The Data Logic of an Enterprise.
If you are to the point that you see the point in “having one” – read on.
Warning: If you were to draw this out for your Enterprise – it would not be a very neat network diagram, and not as hierarchical as diagramming it often inadvertently makes it appear. The same with my graphics – they are for illustrative purposes only – meant to be adapted and not adopted – unless, of course, as a starting point template – which is why I make them public.
I would take your Enterprise’s organization chart and use the “model” in the following graphic to explode out a “BOM – Bill of Materials” set of data about the Process and the Enablers required, so that assessments could be made to the current adequacy of those systems/processes/ efforts the Enterprise has going to meet the needs of the various systems and processes in place to ultimately deliver some product/service to somewhere outside the Enterprise, in a larger system – the marketplace – on the planet…the “context of our Enterprise” with all of our Stakeholders…
It really hinges on the Stakeholder Requirements for the Processes that those of us in the Enabling Portions of our Enterprise (or we suppliers to those Enabling functions). Until that is clear we can only guess what is really needed from us. And what media/mode would be really appropriate – not just the ones we’re enthused about – those few in particular.
The above graphic is intended to show the scalability of gathering data about Processes, and all of the People and non-People stuff needed to be “in place” to make it all work. This is the kind of data that your ERP might need. Or your L&D function who want to provide authentic content – both instruction and information – to enable the authentic performance requirements that Learners are expected to be able to perform in.
But not for EVERYTHING that a Learner is expected to do as a Performer.
Not all Learning Requirements are worthy of the Investments – because their Returns are not worth it. Sometimes living with imperfection is needed because there might be bigger fish to fry, so to speak. Prioritize! Leave the rest to Informal Learning – and invest in that when that makes business sense.
Now the Learning Solutions, the E-learning and the mLearning and the data repositories and social networks (both technology-enabled and physical location/meeting-enabled) that we might invest in have to make sense – have to make financial sense – and if it does not quite do that – it’s got to be sold on the basis of some other type of Return – some significant Risk Avoided and or significant Reward Attainment – that drives the ROI assessment when $ cannot be quite quantified. Life is like that.
If you cannot put $ in your ROI calculation – then you need to tie to some Stakeholder Requirement or Desire.
To show how you support/enable THAT.
To do that you’ve got to understand your Enterprise top-to-bottom – or at least have a framework in mind to put everything you learn into some initial context, to help you make sense of it all.
Your frame for data has to be scalable – if you are going to get out of the weeds of micro 24/7/365. There is a time a place to make sure that what you are doing, to take your nose off the grindstone and look around – to see if you are aligned to the real critical needs of your Enterprise.
To insure scalability from the macro to the micro in an Enterprise setting – I start with both ends. And the Advanced Organizer often is patterned as Macro to Micro. Micro and back to Macro. Macro and then zoom in to Micro. Any questions? Etc.
At one extreme – micro -there is Task Analysis and lower levels of data (Knowledge/Skills) that I need to attend to what I attend to – Performance Based Learning.
But not Learning for the sake of Learning.
Learning for the sake of the Stakeholders.
Getting their needs balanced and met as long as there is enough perceived R for the I.
Here is how one might view the hierarchy of stakeholders – But please note: this “model” must always be adapted for YOUR Enterprise’s specific context – because as always, one size does not fit all:
Once your Processes are defined well enough, and their key Stakeholders have been identified and their requirements and desires are understood – traded off if in conflict – thus the use of a hierarchy – to facilitate who outranks who – in the real world complexity of stakeholders who want different things. You can’t please everybody – but how do you operational-ize that without having your specific Stakeholder Hierarchy with the names of all of the specific groups put into a hierarchy in the bands presented in the graphic above.
And once the process has been identified – and the requirements understood clearly enough, then the learning objectives can be established – for Performance Based Learning.
And the data about Performance Requirements can be used for more than just establishing Learning Objectives – which the L&D system needs to provision somehow – in concert with Recruiting, and Performance Management and Compensation, etc.
How to get all aligned to meet the performance needs of the Enterprise?
It requires data. Detailed data. Sorry.
It cannot be escaped. Do the math. Do your homework. Understand the macro to the micro – where it makes sense for you. And broaden out from there. Create a mental model to store all of the incoming data you need to process into information and insights needed for your role – and the roles you aspire to.
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