Operational Art

From Answers.com

“Operational art translates the joint force commander’s strategy into operational design and, ultimately, tactical action, by integrating the key activities at all levels of war”

In IT parlance, this means translating the business strategies into IT organizational design and tactical project selection to maximise the organizational value. It is about IT leaders being perceptive of the business needs and spotting opportunities for improvements.

Michael Hugos provides an interesting example in his post “Turning Business Strategy into IT action”, where he provided a business solution which not only helped the business overcome an inefficient process, but also helped long term sales and revenue prospects for the company .Little surprise that he has been the recipient of CIO 100 award twice for innovative use of technology and business vision.

Here’s a set of mantras for growing and nurturing the relationship using the Operational Art terminology.

  1. Understand the synergy
    Be cognizant of the organizational drivers. Too often they get presented in a disjointed fashion like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
  2. Use Simultaneity and depth for business solutions
    Use all available resourctes to come up with creative solutions for client and their customers
  3. Anticipate the business needs
    Remain alert for the unexpected and for opportunities to exploit the situation
  4. Have a Balanced team
    Have a team of mixed capabilities that can fulfill the task
  5. Leverage existing advantage
    Maintain competitive edge by constantly seeking opportunities to improve existing situation
  6. Timing and tempo
    Act decisively and quickly
  7. Understand your operational reach
    Know what your capabilities are and the cost of your services
  8. Improve Forces and functions
    Improve existing IT capability on both technical capabilities as well as operational processes
  9. Arrange operations
    Plan a phased execution of projects to achieve the desired business outcome
  10. Develop Centers of Gravity
    Create an agile organization with a motivated workforce and enhaced technical and process capabilities
  11. Act on Decisive points
    Business critical decisions that would influence the long term organizational future.
  12. Culmination
    Fail fast without wasting huge amount of resources
  13. Termination
    Terminate the initiative when the incremental cost of delivering exceeds the benefits

It would be very hard for business to not respect and like someone who is so switched on about their needs and who finds creative ways to fulfill them.