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Winds of Change April 11, 2010

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Others.
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When Heraclitus said “Nothing is permanent except change”, he was clearly predicting my journey in the world of Enterprise Information Management.

Surprisingly, so was the Object Management Group, when they released the Business Process Maturity Model.

While both philosophies are separated by history, generations, language, culture and technology; they both combine to track my progress in the world of Enterprise Information Management. Rather, they have allowed me to audit my career and knowledge path.

 

Maturity Level 1 – Initial (Web Development)

Its mid-1990s and the world were engulfed in the Dot Com boom. Like all aspiring Computer Science (that’s what they called it back then) students, I too harbored entrepreneurial dream ala Sabeer Bhatia of Hotmail fame. With a handful of fellow university mates, we ventured out to form our own Web development firm. As a Business Development/Web Development member, we ventured out with our ASPs and PHPs; with our SQL Servers and MySQLs to take over the internet.

We sure did take over.  We took over other opportunities with the lesson learnt that technology follows business. Not vice versa.

Maturity Level 2 – Managed (Online Marketing)

Sometime during the boom-bust period, I learnt Search Engine Optimization and copywriting. Armed with a technical base and flair for putting together fancy vocabulary, I was employed to lead the development of an Online business and henceforth, its marketing. Here, I was fortunate to be exposed to some practical business management criteria:

  1. Brick and Mortar world is most important
  2. When working with external partners, do not speak in e-language
  3. Information must be shared in a managed manner.

Maturity Level 3 – Standardized (Electronic Document & Records Management)

With a reducing need for technical expertise and increasing need for business skills, I was fortunate to be introduced to Electronic Document and Records Management. Fortunate because, it was more out of necessity to increase my income (I got marriedJ). Having acquired the basics of management and the fundamentals of technology, it had become a practice to apply them in a standardized manner.

  1. Brick and Mortar world is most important
    Paper is critical as the world of scanning opened up.
  2. When working with external partners, do not speak in e-language
    Most customers were ignorant to the nuances of electronic records keeping.
  3. Information must be shared in a managed manner.
    It was the objective of these solutions in the first place.

Maturity Level 4 – Predictable (Business Process Management)

As a natural progression of practicing standards, it becomes predictable when applying them in the future. While workflows, version controls, audit trails and legal holds became standard practices, there was one element missing and that was of managing the processes. It was but inevitable that I moved up to Business Process Management. It was also inevitable that Automation found its way in brining with it the binding of BPMN, SOA, and PDF/A.

Maturity Level 5 – Innovating (Enterprise Architecture)

Not necessarily an innovation of my own creation, but, honestly an innovation to the manner in which my view of mapping business goals with operational procedures. Currently, I am working on adopting the FEA to enable me to see the organization from a service perspective independent of organizational charts and technology. Hoping this will help me manage the business processes to meet the business goals.

 Moral of this story:
If Maturity Model can be applied to a natural career path of mine, it can be easily applied to organizations.

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