An operating model describes how a company or organization has organized their own activities to achieve their own strategic goals. The operating model is composed of the company’s processes, internal and external organization, skills and competencies, performance metrics, management model, information technology and information. The operating model differentiates companies in the same industry from one another. The operating model, for instance, defines how customer-orientated or cost-effective the organization is, or what is the level of the quality of the products and services it produces.
All companies have an operating model, whether it has been constructed consciously or not. When a company wants to head into a new strategic direction or is planning development activities regarding customer management, information management or digital services, the operating model needs to be reconsidered. The understanding of the current and wished future state of the operating model and the gap between them, is the key to success in strategic transformation initiatives. What does our process look like at the moment? How should they work in the future? How are we organized? Should our activities be harmonized and centralized in the future? How is the performance measured? How do we utilize the partner network? Which new information or information systems are needed?
The definition of business requirements for a new IT solution, or the selection of a new IT product can only be made when the future operating model is understood, at least on the high level. This applies regardless of whether the project is implemented with waterfall or agile methods.
If the future operating model is not commonly understood and defined, several risks may realize, for example
- Each person working in the project will create their own assumptions of the operating model, thereby eliminating the shared direction; or
- The business requirements for the new IT solution are gathered based on the existing operating model, whereby no strategic change takes place, but rather, the IT investment is used to replace the old system with a new, similar system.
We help our clients understand the relationships between the various areas of the operating model, to ensure the successful implementation of IT projects, and to attain business value of IT investments. Together with our clients we model the current and future states of the operating model, and create a roadmap to get there.
Our strong know-how in customer-centred design ensures that we consider the effects of changes on the customer experience already when planning the operating model.