Management Consulting / Strategy / Frameworks / OCM
Management Consulting services can take many forms. All of Aria Consulting's other practice offerings such as Architecture or Transformation or Programme Management could be reasonably classed under “Management Consulting”. However, there are 4 specific areas that Aria has successful experience delivering to note:
Having begun his professional consulting career working in Organizational Change Management (OCM) at a point in time when the term had hardly even been coined, Aria's Founder and Principal Lorne Rogers, brings many years of well-proven capabilities to work with your management team to develop the Strategies, Frameworks, Governance, or Change Management plans and activities to actualize and drive your organizational goals and ideals to fruition.
The 5 phase Programme Management Methodology
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), The Standard for Program Management, 2nd Ed.,
“A Program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits and control NOT available from managing them individually. Programs may include elements of related work outside of the scope of the discreet projects in the program…..Some projects within a program can deliver useful incremental benefits to the organization before the program itself has completed.”
Aria Consulting’s Programme Management approach
Programme Management provides a layer above the management of projects and focuses on selecting the best group of projects, defining them in terms of their objectives, and providing an environment where projects can be run successfully.
In a Programme Management capacity, Aria Consulting typically has oversight of the design, purpose and status of the projects in a Programme and can use this oversight to support project-level activity to ensure the Programme goals are met by providing a decision-making capacity that cannot typically be achieved at project level or by providing the project manager(s) with a Programme perspective when required, or as a sounding board for ideas and approaches to solving project issues that have Programme impacts.
In a Programme there is a need to identify and manage cross-project dependencies and often the PMO (Programme or Project Management Office) may not have sufficient insight of the risk, issues, requirements, design or solutions to be able to manage these. Especially at scale. The Programme Manager may be best placed to provide this insight by actively seeking out such information from the Project Manager(s). However this insight arises, the Programme Manager needs this in order to be comfortable that the overall program goals are achievable.
Aria’s Programme Management emphasizes the coordinating and prioritizing of resources across projects, managing links between the projects and the overall costs and risks of the Programme in terms of alignment to the outputs sought.
Successful Transformation requires a multi-step process to be able to move an organization from current state to an improved target state. Starting from developing Value Propositions through Business Process Reengineering (BPR), continuing with ongoing, deep, and wide monitoring of KPI’s and CSAT’s to ensure the changes are achieving goals.
Along with optimizing the processes within your value chain, Aria Consulting can work with your team to refine roles and determine T&D needs, ascertain regionalization tweaks if necessary, and establish a framework for ongoing optimization.
Does your organization have some possible opportunities to improve?
Solutions Architecture / Technology Design and Advisory
What IS Solution Architecture?
A Solution Architecture may be described in a document at the level of a solution vision or a more detailed conceptual component outline. It often specifies a system (itself potentially a subsystem in a wider enterprise system) that is intended to solve a specific problem and/or meet a given set of requirements.
It may be an IT system to support a single business role or process. For example, an end-to-end eCommerce system that allows customers to place orders for goods and/or services; or an end-to-end Supply Chain system that enables an enterprise to order from its suppliers and manage and measure the entire value chain.
A solution outline typically defines the business context, business data to be created or used, the application components needed, the technology platform components needed, along with whatever is needed to meet non-functional requirements (speed, throughput, availability, reliability recoverability, integrity, security, scalability, servicability, etc.).
The role of “Solutions Architect“ requires knowledge and skills that are both broad and deep. To be effective the Solutions Architect must have experience on multiple hardware and software environments and be comfortable with complex heterogeneous systems environments and Aria Consulting’s Solution Architecture work typically starts at high-level conceptual and proceeds to a mid-level of detail prior to hand-off to detailed software and infrastructure engineering.
Aria’s principal is a highly seasoned senior techno-functionalist who has led many projects through the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Lorne’s experience spans more than SIXTY projects across a multitude of client organizations ranging from smaller organizations to multi-nationals and 15+ industry verticals including all 3 levels of Canadian government as well as working with clients in various parts of the United States and having worked internationally in Hong Kong.
Lorne is responsible for the development of the overall vision that underlies the projected solution and transforms that vision through execution into the end-to-end solution..
Could YOUR team, department, division, or organization benefit from expert help to envision, design, and deliver a solution(s) to to improve your current state?
The term “enterprise” in the context of “Enterprise Architecture” can be used to denote both an entire enterprise – encompassing all of its information and technology services, processes, and infrastructure – or a specific domain within the enterprise. In both cases, the architecture crosses multiple systems, and multiple functional groups within the enterprise.
Today’s CEOs know that the effective management and exploitation of information through IT is a key factor to business survival and success, and an indispensable means to achieving competitive advantage. An Enterprise Architecture addresses this need, by providing a strategic context for the evolution of the IT ecosystem in response to the constantly changing needs of the business environment.
Furthermore, a good Enterprise Architecture enables the enterprise to achieve the right balance between IT efficiency and business innovation. It allows business units to innovate safely in their pursuit of competitive advantage. At the same time, it ensures the needs of the organization for an integrated IT approach are met, permitting the closest possible synergy across the extended enterprise.
The advantages that result from a good enterprise architecture bring important business benefits, which are clearly visible in the net profit or loss of a company or organization.
Aria Consulting takes a top-down approach to Enterprise Architecture beginning with the highest-level strategies from executive/ownership level, and actualizing the strategies via Business Capability Mapping which is then further mapped to applications and data. Once this level of mapping is complete, it is generally short work to associate the technology infrastructure that supports the whole environment. Through this work it becomes possible to have TRUE VISIBILITY of the various architectures that have developed from Domain to Integration and Solutions to Programme. With this visibility the CIO, CFO, and CEO have drastically improved decision making capability in terms of what technology investments to make versus which to move away from.
Wikipedia defines Project Management as “the process and activity of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals in scientific or daily problems. A project is a temporary endeavour designed to produce a unique product, service or result with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value. The temporary nature of projects stands in contrast with business as usual (or operations), which are repetitive, permanent, or semi-permanent functional activities to produce products or services. In practice, the management of these two systems is often quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies”.
Today, there are a multitude of approaches to the practice of Project Management. At Aria Consulting, the preferred approach is the University of St. Andrews Lean Project Process, illustrated. This 8 step model is more of an Iterative, versus “Agile”, model which gives great advantage in terms of alignment with standardized budgeting approaches with organizations.
Another major advantage is the insertion of a Training step after the initial round of Planning. This creates an excellent real world opportunity to expose aspects of the overall project solution that don’t align well with stakeholder behaviours and expectations. In this respect it somewhat mirrors the intent of Agile methodologies with ‘sprints’ while not eschewing some advantages inherent in more legacy methodologies like ‘Waterfall’.
Following this early-stage stakeholder engagement is a redesign step to address the findings from the training and make tactical, and sometimes strategic, course corrections prior to implementation at scale.
Aria Consulting always strongly recommends candid review and feedback steps to more fully inform and guide the next iteration.
Do you want to explore the advantages of this methodology?