Defining the UX of the Modern Enterprise

Defining the UX of the Modern Enterprise

How to design for autonomous performance management This week our team at Trufa received the wonderful news that together with the design agency NONOBJECT, we’ve received the Red Dot Design Award for our efforts to build a new type of application for the enterprise. A break from the past Before IT conquered the enterprise, offices were decorated with large, gray cabinets. Desks were laced with manila envelopes and strict processes ruled the business world. Then ERP systems came along. Cabinets became servers and people used mice and keyboards instead of pens. Companies like SAP established new standards in business software. The next revolution came with Business Intelligence (BI). It wasn’t enough anymore to simply do digitally, what was previously done with pen and paper. Every part and product, supplier and customer, purchase and sale was recorded somewhere in an ERP system. This wealth of information was untapped and BI systems were there to tap it. Armies of consultants created long running batch jobs that spat out reports to provide insights into the business. Enter 2017. The computing world has made the move to the cloud, democratizing scalability. Modern frameworks have enabled more rapid development. Mobile has eaten the world. We’re on the cusp of an AI revolution. It’s time to unlock the true potential of what enterprise software can be. Trufa shows what this future looks like, today. The future is autonomous We like to say that we sell autonomous performance management. A Business Intelligence system is at heart descriptive. It can take some ERP data, reshape it, and provide it in the form of a sorted table or...
No Process Harmonization, No Performance Comparability?

No Process Harmonization, No Performance Comparability?

In the days of “lot size 1” and “customer 1” process harmonization becomes more and more a pipe dream. If we like it or not. And with process harmonization performance, comparability goes down the tube as well. Or? One rationale for driving process harmonization is to establish comparability between the various business entities. Why do you want comparability? Because you want to establish some sort of benchmark in order to understand where you perform better and where you perform worse. Comparability is the prerequisite for identifying best practices. Fortunately, financial performance is easily comparable. Because it measures everything in dollars and cents. And it is naturally clear that effectiveness (profitability) and efficiency (cash) are the key finance metrics. Unfortunately, there is no straight way to translate operational performance figures into financial performance figures. What is the financial impact of improving your customer satisfaction? What is the financial impact of improving your product quality? What is the financial impact of shipping on time? What is the financial impact of an increased number of electronic orders? etc. The first question is whether there is a relationship between a certain operational activity and the financial outcome at all. Does it matter whether you are doing manual or automatic planning for example? This can be found out with statistical correlation analysis. If there is a relationship at all the ensuing question is how does this relationship look like. If you improve your dispatching quality by 2%, how much does it improve your free cash position? Such relationships can be determined with statistical predictive modeling. As a side effect, such models yield also the...
Isn’t S/4HANA the same as Trufa?

Isn’t S/4HANA the same as Trufa?

The answer is simple: Yes and No! “Yes” because Trufa and S/4HANA apply the same philosophy of “all details” and “no aggregates”. “No” because Trufa solves a totally different problem than S/4HANA. S/4HANA is about supporting and automating the operations of an enterprise. Trufa is about supporting and automating the management decisions of an enterprise. This means that S/4HANA and Trufa are complementary by nature. You cannot do with S/4HANA what you can with Trufa and vice versa you cannot do with Trufa what you can do with S/4HANA. But both solutions are synergistic. Let’s illustrate these synergies with a few exemplary use cases of Trufa for S/4HANA: b Familiarizing yourself with the foundational S/4HANA characteristics $ Experiencing the different way of working with ad-hoc dynamic hierarchies of all sorts Q No need for a running S/4HANA system  Preparing your S/4HANA introduction $ Taking stock of your current ERP usage patterns Q No need for a running S/4HANA system  Comparing your ERP and S/4HANA complexity $ Gauging your degree of achieved simplification O S/4HANA test system required  Weighing your ERP- and S/4HANA-based business performance $ Qualitative and quantitative performance driver assessment P Parallel run of ERP and S/4HANA required  Accompanying the S/4HANA rollout $ From S/4HANA Finance to S/4HANA R S/4HANA in production mode required Technically Trufa is an “S/4HANA application”. Trufa uses the same technology stack as S/4HANA. Trufa uses the same raw tables as S/4HANA. Trufa uses the built-in financial functions of HANA as S/4HANA. Did we raise your interest? Then don’t hesitate to talk to...
Does Cutting Down Days of Duration Improve Performance? Hint: Maybe Yes! Maybe No!

Does Cutting Down Days of Duration Improve Performance? Hint: Maybe Yes! Maybe No!

Many people believe that driving down durations of business processes is an improvement in itself. I.e. if it takes only three (3) days it is better than it takes five (5) days. How come? It is alluring because it looks so intuitive and simple. It is possible to measure it. It is impossible to measure process durations in free cash of profitability. Or? In such situations people tend to take the path of least resistance. Repeatedly throughout the history of performance management. Though everybody knows as well: “1. Performance indicators that measure activity rather than performance will provide less useful data and information overload” (https://smartkpis.kpiinstitute.org/kpi-101/pitfalls-and-how-to-avoid-them) Actually there is common sense about what it takes to make an effective performance indicator: We have figured how to measure operational activities in free cash or profitability. Hence Trufa performance indicators:  can be linked to objectives (enterprise efficiency or effectiveness)  are actionable (because drivers are clearly identified)  are simple (it’s either cash or profit)  are credible (it can be looked up in the P&L or in the balance sheet)  are integrated (financial outcome can be translated into operational measures)  are measurable (that’s what Trufa is all about). Do you want to take us up on...
The Profile of a Digital Controller

The Profile of a Digital Controller

New technology such as Digital Performance Management gives birth to a new type of controller (financial analyst). Proven tools and routines will be complemented with new tools and routines. Trusted habits and approaches will be recharged with new ways of doing things. How long this takes depends on our openness and willingness to learn from each other and to adjust to this change. We at Trufa are observing following changes of behavior in our customer base: 1. Leaving the ivory tower Digital Performance Management enables the automatic detection and in time management of operational input factors (operational performance drivers). Digital Controllers are closely collaborating with the operational managers. Digital Controllers are genuine Business Controllers. They are sitting in the business and no more in a central location. The input factors get managed early enough to influence the output factors (focusing on leading rather than lagging performance indicators). 2. Substituting reporting Digital Performance Management enables unbiased ad-hoc big data queries. Digital Controllers resort to experimentation to verify hunches and for special aspects. Experimentation saves time and money. 3. Ignoring outliers Digital Performance Management enables the management of whole distributions. Digital Controllers focus on bulk instead of single improvements. Managing outliers could be very hard and results are questionable regarding time and money. 4. Overcoming silos Digital Performance Management enables the analysis of end-to-end processes. Digital Controllers think in processes rather than departments. Competing and conflicting sub-optimizations are avoided. 5. Applying statistical thinking Digital Performance Management enables the application of robust statistics and machine learning. Digital Controllers accept statistical errors instead of insisting on deterministic results all the time. Statistics make...
Ignorance Is a Blessing – If Done Consciously

Ignorance Is a Blessing – If Done Consciously

Today’s business challenge is to decide what not to do rather than what to do! To take these decisions we are continuing to add data, tooling, technology, people and time. We are making everything even more complicated as our inherent complexity already demands. More often than not we are ending up in “doing nothing”. Either because we are stuck in “analysis paralysis” (see below). Or because we are continuing to do it like always: struggling in crunch times. Our customers are telling us that they have overcome this stalemate situation. Because they can test their hunches in seconds instead of spending three men-months use freed up cash or profitability as uniform decision criteria instead of incomparable KPIs be sure that nothing has been overlooked instead of relying on biased reports For our customers “conscious ignorance” has arrived. P.S. Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or “perfect” solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, while on the way to a better solution.[1] The phrase describes a situation in which the opportunity cost of decision analysis exceeds the benefits that could be gained by enacting some decision, or an informal or non-deterministic situation where the sheer quantity of analysis overwhelms the decision-making process itself, thus...