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Handling complexity – don’t give the silent killer a chance

PA business design experts, Hans Houmes and Mark Griep, have had a byline article published in CIO magazine discussing organisational complexity.

Hans and Mark explain that the complexity in companies has significantly increased over the years due to autonomous growth, mergers and acquisitions, and the high demands of customers. Drawing on research conducted by PA, they state that not all complexity should be viewed as bad, and that it is vital for firms to learn how to distinguish between good and bad complexity using a business design framework.

They go on to highlight four popular complexity myths – that all types of complexity should be treated the same; that all complexity should be eliminated; the short-sighted view that complexity can be reduced at a department level; and that the back office is often the main culprit of complexity.

They write: “According to 60% of respondents, most complexity is found in sales and marketing departments due to an uncontrolled growth of products and services. Moreover, the growing number of distribution channels is a real struggle for most firms.”

Deconstructing the myths of complexity


Simply better? Deconstructing the myths of complexity in the manufacturing sector

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The research found the manufacturing industry has a strong focus on rationalising the application environment, and the financial sector has a high demand for sector-specific integrated solutions. However, the percentage of IT managers in the manufacturing sector developing software for specific operational functions is relatively high (28%). 

They conclude: “The solution for removing unnecessary complexity is obvious. Rationalising, standardising, consolidating and unifying will do miracles, as long as everyone within the organisation understands the direction and purpose of these processes. CEOs and CIOs play a crucial role, yet they are currently not putting enough emphasis on these developments.” 


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