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Do We Have to Choose Between Adaptability and Efficiency?

by Kristine Erickson

April 10, 2009

by Kristine Erickson SAP NetWeaver Magazine - Volume 5, Issue 2

“What your brain loses in flexibility, it gains in efficiency.”

This insight comes to me from a colleague who reads scientific journals for fun. While organizations are not neuroscience, it does strike me that they change over time in a similar way. Smaller, simpler, newer organizations — the successful ones, at least — tend to have those nimble traits that allow them to adapt quickly. As companies grow, so do the opportunities to capitalize on efficiencies. Today, though, these well-established companies are tasked with once again tapping into more flexible, responsive approaches to business.

In this issue, you’ll see how companies are looking to technology as one path to achieve this flexibility. New offerings — business process management (BPM) solutions, composite applications, and service-oriented architecture, as well as SAP’s enhancement package strategy and the new SAP Business Suite — all aim to make business processes and IT landscapes more adaptable. In these pages, you’ll find success stories from Lockheed Martin and Sharp, which showcase corporate cultures that place heavy demands on workflow and IT — but made the decision to take on technology changes that almost immediately benefited their business.

It’s also important to recognize the new value of a resilient project team — especially now, as organizations’ staffing, corporate structure, and strategic business goals are changing. Project speed and adaptability are key. Companies are asking: How swiftly can we react when members of our project team move on? What happens if our executive sponsor leaves the company? How quickly can we bring in new processes to replace outdated ones? Is it time to phase out costly support for outmoded technology?

The advice from project teams profiled in this issue will help inform your own groups as they face similar questions. With more nimble project teams — comprised of individuals who can ensure that technology and processes are more responsive to change — your company gains efficiencies that are more valuable now than ever.

We look forward to hearing from you about your own project team triumphs — large and small.

Kristine Erickson
Group Editor

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