Global Virtual Teams and Their Challenges

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Global Virtual teams and their challenges

  1. Executive Summary:

Companies are facing stiff competition worldwide, and are in need of management techniques that would help them stay on top, in their respective industry. Enterprise architectures work as a conceptual design that clearly portrays the functioning and structure of a particular firm, offering managers with apt suggestions to improve the outcome of processes within their organization. Process management is referred to as a complex approach to improving the flow of processes within an organization. Several tools have been utilized in process management, which include Six Sigma, root cause analysis, and ISO 9001. During process improvement practice, documentation plays a critical role for the enterprise architecture, helping the organization understand the different processes executed by the departments, proving an effective means for feedback, and detecting faults. Six Sigma black belts have helped companies save as much as $230,000 on every project, which benefits the enterprise architecture, considering the average salary of the expert. Process management would further support enterprise architecture, by regularly consulting the stakeholders of a project, to understand whether it’s being executed correctly or not, gaining feedback at every stage. Enterprise architecture practice would help in implementing process improvement practice, as the goals of enterprise architecture practice are similar to the advantages of process management.

  1. Introduction:
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Companies growing at a tremendous pace across the globe, it is important for companies to identify techniques to remain at the top in their respective industries. Enterprise Architecture is a management and technology practice that is devoted to improving the performance of enterprises by enabling them to see themselves in terms of a holistic and integrated view of their strategic direction, business practices, information flows, and technology resources. This calls for an effective strategy to stay afloat in a highly competitive world. Business process management is a practice that is directed towards increasing the effectiveness of an organization, enabling it to cope with changes in its environment and stay ahead in its field. Enterprise architectures serve as a conceptual design that aptly describes the overall structure and functioning of an organization. The sole motive behind an enterprise architecture, is to find out an organization is able to reach its present and future targets. Through the course of this report, I would be analysing the link between process improvement practice or process management, and enterprise architecture, along with understanding how process improvement practice can be implemented by enterprise architecture.

  1. Enterprise Architecture and its applications in the corporate world.

Enterprise architecture can be defined as the conceptual design that determines the functioning and overall structure of a company. The main reason behind enterprise architecture is to comprehend how an organization can reach its target goals. Having an enterprise architecture would aid in better decision making, capability to adapt to changing market conditions, and eliminating processes that are ineffective and redundant. Enterprise architecture also makes it possible to decrease employee turnover and make the most of the company’s assets. Enterprise architecture defines the operating systems, programming, hardware, and networking solutions that an organization utilizes (Techtarget 2007). It offers IT and business leaders with appropriate recommendations to change policies and projects, in order to reach target business outcomes that make the most of relevant business disruptions (Gartner n.d.). It is important to note that every firm has an enterprise architecture, regardless of their size and whether or not they desired to implement it, which means that practically every firm is concerned about the future goals, and how to achieve them (Forbes 2011).

  1. What is process management/process improvement practice?

Process management refers to the highly complex approach to increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, and capability of an organization. It is geared towards increasing the ability of an organization to become accustomed to changes in its environment. Process management can be easily defined as the cluster of activities that are designed to enable companies reach certain organization-specific targets. The sole reason behind implementing process improvement practice is to reduce the likelihood of human errors, and focus stakeholders on the needs of their roles. Business process management is often considered a subset of infrastructure management, which is an administrative segment that deals with the maintenance and optimization of the equipment of an organization (Techtarget n.d.). Process improvement tools have been largely employed to understand the way business processes work in an organization, which may include employee satisfaction, to help desk support. Several tools and quality management techniques are employed in process management, which include Six Sigma, root cause analysis, ISO 9001, process mapping, and benchmarking, which are available for handling these improvements. It can be rightly stated that the internet has completely changes the way process management/ process improvement techniques have been put in practice in the past five years. The internet has made it possible for individuals to get in touch with others, who might be facing similar problems, which would prove beneficial in identifying common solutions. It also helps in increasing the rate of data collection, which aids in better process management. In an organization, the team of employees, along with the management, need to first clearly document the goals and objectives for the company. It is also imperative for them to comprehend the working of existing processes, identifying the areas that need to be improved, which is the first step towards actually bringing about a solution for the same. Process mapping is a highly powerful technique that is greatly utilized by respondents to pinpoint and visually picture the entire process. Process improvement practice generally focuses on keeping projects a bit short, owing to the fact that projects tend to lose their focus, after a particular period of time. After this, it is highly important for effective communication to take place within the organization, in order to achieve the goals laid out. When the project starts, communication plans are set in place, and updated regularly. Communication would play a key role in getting across the actual goal or vision for a specific project. Process improvement practice also comprises regular communication within the team, with the goal of mapping process and giving necessary feedback on how the project is taking shape. Employee support is one of the most critical aspects of the successful execution of the process improvement practice. Process improvement practice also revolves on distributing as much as information as possible with stakeholders, receiving their feedback. There are a number of standards that are focused on quality management, along with tools for organizations that start working on a process improvement project. It is extremely important to select the right kind of tools, and function in that specific framework. It is important to note that not all tools are similar and would work for all types of projects. During the execution of a project, process improvement practice suggests that documentation is a must, due to the fact that it would be of great use to future employees of the organization. The documentation must be revisited on a regular basis, in an attempt to keep it from becoming stale (Dolan 2003). An example of a business process improvement practice is Six Sigma. Six Sigma, in most companies, is the definition of a quality rank that is associated with near perfection. Six Sigma is a robust, data-driven approach to finding and eliminating defects that might exist in any process. The main goal of the Six Sigma methodology is to execute a measurement-based plan that emphasizes on process improvement and reducing variation, which can be achieved by using two Six Sigma sub-practices, which include DMADV and DMAIC. The DMAIC process stands for define, measure, analyse, improve, and control, which is an improvement system that is enforced on existing processes that fall below their specification. The DMADV process stands for define, measure, analyse, design, and verify, which is a standard used for developing products or processes that match up to the Six Sigma quality standards. In both processes, the execution is carried out by Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts, and is inspected by Six Sigma Master Black Belts. The Six Sigma Academy reveals that Black Belts help firms save around $230,000 per project, and are able to finish 4-6 projects yearly (Isixsigma n.d.).

  1. Enterprise Architecture to implement process improvement practice.
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Owing to the fact that companies struggle on several occasions to finish their projects, process improvement practice should be employed. In addition to finishing projects, it is important that these projects do not exceed the company’s budget, in any way, such as increased requirement for labour or time. Process improvement practice helps in streamlining the way a project is handled within an organization, reducing ineffective and redundant processes that would just result in a great deal of time wastage, with no concrete results (Techtarget 2007). Process management would enable companies to slash their budget for a project by as much as 30- 50 percent, fulfilling a major aspect of enterprise architecture, which is to achieve the company’s target (Comindware n.d.). Process management generally involves regular meetings with the employees involved in a particular project, analysing the project’s performance, along with providing employees feedback and motivation. Additionally, process management involves regular meetings with the stakeholders of a project, which is vital to understanding whether the requirements of a project have been met thoroughly. Enterprise architecture would greatly benefit from implementing process improvement practice, due to the fact that documentation is one of its key aspects. By regular documentation of the project’s progress in a shared repository, it helps the management as well as the project leader understand the activities undertaken by each department within the organization, and its potential impact, thereby, improving the quality of the end-product. Additionally, enterprise architecture is concerned with helping companies reach the top in their industry. Process improvement practice makes it possible for companies to understand the market scenario and gain an edge over their competitors (Learndatamodeling n.d.). Training is another critical component, which is carried out in process improvement practice, which is a perquisite for implementation activities. This would play a vital role in enabling an organization reach its goals, without the risk associated with inadequacy among the team members. Process improvement practice involves regular training for the employees, helping them understand how they should utilize newer tools, and the proposed implementation. In some cases, the organization would provide executive training for the improvement stage. In process improvement practice, the targets are normally defined in small increments, which would make it possible for the team members to focus their effort on meeting the deadline, while coping with any unforeseen events that might occur during this stage. Enterprise architecture would benefit greatly by employing process improvement experts, such as Six Sigma Green Belts or Black Belts. It is important to consider that the average salary for a Six Sigma Black Belt is around $80,000, while the amount of money that they can help an organization save, is $230,000 per project, which would serve as a huge return for the organization, a key aspect of enterprise architecture.

  1. Conclusions:

Enterprise architecture is focused on finding effective strategies that would make it possible for a firm to achieve their targets for a specific project. Enterprise architecture would be easily able to implement process improvement practice, owing to the fact that the goal of enterprise architecture is the same as the benefits offered by process improvement practice. Process improvement practice helps firms to save the amount of time wasted by implementing old, repetitive techniques, replacing with stringent methodologies that would guarantee a high level of success for the firm. Cutting costs is one of the primary goals of an organization, which is why enterprise architecture would be able to implement process management practice. Process management would enable companies to save a great deal of money spent during the execution stage. Therefore, it can be concluded that by implementing process improvement practice, the overall functioning of enterprise architecture would benefit tremendously, in terms of efficiency, competitiveness, and reduced expenditure.

  1. References:
  1. Forbes 2011, Enterprise Architecture: Moving From Chaos To Business Value, Viewed on 10/9/2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2011/06/20/enterprise-architecture-moving-from-chaos-to-business-value/
  1. Learndatamodeling, Business Process Management (BPM), Viewed on 10/9/2014, http://www.learndatamodeling.com/bpm_advant.php
  1. Techtarget 2007, Enterprise Architecture (EA), Viewed on 10/9/2014, http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/enterprise-architecture
  1. Comindware, Top 5 Benefits of Good Business Process, Viewed on 10/9/2014, http://blog.comindware.com/leadership/benefits-of-business-process-management/
  1. Isixsigma, What is Six Sigma?, Viewed on 10/9/2014, http://www.isixsigma.com/new-to-six-sigma/getting-started/what-six-sigma/
  1. Dolan 2003, Best Practices in Process Improvement, Accessed on 10/9/2014, http://www.texas-quality.org/SiteImages/125/Reference Library/Process Improvement Best Practices.pdf
  1. Gartner, Enterprise Architecture, Viewed on 10/9/2014, http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/enterprise-architecture-ea/
  1. Techtarget, Business Process Management, Viewed on 9/9/2014, http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/business-process-management
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