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An application of the
PATRIAS™ methodology to
a large enterprise

A case study illustrating how the PATRIAS™ methodology was applied across the 14 departments that form the television content production supply chain of a national broadcaster to aid and inform business transformation through the adoption of intelligent automation systems with new and revised operational processes.

A Tale of Two Cities

Workshops with the operational teams

My engagement with XYZ grew over time, with each engagement aimed at providing XYZ management with manufacturer-independent insights covering an ever-widening part of their business. Through the application of the new PATRIAS™ methodology, I raised awareness of the impact that intelligent automation systems and new or revised processes would have on their business, operations and people, and provided timely information to assist them in their technology investment decision-making and business transformation planning.

In my first engagement, I applied the PATRIAS™  BPM and QBB techniques to a single department. This included workshops at XYZ premises, a city far removed and in a very different time zone to London, to capture detailed business processes and then analysis back in London to anticipate the impact if an intelligent automation system were deployed with appropriately revised processes. 

Based on the success of the initial engagement, I was invited back for a second engagement where I applied the full PATRIAS™ framework of seven techniques to five departments of XYZ television content production supply chain. This included workshops on their premises with representatives from each department and several of the central services team (such as the IT department). The analysis was again performed back in London and the findings presented on an online call. 

I was invited back again to extend the application of the PATRIAS™ methodology to all fourteen departments that formed the XYZ television content production supply chain. Covid-19 travel restrictions were now in place, so workshops were held remotely (early mornings for me in London!), which were found to be just as effective as on-premises ones. I performed a combination of discovery workshops with departments that I hadn't met before and validation workshops for those that I had.

Read on to learn more about these engagements...

“Both on-premises and remote workshops worked well, with positive feedback from all attendees. Even with the facilitator in London and our teams each at their homes, the process has been efficient and delivered  professionally.”

- XYZ Administrator,
At the end of the BPM workshops

Modelling the XYZ operation

An application of the PATRIAS™ SCM and BPM techniques

The first phase of the PATRIAS™ methodology application at XYZ was to capture data and model the 'As Is' operation using the PATRIAS™ SCM and BPM techniques. 

The PATRIAS™ SCM technique enables often complex supply chains and organisational structures to be represented as a simplified illustration, aiding understanding and awareness, providing insights for potential restructuring, and forming a framework for the other PATRIAS™ techniques. I held two workshops at the XYZ offices dedicated to the SCM technique - one to capture the XYZ organisational structure and the other to directly build the unique PATRIAS™ cyclical SCM model. The result was a novel perspective on the XYZ supply chain that formed the structure for the rest of the engagement. 

 

The PATRIAS™ BPM technique enables all the key activities that occur in a single supply chain stage or department to be mapped on a single sheet. I held BPM workshops with each of the fourteen departments that formed the XYZ television content production supply chain and some of their central services departments.

 

Discovery workshops started by building an MSC Stage Function Diagram, capturing high-level data on the purpose, roles, business processes and technologies used. I then led the workshop attendees to describe in detail each step in their key business processes, including both manual tasks and automated actions. Rich data was collected for each activity, including the role that performs them, activity execution times, product throughput, path percentages and delays. Pain point data was collected including severity and frequency. Technology data was collected to capture evidence of industry best practice adoption in each of eight technology category areas. 

From the workshop diagrams, notes and audio recordings I created the formal PATRIAS™ 'As Is' SCM and BPM diagrams that illustrated the current XYZ operation. These were checked for coverage and accuracy with the XYZ departments in validation workshops.

Now with all the data collected, it was time for the data analysis...

“This workshop has been excellent. I can't recall ever being asked to describe my activities and highlight the problems we are having in such a structured way. The thought of having technology that targets specific pain points and making our daily life easier is very exciting.”

- XYZ Operator,
At the close of one of the BPM workshops

The Vision

Serving its audience better

This case study provides an illustration of how the PATRIAS™ methodology has been applied to a large-scale enterprise. The enterprise in question is a national broadcaster with nearly 5,000 employees. Not wishing to breach any of this company's policies or their charter concerning endorsements of services or products, direct or implied, I refer to this company as XYZ rather than its real name.  

 

Like all public broadcasters, XYZ is under continued financial pressure, being asked to produce more content in accordance with their charter with ever-decreasing budgets. The XYZ executive had a far wider and more ambitious dream for the business than simply to reduce costs though:

PeopleThe XYZ management wanted technology to help them make the XYZ a better place to work with a motivated workforce enjoying and benefiting from an improved user experience, with mundane and repetitive actions automated, and technology making more time for the creative activities that their teams excelled at.

Operations: The XYZ management wanted technology to enable them to be more flexible and agile, so they could launch new services or create and get new programs to serve its audience first. They wanted technology to make their operations more resilient, introducing new ways of working and enabling them to easily respond to changing business demands. 

Business: The XYZ management wanted technology to help the XYZ achieve market-leading business performance, providing the best value for money with every program, releasing tied-up capital with optimised product throughput, and ensuring a rapid return on investment in any intelligent automated system.

With this vision set, so my engagement commenced...

Anticipating Impact on the XYZ operation 

An application of the PATRIAS™ analysis techniques

The second phase of the PATRIAS™ methodology application at the XYZ was to analyse the data collected in the workshops to anticipate the impact that an intelligent automation system will have on their supply chain or organisation. The QBB technique focussed on time and costs impact. The FAR technique focussed on flexibility, agility and resilience impact. The PPR technique focussed on the impact on operational efficiency/pain point reduction. 

In an application of the PATRIAS™ QBB technique, I first considered if the intelligent automation system could make any radical changes to the business processes. Where not, I applied a QBB impact strategy to review each individual activity identified in the BPM technique and anticipated reduced activity execution times and reduced remedial activity.  I then calculated the anticipated reduction in total time and cost to process each product through each department. I anticipated the total annual time and cost savings by department and across the supply chain. Two lists of projects were recommended, one list for departmental projects and for central service projects, ranked by time and cost impact. 

 

In an application of the PATRIAS™ FAR technique, I benchmarked the technology capabilities of each of the fourteen departments with those of the intelligent automation system using the categories of architecture, automation, integration, information, analytics, user experience, security and artificial intelligence. I built an 'As Is' FAR Score for each XYZ department based on the evidence collected in the workshops of technology best practice adoption and then reviewed and assessed the intelligent automation system in these same areas and built a 'To Be' FAR Score. Two lists of projects were recommended, one list for departmental projects and for central service projects, ranked by FAR Score gain.

In an application of the PATRIAS™ PPR technique, I first triaged each pain point reported by the XYZ operators in the workshops. Each pain point was categorised (domain-specific categories derived from Lean Six Sigma), assigned a severity and frequency score (from the workshops) and an occurrence score (how many times this pain point category had been identified across the whole supply chain). I then assessed each pain point in turn, using a PPR impact strategy to anticipated the impact that the intelligent automation system would have in the short and longer-term, assigned revised scores.  Two lists of projects were recommended, one list for departmental projects and for central service projects, ranked by PPR Score reduction.

Referring to the anticipated impact findings from each of these three analysis techniques, I produced 'To Be' BPM diagrams that illustrated the anticipated changes to the business processes and associated data. These used symbols and colour coding to clearly show where the intelligent automation system was anticipated to impact the business processes in both the short- and longer-term. 

With the impact analysis complete, I was ready for the final stage of the PATRIAS™ methodology...

“If the time and cost savings identified here can really be achieved, the issues that our staff are highlighting can be substantially addressed, and it will make us more ready for future changes, then it is a very compelling case to move forward with investing in the technology”

- XYZ Executive,
On receiving the executive briefing

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Business Transformation Roadmap

An application of the PATRIAS™ AIR technique

The final technique in the PATRIAS™ methodology applied at XYZ was the AIR technique. This combined the industry practice of product-based planning with multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) methods to produce a technology implementation roadmap that was optimised to deliver the desired impacts in accordance with the XYZ priorities and preferences.

The first step was to assess the relative importance to the key XYZ stakeholders of the QBB, FAR and PPR assessment criteria using the classic 'Analytic Hierarchy Process' (AHP) method to calculate weightings. Then I considered each of the recommended projects from the above PATRIAS™ analytics techniques and using the classic 'Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution' (TOPSIS) method to produce an AIR Score for each. 

 

The second step was to use the principles of product-based planning to break down the intelligent automation system that XYZ had selected into a hierarchy of sub-products and capture their dependencies and linkages. This involved an application of a Level 3 PATRIAS™ PCA technique to the product to raise my awareness of its capabilities. I worked with one of the manufacturer's solution architects to identify the sub-product dependencies and discussed the XYZ preferred delivery strategy in order to define linkages.

Finally, the third step of the PATRIAS™ AIR technique brought all this together with a systematic process to order the sub-product deliverables in delivery packages, taking into account technical dependencies, operational deployment linkages, the impact priorities of the XYZ and manufacturer resource limitations. Packages included combinations of foundation, departmental specific, shared resources and specialised sub-products. 

The AIR roadmap was delivered to the XYZ in the form of an executive summary diagram and a more detailed diagram for the Program Management Office (PMO). I created and issued a detailed 60+ page report for the PMO describing the anticipated implementation roadmap, including a description of each sub-product and package. Several workshops were held with the PMO and the manufacturer to help define the Statement of Works for immediate deliverables and a longer-term plan of deliverables.

“The roadmap has given us a clear indication of the optimal path for implementing the solution. While delivery will be an on-going process that the PMO will manage, the level of detail and guidance that this has provided us is invaluable and means we can hit the ground running”

- XYZ PMO member,
On receiving the AIR technique documents