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Synchronization: moving beyond re‐engineering

Synchronization: moving beyond re‐engineering Purpose – The re‐engineering movement focused on obliterating functional silos and creating processes. As processes become more prevalent, today's challenge is to overcome process silos and synchronize them within and across companies. This paper lays out the key drivers of synchronization challenges and many responses to address them. Design/methodology/approach – The article defines synchronization and uses examples to articulate its impact on businesses. It then identifies six key drivers of synchronization failure: uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity, volatility, urgency, and differing agency incentives across processes. The article then outlines strategies for responding to these shortcomings and examples of organizations that derive competitive advantages from synchronization. Findings – The article presents five steps to improving synchronization within an organization: identify key synchronization opportunities; identify responses to the opportunities; stimulate, evaluate and examine interdependencies; execute select initiatives; and evaluate and iterate. Originality/value – Synchronization is difficult, and firms who successfully synchronize key processes are likely to have advantages that are difficult to replicate. As we enter an economic slowdown in the United States, managers may discover that improving synchronization will be a better strategic move than simply cutting costs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Strategy Emerald Publishing

Synchronization: moving beyond re‐engineering

Journal of Business Strategy , Volume 29 (3): 4 – May 2, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0275-6668
DOI
10.1108/02756660810873236
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The re‐engineering movement focused on obliterating functional silos and creating processes. As processes become more prevalent, today's challenge is to overcome process silos and synchronize them within and across companies. This paper lays out the key drivers of synchronization challenges and many responses to address them. Design/methodology/approach – The article defines synchronization and uses examples to articulate its impact on businesses. It then identifies six key drivers of synchronization failure: uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity, volatility, urgency, and differing agency incentives across processes. The article then outlines strategies for responding to these shortcomings and examples of organizations that derive competitive advantages from synchronization. Findings – The article presents five steps to improving synchronization within an organization: identify key synchronization opportunities; identify responses to the opportunities; stimulate, evaluate and examine interdependencies; execute select initiatives; and evaluate and iterate. Originality/value – Synchronization is difficult, and firms who successfully synchronize key processes are likely to have advantages that are difficult to replicate. As we enter an economic slowdown in the United States, managers may discover that improving synchronization will be a better strategic move than simply cutting costs.

Journal

Journal of Business StrategyEmerald Publishing

Published: May 2, 2008

Keywords: Business process re‐engineering; Management strategy; Supply chain management

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