively.

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However, there will be challenges in execution if our strategy is too ambitious and bears no relationship to our capacity. Failing at execution will not only impact on our success and our careers, but also on the integrity of the team. People will lose faith in our ability to do as we promise. Our ability to learn the art of successful execution depends on having access to the right technology and the implementation of good governance.

How do we do all of this:

Empowering teams article.cdr

1. Design the Matrix

Seamless process in collaboration with my team. Each point in the Matrix is enriched with analysis and knowledge.

2-3. Link and set targets for KPIs

KPIs are linked to intersects. In each intersect data can be uploaded and trends tracked.

4-5. Brainstorm and filter ideas

Define, align, assess, filter and vote for new ideas.

6. Plan the execution

Plan, track and evaluate initiatives through their entire lifecycles.

7. Execute tasks

Manage and align daily tasks to initiatives and track through a Kanban.

8-9. Assess initiatives and KPIs

Track initiatives and monitor KPIs.

10. Review the Matrix

Evaluate the health of the Matrix and continually improve it.

Finally, successful execution empowers us to:

  • Make the link between our day-to-day tasks, the initiatives we implement and the objectives and strategies we pursue.
  • Understand that not all our ideas will bring success, but that it is a continuous process of learning, trying, measuring and changing.
  • Understand that it is better to finish one thing at a time than having a multitude of halfcomplete initiatives that will never generate value. It is important to manage our initiatives along the lines of a Kanban system and limit work in progress where necessary.
  • Have the discipline to measure and define a finite number of KPI’s so that we can track them and ensure that our efforts pay off.
  • Ensure that the team regularly strategizes in a process that is continuous, collaborative and creative.

Empowering teams article.cdr
When empowered teams across the organization are linked through technology, as if part of a constellation, a powerful web emerges where execution is expedited and great things happen.

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Responsive Organizations: The Knowledge Economy

Against a constantly ticking clock, speed and innovation are the hallmarks of a successful company.

Since organizations are becoming operationally complex and digitally fluent, creating a compelling vision of the future is clearly not enough. Simply, the compressed time frame to deploy a well- structured strategy is becoming increasingly challenging. If the workforce is not well equipped to transformation, even the most brilliant strategies will fail.

Our ability to access boundless information on demand is clearly inhibiting our independence. The rise of rapid information flow is threatening the integrity gap between good ideas and effective results. Therefore, the lifespan of innovation is continually thwarted – where once key differentiating initiatives are becoming antiques over night. Thus, we all know these changes are here, but we do not comprehend their  magnitude.

Indeed, organizational acceleration is no new concept. Rather, the manner of how colleagues react to change is fundamentally new. For instance, change is traditionally a slow, challenging process that is often met with barriers and resistance – partly since change indicates something is broken. Thus, change should be pitched as transformation to promote building organizational capability.

Consequently, to sustain a transient advantage in our knowledge economy, the leading modern enterprise has transformed from efficiency to responsiveness. To enable this uncomfortable transformation, leaders will have to build the strategic capability of the workforce – achievable by raising the level of colleagues’ thinking.This challenge will instill the design of tailor made  solutions that can be executed with speed and agility.

Arguably, the keystone to such radical transformation will require building the capability of teams. The pragmatic agile team will have the strategic capability to: deliver value-creating concepts, act on data driven decision making, ensure a rigorous execution discipline and rely on cross-functional collaboration. These desired capabilities are not obvious to dinosaur organizations – but are inherent.

Clearly, to provide such capability, organizations will have to empower teams. Only when teams have sufficient strategic capability will organizations design rich solutions that can be implemented well and master programs of change. The differentiator will be to create a network of scalable teams who can think and connect smarter.

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