Trying to simplify a business without being able to measure its complexity (simplicity) is like a doctor who proposes a weight loss diet but has no means of measuring the weight of his patients. If one has no complexity metric then we’re talking of subjective opinions, sensations, feelings, certainly not science. The silly images such as the one shown above are empty marketing, deprived of any rigor or substance. In order to manage (reduce) something, one must first be able to measure it. Otherwiser we’re speaking of alchemy instead of chemistry, or astrology and not of astrophysics. Complexity has an established metric, and there is no need to invent your own the moment you need one.
A great article from which the following passage is cited, show exactly what we mean:
Grom: “Simplify Your Business”
HP – “Simplifying the Journey to Innovation”
WalkMe – “Instantly Simplify Your SAP Technology Environments”
LeverX – “Simplify Innovation & Engineering Excellence”
Revelation – “Simplify Change Control for SAP Solutions”
SGI – “Powerfully Simple”
Seal – “It is Simple! It is. Seal”
CSC – “Make it Simple”
IBM – “Simplify … with IBM”
EMC – “Simplify Your SAP Journey”
KNOA – “Simplify Migration With Knoa”
Cap Gemini – “Simplify with end-to-end solutions”
OpenText – “Simplify. Run Digital.”
Fujitsu – “Inspiring Simplicity” and “Simplify Decision Making With SAP Solutions”
Which of these companies has a real means of measuring what “simple” means? None.
While we agree with SAP’s CEO when he says this
SAP CEO: ‘Increasing complexity is killing companies’
we believe that a line should be drawn between supersitions, fairy tales and science.
One way to measure the complexity of a business(and find concentrations of complexity therein) is to measure the complexity of the data resident in its ERP system. Today this is possible in a matter of a few hours of supercomputer time.