What impact can Quality Management have on business value?
To the extent that an organization can quantify the impact of managing quality, the value realized becomes transparent. Managing quality throughout the application management life-cycle unlocks value at the ‘infrastructure’ and ‘process support’ levels; and can enable value at the ‘business process’ level (Markevich 2013). Conversely, poor quality management can severely handicap all other forms of value.
While aspects such as user training are important, deployment costs are a major cost element. For example, during test and deploy phases, Quality Management contributes to ‘business process value’ by:
• implementing or optimizing change management and quality testing to speed up deployments
• deploying SAP enhancement and support packages quickly and efficiently
Quality Management focused on safeguarding integration validation looks at the internal efficiency of integration and volume testing as well as defect/incident volumes for opportunities to apply risk-mitigation techniques and tools to implementation or upgrade projects, in order to introduce solutions into the production environment effectively and efficiently. That is, with minimal business disruption and test effort.
Quality Management focused on protecting the SAP investment and looks at the efficiency and effectiveness of solution transition in terms of update or upgrade effort, resulting downtimes, as well as extent of unnecessary solution modification. Any of these may point to an opportunity to adopt best practices around managing custom developments, release planning and maintenance management.
Not only does IT derive value from the efficiency measured by the internal cost drivers in the IT department; IT provides value in terms of the efficiency and effectiveness the solution enables in other business functions. A clear example of the effectiveness of IT is the cost of an hour of downtime of a business process.
‘Infrastructure’ and ‘process support’ are levels of value within the direct control of IT. These are essentially the internal operations of the IT department and have a unique impact on effectiveness of driving value by:
• delivering business continuity while minimizing operating expense
• improving existing business processes and drive accelerated innovations
Quality Management focused on business continuity may look at, for example, efficiency in terms of incident effort in the context of trends in incident volumes.
Quality Management for business continuity drives operations maturity through standardization and automation. Standardized, end-to-end IT processes enables efficient, scalable solution operations and minimizes complexity across SAP and partner environments. Reduced downtime through use of consistent tools and methodologies, e.g., standardized diagnostic tools and business process monitoring using platforms that provide full visibility to the processes and that make required information available to all stakeholders and thereby decrease time to resolution.
Quality Management focused on business process improvement drives IT effectiveness in terms of the value to other business functions. The measurement, analysis and monitoring of business process KPIs indicate opportunities for improvement of solution performance and usability. Quality-oriented IT operations driving continuous improvement can ensure state-of-the-art IT that is ready for new challenges.
If quality management is a cultural organizational change (Olian & Rynes 1991), then change agents are necessary in each of these domains. A Quality Management team should have dedicated persons responsible for all areas and a measurement platform to measure the continuous improvement of customer relevant KPIs.
• Quality manager for protection of investment
• Quality manager for integration validation
• Quality manager for business continuity
• Quality manager for business process improvement
The Quality Management team is key to realizing and tracking value. Each QM should be responsible for delivering KPI based reporting to all stakeholders and ensure efficient collaboration between IT process owners.
What would it mean to the organization to Business to reduce time to value of implementation projects further deployments? The ‘infrastructure value’ contribution of optimizing change and testing processes might result reduction in change and test effort and/or duration; and consequently a faster time to benefit for the business. A 20% improvement in change management efficiency (reduced test effort per change) and effectiveness (reduced incidents resulting from changes) could be the difference between anticipated and realized business value from IT investments.
What could it mean to IT to reduce the effort to operate solutions? The ‘process support’ value of standardizing and automating monitoring and analysis across business processes might result in less incident effort or duration; thereby reducing the effort for IT and/or increasing business continuity or productivity. A 30% improvement in efficiency (reduced incident resolution time) or effectiveness (reduced number of incidents) could translate to significant reduction in the resources required. To say nothing of the value of re-purposing highly-skilled resources to higher value-add tasks and activities.
Show your organization the business value of IT and learn more about how other customers are doing so. Join us at the 18th International Customer COE Info Forum in Frankfurt, Germany, November 19- 21, 2014.