Complex global business environments are associated with increasingly interconnected economies, societies, and governments. Moreover, the proliferation of discrete markets, categories of product offerings, and individualized customer segments motivates business leaders to drastically simplify their organizations to become more agile in exploiting this complexity. Incremental changes are no longer sufficient to remain viable in volatile and uncertain environments. Internal business processes must undergo radical simplifications that reduce cycle time (a measure of responsiveness), cost per transaction (a measure of efficiency), and the number of hand-offs (a measure of how often work is transferred to another organization or business process). IBM defines radical simplification as realizing reductions in these measures of 50% or greater. To achieve these goals, IBM executives identified the need for a consistent, carefully matched set of best-practice methods, techniques, and leading-edge software tools, including scenario-based guidance to enable leaders to radically simplify their businesses. This paper describes the resulting IBM Toolkit for Radical Simplification and includes project case studies to demonstrate how the toolkit is being applied to simplify business processes for increased speed, agility, and value.
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