The Synaptix Systems solution methodology is a unique approach to the strategic guidance and technology enablers that companies need to achieve peak performance. This methodology challenges us and our client partners to identify the levers within their organization that produce maximum advantage when enabled, migrated or linked to a strategic solution.
Synaptix Systems’ approach is applied across the enterprise, from process optimization to corporate governance and portfolio/program management solutions. Our methodology provides the foundational principles and guiding roadmap to support the successful delivery of solutions in our key service areas.
The diagram and narrative below provide a conceptual overview of the Synaptix Systems methodology and its key components. Click on a portion of the diagram to view its description.
Strategic Planning & Analysis:
The Strategic Planning & Analysis stage of the Synaptix Systems methodology is designed to achieve a thorough understanding of the client’s current or desired business strategy. Synaptix Systems’ objective is to pinpoint and articulate the client’s competitive position, organizational priorities and sources of competitive advantage. With this knowledge, Synaptix is in a position to analyze & define the business objectives and value of potential initiatives in terms of alignment with the client’s business strategy. We then assess what operating strategies must be developed or enhanced to generate value and attain the desired business results.
Operating Strategy Development:
This stage concentrates on the operating strategies that enable the client’s desired strategic positioning. These operating strategies may include customer-focused strategies (eg. customer relationship management), strategies to achieve operational quality (eg. organizational responsiveness), and product or service-driven strategies (eg. product channel strategies). Synaptix Systems helps clients create new operating strategies or improve existing operating strategies by refining or building value propositions, conducting best practices analysis, generating value & segmentation approaches, developing return-on-investment models, and creating service delivery strategies.
Operating Model Design:
In order to implement these operating strategies, the client must develop or enhance operating models that support its strategic positioning. Operating models concentrate on how the operating strategies will be executed and frequently mandate critical changes in the following domain areas:
- Business Processes. Synaptix works with clients to describe the tasks that are needed to deliver business value. In examining business processes, we analyze the current process and define the specific activities required to improve the time, quality and cost of a process.
- Skills and Organization. We help clients define the capabilities, competencies and organizational approaches required to accomplish their work — now and into the future. Any new roles and work organization must be tightly linked to core work processes.
- Information Technology. Synaptix assists clients in defining the data, applications and architecture required to support both the current and new business processes.
- Management Systems. We drive clients to describe the performance measures, accountability and decision-making roles in the ‘business system’. These components define success and the criteria to measure both individual performance and system performance.
- Culture and Values. Synaptix works with clients to articulate the written and unwritten rules and customs that exist in the organization. These traditions are critical to the reception and adoption of new work processes.
Subsequent stages of the Synaptix methodology address these areas, all of which need to be aligned with the client’s operational strategy in order to produce the desired business outcomes.
Business Process Analysis:
Business process analysis is an ordered approach to ensuring that an organization’s personnel and other resources are aligned around work activities that best support the business strategy and operating model. To focus efforts in this work stage, a clear statement of the reason that processes are being evaluated is vitally important. Generating a detailed understanding of the existing processes is an essential foundation for future change. Synaptix works with the client through a series of workshops/meetings and employs a range of techniques including process mapping, benchmarking and best practices analysis.
Business Process Design:
Creating a thorough design of the ‘to-be’ processes is a key step that sets the stage for future technology and organizational changes. Synaptix Systems utilizes a wealth of experience to design business processes that are pragmatic and truly sustainable. Organization change planning, implementation planning and metrics are vital to the successful deployment of re-designed processes.
Organization Change Planning & Analysis:
As the client’s new operating model is designed, the company must also begin planning for the organizational changes that may be needed to enable the model. Determining the organization’s preparedness for change requires a careful assessment of the client’s structure, leadership, staff and culture. Organization change planning & analysis starts with this assessment and yields a prioritized list of initiatives that address both organization-wide and individual-level activities required for the successful implementation of solutions within the client’s organization.
Organization Change Design:
Solidifying workforce commitment, handling potential issues and generating pervasive understanding of the necessary changes are key to reaching the goals of the new operating model. In the organization change design phase, Synaptix Systems works with the client’s management to identify client sponsorship for change, to create detailed communication schemes, and to design workforce involvement projects that will yield commitment to the organizational changes.
Cultural changes and new expertise may be required to transition to the new operating model. Starting with the organization change plan, Synaptix designs thorough processes and programs to ensure the alignment of the structural changes, leadership behaviors and individual performance necessary to reach strategic goals. We also develop communication plans to engender commitment of stakeholders, and programs & processes are readied for deployment as part of the overall solution.
Technology Roadmap Planning:
The technology roadmap stage includes the identification, description and ordering of a series of initiatives. Key inputs to this work stage are the strategic plan, the operating model and the assessments of desired processes and organization structures. Synaptix Systems uses this information as a basis for evaluating the existing technology infrastructure, applications and projects. We perform a gap analysis to enumerate the projects required to implement the desired business capabilities, and then define the scope, cost and benefits of each initiative (along with project interdependencies). Finally, the Synaptix team develops prioritization criteria and the projects are sequenced into a technology roadmap plan.
Systems Analysis & Software Selection:
This phase involves the requirements analysis/definition, solution research and solution selection process leading to the recommendation of a ‘best fit’ software package (or, in some cases, a custom software/systems development cycle).
The requirements analysis segment involves the identification, categorization and prioritization of functional and technical requirements for the solution. The solution research segment includes product & competitive research to survey software products for high-level ‘fit’ and formal product demonstration. The solution research phase may also involve the creation and distribution of a formal request for proposal (to facilitate the survey & screening process). Next, the solution selection segment features a gap analysis to assess functionality, an architectural/scalability analysis to evaluate viability, and an investment analysis to pinpoint the costs of vendor solutions or custom development – all resulting in a ‘short list’ of final software alternatives. Synaptix then comes to a solution recommendation by performing a thorough review of the strengths, weaknesses, costs and other differentiators associated with each short list option.
During this work stage, Synaptix generates the system architecture for the solution, including definitions of system interfaces, application architecture and infrastructure environments. Any major requirements changes communicated after this stage are subject to a change request procedure that balances new functionality requests against delivery risk.
Detailed Design, Development, Testing & Integration:
The detailed design translates the requirements & architecture design into work components from which front-end & back-end development (or configuration), environment setup, system administration and integration can be performed. System components and interfaces are built and unit-tested to the design specifications.
Integration, volume/load/stress and user acceptance tests are planned and executed. A key goal of integration testing is to verify that the system truly meets the business requirements. Frequently, a specific set of users may be involved in pilot testing, which validates that the system is not only functional but that it meets user needs. Synaptix Systems uses the volume/load/stress tests so that any system performance issues are discovered and corrected before the system in migrated into production. Furthermore, we ensure that data extraction, conversion, cleansing and translation are completed, as well as data loading into the target production environment.
Deployment includes all of the final tasks necessary to launch a new business solution into production. These activities typically cover data conversion, training, user support and organizational communication.
Program Management ensures the successful delivery of interdependent projects using disciplined techniques to manage scope, schedule, cost, communication, task dependencies, change methods and status reporting. In many cases, Synaptix Systems helps clients to establish a Program Management Office to define, implement and support the overarching processes, tools and methodology used by all projects throughout the program.
In order to track progress against client goals and to quantify the benefits realized by the program of work, program metrics are identified & analyzed throughout the project(s).