From the perspective of marathon runs, October 12, 2019 was a historic day. Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge completed a marathon in under two hours at Vienna, 1:59:40 to be precise. This feat was considered historic, an achievement worthy of Roger Bannister himself. While Kipchoge's run will not be considered a world record due to the heavy engineering before and during the race, the very same planning enabled him to do the impossible and as such is a worthy study.
A set of initiatives focused towards reducing the marathon time were planned and executed by various teams. This included –
- Identifying the right location and circuit – A flat, straight circuit close to sea level was chosen
- Ideal weather conditions - An 8-day window was chosen to ensure the perfect weather
- V-shaped pacesetter formation to prevent head wind impact
- Ensuring optimal route - Marking the fastest route on the road along with a car guiding the pacesetter
- Lastly, a pair of shoes with inbuilt technology for improved efficiency
This coordinated orchestration led to the creation of marathon history.
When we study the organizations that have realized digital transformation success, the common theme is their orchestration of various digital pivots in a disciplined journey to translate strategic initiatives into successful execution. However, the list of such organizations is very small as inferred from a recent survey.
Most organizations can execute discrete digital projects focused on single initiatives, but they struggle to pull off the coordinated and sustained effort required to align multiple initiatives toward a digital transformation roadmap. Such organizations need an execution framework that can help orchestrate the transformation strategy and journey.
HCL's FENIX 2.0 framework is aligned towards enabling this objective.
FENIX 2.0 is an industry aligned digital execution framework that helps organizations rewire their core DNA to scale digital objectives. It was developed over the last few years through curated critical learnings from digital transformation journeys of progressive Fortune 500 organizations, where we were a strategic partner. It drives organizational change towards a culture of iterative but always on innovation and high performance along with a modern engineering approach towards execution. FENIX 2.0 also helps enterprises make critical decisions on rethinking business architecture enabled by foundation of composable and consumable technology architecture, to create business agility.
FENIX 2.0 Dimensions – We’ve considered the facets that make or break transformation and grouped them into five dimensions, which our framework addresses:
Business Experience Design brings a domain focused and experience driven perspective to identifying the initiatives aligned with transformation goals. A rich understanding of innovation and disruptions happening in the industry along with experience and business process perspective help identify capabilities along with desired outcomes. These capabilities are then translated into a product or program roadmap.
Organization Agility enables the flow of value in the enterprise by aligning leadership, organizational structure, operating model, and culture. It involves designing the right enterprise structure aligned with value stream and products, and enabling workforces that are adaptive, collaborative, and always upskilling. These changes are driven under a well-defined organizational change management strategy.
Digital Execution must be high quality and backed by well-thought out digital operations to ensure sustained transformation. The key driver is ‘automation first’ meaning a large part of development and operation cycle are automated. In addition, with ASM 2.0, FENIX brings in a new perspective to running operations which is suitable not only for digital programs but also for traditional support engagements.
Architecture and Technology form the technological core of the enterprise, enabling rapid changes in design, development and operations. In transformation programs, business value is delivered incrementally, and it is important to respond to change quickly to enable introduction of new products, capabilities and alter experience based on feedback. Hence composable architecture adoption is key and a Cloud Native, API / Microservices based architecture along with platform-based approach enables it.
Data First approach focuses on creation of adaptive data platforms by transforming the existing data platform into a future-ready responsive platform capable of delivering real-time intelligence. Furthermore, this approach ensures intelligent data management via ethical data governance, self-healing data quality, universal metadata management and data science to enable better decisioning using AI with consideration for ethical AI governance.
Moreover, a digital culture provides the underpinning for digital adoption in an enterprise. A leadership that enables and promotes a culture of co-creation, collaboration, risk-taking and thought leadership lies at the very heart of transformational change.
These dimensions also provide the foundation for the two other constructs of FENIX 2.0 – Transformation Journey and Quadrants.
FENIX 2.0 Transformation Journey – Transformation journeys should not only focus on business outcome-oriented initiatives but also around other dimensions to enable high performance and sustenance. For example, organization agility enables people- and team-level transformation, changing alignment from projects to products and enabling scaling constructs like chapters or guilds.
As part of FENIX 2.0 enablement, a contextual transformation journey is created for enterprises based on transformation objectives. However, this journey is not set in stone and is revisited regularly to understand progress, and adapt based on changing market needs.
FENIX 2.0 Quadrants - This is the most tactical element of the framework. The Quadrants guide enterprises in defining how to treat their operations as they move toward digitization. This is a way to make strategic and consistent decisions about when to innovate a new process, and when to scale, outsource or retire an existing process.
As enterprise transformation initiatives result in various work types, the FENIX 2.0 Quadrant model maps these work types to four categories and defines operating models aligned with FENIX 2.0 dimensions. As an example, operations in the ‘Innovation @ Scale’ quadrant where MVPs are delivered in iterative cycles should be different from the ones in ‘Run-to-Retire’ where focus is on ensuring sustenance while reducing long-term investment; hence ASM 2.0 proposes Converged Ops and Segregated Ops model for these two quadrants respectively.
To summarize, HCL’s FENIX 2.0 framework helps organizations in both defining transformation initiatives and in executing them by aligning operating models with best-in-class engineering practices. While that’s quite a mouthful, it’s important to remember that true digital transformation requires a massive team effort in which every wheel and cog in the enterprise works in synchronization along the same roadmap. HCL with its FENIX 2.0 execution model delivers exactly that.
There are plenty of parallels to be drawn between a marathon and an enterprise. Making history, whether as Kipchoge or as a technology-led business, requires purposeful-yet-measured orchestration of various elements to make it come together at the right moment.