Workflow business strategyWhen HP corporate authorized the
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination. The nature of the operations is described.creation of a software business unit it was assumed that the product sales would ramp once removed from the line control of other businesses. In the newly created unit there were a variety of products targeting diverse market segments. One product that became a focus for the executives was a workflow, in business processes define the movement of a case file between cooperating agents who when they possess the case perform the activities outlined in the flow to complete a process. The flows and their control have been automated with workflow servers moving the case to the agents. The flowchart style model of the automated flows does not typically reflect the true adaptive nature of the collaborative interactions of the agents. engine.
Strategically it is an interesting scenario, since it demonstrates:
New product developmentThe integration within a business of a central research lab is viewed as a core technology strategy enabling technology transfer. However, complex adaptive system (
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame. The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences. It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents.CAS) analysis suggests that the research process is analogous to the germination process. Just as male chromosomes are an aggregate of a very long DNA molecule with associated proteins including histones.
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined. Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented.
must be carefully separated in the
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination. The nature of the operations is described.genetic operations that create new generations of genome the research process within academia is clearly separated. In a business research lab the separation is hard to maintain, and so the researchers come under strong pressure to tailor their research to expected return and justify the business outcomes of their work.
ModularityThe workflow server had been designed to enforce ordered execution of well-defined process graphs found in computer aided design and in regulated communications within the oil, finance and insurance markets. The executives' attention was drawn to the possibility of providing businesses in general with a way to increase process efficiency and executive understanding of performance from a dashboard.
The successful expansion of the target market depended on the architectural assumptions about process design that held for highly regulated businesses like insurance being true in the general case.
When looked at as a CAS businesses can be seen as generally emergent, and can respond adaptively to shifts in their environment. Only in the special case of highly stable or regulated environments, can a business drop its emergent systems architecture and improve efficiency with processes of high rigidity. Needless to say the deployment of process enforcement was problematic in the more general business case.
Phenotypic alignment and ProphylaxisAs the unit struggled with this reality, its business competitors, often HP partners, added special inducements to the revenue that HP obtained, when it sold solutions based on their products and HP computers and services, to turn HP's sales channel against the software business unit. In effect the synergies present in the HP value delivery system worked in opposition to the newly formed software unit, whatever the intent of the executives.
This page discusses the benefits of proactively strengthening strong points.Prophylaxis just amplified the effects.
Commitment and pre-conditionsThe executives would have to
This page reviews the potential to benefit from strategy in a complex adaptive system (CAS). The challenges described by Dorner require a careful search of the proximate environment.dive deeply into the environment of their target customers to become aware of the uncertainty is when a factor is hard to measure because it is dependent on many interconnected agents and may be affected by infrastructure and evolved amplifiers. This is different from Risk. they induced in widening the target market of the workflow system. Unfortunately the benefit to the company for executives to focus in this way does not result in a matching benefit to the executive. In the short term the executive is likely to be rewarded for driving progress. Only in the long term as the business results become clear does the executive risk criticism since
Agents can manage uncertainty by limiting their commitments of resources until the environment contains signals strongly correlated with the required scenario. This page explains how agents can use Shewhart cycles and SWOT processes to do this.the pre-conditions of his business success were not met when he, or she, had already committed resource and promised results.