Relationship between technology standardization and business flexibility

Manchester Business School, University of Manchester .. Interrelationship between standardization and innovation;. Implementation of standardization as an innovation tool;. Policy perspective of technological standards and innovation . stakeholders to set flexible framework conditions, which can later be transferred into. Flexibility: How This Decision Drives Your Digital Transformation! Standardization allows for consolidation of business practices and adds a great SAP and Oracle both invest heavily in cloud technology. Quick Links. We'd like to think that innovation comes from freewheeling chaos. Think again: It's extreme order that begets breakthroughs in business.

The VP of Human Resources told me there were 15 different recruiting and hiring processes in the 4 divisions of the company. It took anywhere from 3 months to 18 months to hire employees; they did not know where candidates were in the hiring process; and she was not sure how many staff she needed to do the work. Additionally the process was paper intensive, hiring managers felt recruiters did not understand their needs, and the process had burdensome compliance requirements.

She asked me to help her standardize the process. The VP of Human Resources kicked off the initiative and explained the current challenges and her goals. She helped form teams to model how the process was done in the different divisions and to formulate improvement ideas for a new standardized process.

5 Ways That Standardization Can Lead To Innovation

I began to tell employees and managers that standardization did not necessarily mean we would have only one process that everyone would follow but rather that we would move to more consistent ways of doing recruiting and hiring across the whole organization.

If there were reasons to have a few different hiring processes we would recommend that. In fact as we finished the project there were many aspects of the new process that were standardized across the whole company — templates for candidate information, the same computer application, fewer HR roles, a single point of contact in HR for the hiring manager, job descriptions housed in a single database, templates for recruiting plans. But there was not just one standardized process — instead there were three processes, one for hiring scientists, another for hiring summer interns, and a third for all other employees.

In another situation I was asked to help standardize the way an organization did procurement. This project was part of an enterprise effort to streamline the process, utilize one method across the organization, and apply the new eProcurement software application they had recently installed. We found that Once each organization had mapped how it currently did its process, it was quite easy to compare to the other 34 processes and determine what was similar and what was different across the group.

The IT department had neglected to understand some of the critical features needed for each business unit- mostly around 1 providing some ability for the unit to make changes themselves when they discovered errors, and 2 to see — have transparency - where the request was in the process, when the invoice came from the vendor, or to know if the payment had been made.

  • Standardization or Flexibility- Partners or Enemies?

Different units — depending on the type of request they made such as need for speed, special medical requests, or because of the large volume of purchases had some requirements that were validly different. Although the customized department procurement and tracking systems had grown out of individual unit needs, many of units required specific categorized information to meet their fund accounting requirements.

If the new eProcurement system could not provide this information, they would need to maintain their own department systems as well or revert to more time intensive manually tracking. The Finance group wanted to standardize the way 12 different units handled the budget process and improve the level of analysis that they were able to do.

They began by creating a current state map for one of the units and tried to abstract the other 11 units from there. Then they looked at them--and voila-- it was pretty evident what steps were the same and which were different. Secondly, units may use different roles to do different steps, and different roles may necessitate different skills levels, which can explain why some roles perform more or less steps. Third, units may do steps in a different order for logical reasons or just because they have always done it that way.

Each of these three differences is minor. The procedures cost less, saving the taxpayers hundreds of dollars per procedure. In short, common procedures, as well as a shared goal between physicians and hospital administrators, have demonstrated the potential to drive transformation in the U. Common Goals Apple may seem like a strange company to include in a discussion of standards.

And for their part, his employees are known not for their diversity of perspectives but rather for their uniform adherence to and advocacy of the Apple approach to product design and development.

They all value deep collaboration multi-disciplinary teams that have the same goals and work together on different parts of the same problem at the same time and take individual responsibility for the success of the organization, not the other way round.

From this surprising conformity, Apple achieves an extraordinary level of innovation and productivity that has transformed not one but several different industries, including computers, music, phone and home electronics.

There was a problem providing the content you requested

Its recent results have been a series of highly innovative consumer products and services that have catapulted the company into the upper echelons of profitability, growth and consumer loyalty.

New products were introduced to the market in weeks rather than months. Each of these variants required separate tooling. There were few shared components or processes, leading to high costs in inventory ordering, storage and management as well as in tool production and manufacturing. These costs were passed on in part to the customer.

Standardization or Flexibility- Partners or Enemies? |

A concerted effort by the business over the next three years saw a massive reduction in variants, leading to just one motor, a huge reduction in space, facilities, resources and time needed to manage parts and equipment, faster production cycles and retooling times.

Shared Values advertisement Every potential new employee at the online retailer Zappos. The results are clear. Meanwhile, the customer service ethos?? Unlike the vast majority of call centers, phone calls are not scripted and they are not timed. In fact, there is some pride in the fact that the record for the longest call as at July is 8 hours and 3 minutes.

The shared commitment to a common set of values provides a platform from which a highly differentiated service is delivered, transforming what would typically be the most mundane of transactions into a delightful one, and one that itself drives loyalty and rapid growth. Standard Interfaces Until the development of standard parts in the early 19th century, rifles were built individually by hand.