Enterprise Services Planning

Enterprise Services Planning (ESP) is a framework of tools that leaders of 21st Century knowledge-work enterprises can apply to their strategic and capacity planning. ESP is often described as the equivalent of MRP for a professional services business. Such businesses employ many educated professionals, who think for a living, perform largely invisible work, and deliver mostly intangible products and services to customers.

Such businesses are increasingly exposed to VUCA – the conditions of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. It is often futile, under such conditions, to plan specific results, deliverables, and milestones. The VUCA reality quickly tosses such plans out of the window. Does this sound like your enterprise? ESP can help! What you can do is, plan the capacity of your services to sense, respond and deliver the right levels of service that meet customers’ purpose. You can plan the mechanisms of feedback to keep your network of services balanced and capable to execute your strategy. You can plan to avoid risks your enterprise can’t take and manage the risks it chooses to take. That’s what we mean by “planning.”

Card related Discussion

ESP complements the delivery capabilities generated by Kanban “from the middle” and agile approaches “from the bottom up”  and connects them “at the top” with the models and tools you need to manage on an enterprise level.

ESP helps executives answer challenging questions, such as:

  • What is truly going on? – Using Kanban system to visualize and coordinate services, requirements, and dependencies
  • What should we start next? – Portfolio and daily planning that manages options and risk in real time
  • When do you want it? – The easy way to do probabilistic forecasting; faster and more accurate than old-fashioned estimation
  • How do we deliver what we need, when we need it? – Using the levers of 2-phase commitment and flow
  • We are overwhelmed! – Balance demand with capability and deliver the most important work faster
  • How do we build an information flow? – Master metrics and essential review meetings for faster feedback
Enterprise Services Planning

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