How to assess enterprise limitations

When you are implementing a solution in an organization, you should assess the enterprise’s limitations to understand what changes need to be made to support that solution’s implementation.

The assess enterprise limitations task is used to determine how external components can restrict the solution’s value realization.

The solution might be used in different departments in the enterprise and there may be many connections and dependencies which are external to the enterprise.

Some examples of external enterprise limitations include culture, operations, technical components, stakeholder interests, or reporting structures.

In order to assess the external enterprise limitations, you would have to identify the root cause of these limitations and understand how they might limit the solution’s value realization.

How do you assess the enterprise’s limitations ?

There are four elements which are used to assess the enterprise’s limitations and they are:

1. Enterprise Culture Assessment : these are the beliefs, values, and norms shared by the members of an enterprise which might influence the organization’s strategic decisions.

The enterprise culture assessment is used to assess the extent to which the culture can accept a solution.

The people in the organization create its culture so to properly assess the enterprise’s culture, the internal and external stakeholders have to also be included in the assessment.

Some of the reasons why you have to involve the enterprise’s stakeholder’s in the assessment include the following reasons:

a. To measure an understanding and acceptance of the solution.

b. To assess the stakeholders understanding of the value and benefit which is to be realized from the solution.

c. To decide which communication activities are necessary to ensure an awareness and understanding of the solution.

An organization’s culture is a part of its identity, so it is vital that the cultural assessment is performed to help fulfill the following requirements :

  1. To identify if the stakeholders understand the need for the solution.
  2. To confirm if the stakeholders view the solution as a positive change and if they do, do they support that change.
  3. To confirm if any cultural changes are required to better realize value from a solution.

If the assessment results states that there are cultural changes needed to assist with the successful implementation and use of the solution, then the enterprise culture assessment is used to gauge the enterprise’s ability and willingness to adapt to these cultural changes.

2. Stakeholder Impact Analysis: the stakeholder impact analysis provides an understanding on how the solution might affect a particular stakeholder group.

When conducting the stakeholder impact analysis, you should consider the following components:

i. Functions: these are the processes which the stakeholder would use in the solution.

They include any inputs which the stakeholder would provide into the process, how the stakeholder uses the solution to execute the process, and what outputs the stakeholders would receive from the process.

ii. Locations: these are the geographic locations of the stakeholders who would work with the solution.

If the stakeholders are in numerous locations, it may impact their use of the solution and their ability to realize the solution’s true value.

iii. Concerns: these are the issues, risks, and overall concerns that the stakeholders might have with the solution.

Some of these concerns might include the use of the solution, the perceptions of the solution’s value, and the impact that the solution might have on the stakeholder’s ability to perform necessary functions.

3. Organizational Structure Changes: the business analysts should assess how the organization’s structure would be impacted by a solution.

The ability of the stakeholders to use and adopt the solution could be enabled or blocked by both formal and informal relationships among the stakeholders.

The enterprise’s reporting structure may also be too simple or complex to allow the solution to perform effectively.

So assessing if the organizational hierarchy supports the solution is a key activity that might help ensure the solution’s success.

On occasion, informal relationships within an organization, for example alliances, friendships, or matrix-reporting, might impact the solution’s ability to deliver potential value.

4. Operational Assessment : The operational assessment is used to decide if an enterprise is able to effectively use a solution or not.

It also identifies which processes and tools in the enterprise might benefit from the solution, and if the appropriate assets are in place to support that solution.

When conducting an operational assessment, you should consider the following elements in the organization :

  • Policies and procedures.
  • Capabilities and processes that enable other capabilities.
  • Skill and training needs.
  • Human resources practices.
  • Risk tolerance and management approaches.
  • Tools and technology that support a solution.