Management by wire has been the wish of many organizations starting back in the 1990s after the first practical application of fly by wire was delivered by Airbus in the late 1980s. The notion of giving management assists in holistically managing their organizations with software assists for single-loop learning situations grew fast. The parallel was evident and desirable, but until recently, it has not been delivered uniformly. This post will investigate the progress towards "management by wire" and when we will see it.
Figure 1 Feedback Driven Learning Loop Approaches
What is Management by Wire?
Management by wire is a strategy in which managers rely on the organization's "information representation" and feedback loops (see Figure 1) generated by software and data working together to inform management of progress towards goals and outcomes while sensing any potential shift in conditions in and around that organization. It borrows from the idea of managing an airplane under various states and conditions while heading to a destination safely. It allows managers to not just "follow their gut feelings and experience" but provide detailed information for status and change for potential actions in a shortened time window. Because organizations are complex like airplanes, many measures are coming at the managers with different velocities and combinations that may be beyond a manager's capability at any one moment in time because of the breadth and depth of their responsibilities for managing goals, initiatives, and outcomes.
Why are the Stars Aligning for it Now?
Digital technologies are giving us so much more capability than we had in the past. Here are some of the trends that point to attaining management by wire sooner than expected.
We now have fast boards available to replace slow and lethargic dashboards where speed counts. Fast boards give managers up to the second views into essential issues. We now have management cockpits that can give integrated views of performance, states of crucial processes, and the success of any automation applied for better optimization.
With the help of better-integrated visibility, the manager can be equipped to leverage their experiences and gut feeling while surrounding them with additional analytical & AI assist combinations that I like to call poly-analytics. It can allow the managers to try different options before deciding and acting. It would be true for real-time operational adjustments all the way through to strategy adjustments.
A Better Data Mesh
Because data is getting easier to access with better integrations, dynamic transformations, and not having to worry about location, any manager can get the view they need to manage. While there are still challenges with data quality, the fly-by-wire notion will identify the priority projects for more data cleansing.
When Will Management by Wire Arrive?
Organizations are gaining experience with the building blocks for creating a manage by wire environment. There has been significant progress in managing data better logically as well in various physical locations. Because the management cockpit focuses on the crucial outcomes, data that feeds the cockpit gets better quicker. Integrated visualizations that leverage fast boards are growing by leaps and bounds. I expect organizations will have examples of portions of their business operating using management by wire principles by the end of this year and complete end-to-end business leverage of fly by wire in the next few years. Better get started soon or get left in the dust.
Since flexibility and responsiveness now rule the marketplace, today's successful organizations focus on sensing, orienting, deciding, and responding to the immediate need for change. Change necessary to be ready for new customer needs and shifting business environmental needs. Our world is now emergent in nature, so we need new approaches powered by better information technology that assists management in giving a holistic and integrated view of their organizations to start—inevitably leading to better interpretation of feedback information, better decisions, and improved actions. Even if we live in a steady-state world, optimizing organizations' responses will pay back handsomely.