ala carte / atomic / Business Process Management / customers / Data Quality / design patterns / expense / Generic / generic objects / global / internal customer expectations / Item / Item Transactional / management / management capability / management to transaction / master data / new business models / offer / pain points / party / quality practitioners / revenue / Risk / setup response in transactions / suppliers / Uncategorized / universal objects

Who would need to address WICKED problems? A CEO and the BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Symptoms of a WICKED Problem

You’re an executive with an audit report the size of a dictionary.
You’re audit certification was a challenge for your partner performing and preparing the report.
You’re risk log has so many issues registered you don’t know where to start.
You’re are constantly hearing about data quality and governance projects which no one has managed to prioritize in their annual budgets.
You’re spending money on master data in addition to the ongoing data quality and governance pipeline.
You’re 3rd party applications are suffering from low adoption.

WICKED versus normal business problems

The challenge you face may be more about a WICKED problem, you are unlikely to have anyone with the right skills and unlike typical business problems your all stars can address you have no single functional group with the responsibility or knowledge.

The CEO owns the problem as the one role accountable for the organization from soup to nuts.

The Board of Directors has developed policies which no one in the industry seems to accept, nor does any of the functions who influence the business and quality management systems appear to have any knowledge of who has the responsibility.

Each of the experts simply shares they are not responsible.  The experts providing solutions are proposing adoption of a sub-set of standards without any knowledge or evidence of the parent policies also introduced and required as part of the parent standards.

You certainly can do what you have done in the past.  Someone creates a new family of standards and the standard isn’t part of your annual certification instead it’s an optional standard.  Wait, no you cannot do this.  The intent of the standard and law was inserted in the parent and IS PART OF THE CERTIFICATION.

Sure you can cross-your fingers and hope laws aren’t passed to hold congress accountable to hold you accountable.

What’s the problem? In this WICKED Problem a gap in the understanding around privacy of your customers, suppliers and employees.

Your customers, suppliers and employees are confidential records and not subject to any functional organizations definition.
Your products whether hardware or software always implies the need to supply service at a charge or like most in the industry the service is free.

The companies ability to report accurate financials have been compromised when your party management capability has not been controlled to the policy and procedures defined by your corporate policies.

How big is the problem can be estimated with some degree of accuracy when measuring the following;

Party Management Capability

  • How many tables have customer, supplier, employee or contact records?
  • How many errors exist in the zip code field?
  • How many source systems supply the address fields into a table or another application? How many ETL workflows are processed each day?  How many physical tables contain the address fields and how many jobs are running in each batch per day?
  • How many applications allow a user to enter an address with a name of an organization?  How many users per application?
  • How many 3rd party applications have been implemented using out of the box features versus customized?

Offer Management Capability

  • How many items use ERP set up as designed by the accounting system (3rd party out of the box)?
  • How many adjustments are made each day?
  • How many alternative applications allow users to adjust the price or bundle outside your ERP system?tim

Expense transaction capability

  • How many customer forecast, sales order, booking and revenue reporting has contained the same cost and sell price across the life of the order?
  • How many applications force a user to re-enter an item and a bundle?
  • How many times can the items or bundle be mis-represented internally?
    • Forecast will alter the purchase of components and may over commit the planned futures
    • Sales Quote may alter the profit margin if not accurate in the transaction systems.

Revenue Transaction capability

  • How many times must sales people re-enter the opportunity management details used to forecast and quote?
  • How many applications require a new entry of information using different terms?
    • How many ERP system event records are derived from the header of your opportunity management systems?


Your engineering group or corporate development organization owns the pricing and systems used for any decisions around an item, components and bundled items in an offer.

Truth Statement

Your offers (any combination) have pricing and cost implications which can be altered and this threatens your profit and effectiveness.

No single organization owns the decisions around the offers components or the configurations in regard to pricing distribution and cost.

Cultural Value Systems and Social Responsibility

Moving away from command and control was never intended to eliminate your foundation or core Business Management Systems and the performance measurements found in your Quality Management Systems.  The intent of the law was never understood by those who claim to represent the many.

  • Quality Management Systems are never a communication strategy alone.
  • Business Management Systems are never a communication message alone.


Corporate performance is a subset of the Quality Management Systems fed by the Business Management Systems through the procedures in a business process.

  • The business architecture must maintain and control the boundaries which each of these systems integrate as defined in your corporate policies.
  • The enterprise architect practitioner will partner with the business architect to understand the as is and its gaps according to the systems mentioned.
  • The business intelligence architects will understand the number of custom applications replicating the systems in shadow custom BI applications.
  • The data warehouse architects will supply an inventory and cost estimate to retire the custom business intelligence applications.

These systems were in place manually before the introduction of technology solutions.

When we began to implement the technology solutions we were careful to incorporate corporate policies into the business rules used by the applications.

  • The practice has been abandoned.


Do not have a dependency on purchasing a software or technology

Source Systems

The majority of the WICKED Problems often turn out to have many shadow applications devaluing the systems or record.

Performance Management Systems are not stand alone systems

These two systems are NOT business intelligence they are inputs and outputs of the process and activities performed by people everyday.

If you have found yourself like many others in the mortgage (housing), or credit card industry (eBay, PayPal and similar) you are advised to consider the effect on the economy.

The people in those industries are now promoting BIG DATA and that data is nothing more than smoking mirrors.

How do we address a WICKED problem of this type?

When you find that your resources lack the knowledge in these areas with the associated dependencies distributed to each function without any alignment from the systems view;

  1. Take a deep breadth and be assured the problem was recognized as a problem many have like your own organization.  
  2. Understand and accept the help of a WICKED manager
  3. Understand the solution will be enabled through systems then applied to functional parts.


If I were a WICKED manager-I’d certainly focus on the best way to insert a common set of architectural boundaries to guide the management decisions in three categories.

The three categories align to the different degrees of risk;

  • Small, Medium and High
  • Fast, Middle and Slow lanes on the highway

Any offer you invest in has a different level of risk reported to the Security Exchange Commission in the US AND when doing business with any US customers.

5 Capability Model

If you invest you are expecting a certain degree of confidence and need the right level of confidence as shown in the following;

  1. Your suppliers travel in one direction representing your expense or cost of goods/services
    1. Expense Transaction Capability incorporates any cost to build the offer or delivery the offer and support resource cost to ensure the offer meets the industry standards whether a project or a time and materials resource.
    2. Sourcing the supplier records from your ERP system of record
      1. Party Management Capabilities are enabled in ERP through an MDM system if applicable
        1. The create capability must be controlled or your cost and revenue accuracy and validity become a risk on every change outside the system of record.
  2. Your customers travel in the opposite direction representing your revenue.
    1. Revenue Transaction Capability
      1. Sourcing your customers and employees associated with the sale from ERP system of record
      2. Sourcing your item components in an offer must be created and controlled by a change control process in the changes of any offer and components.
        1. No transaction is exempt from the change control of each record
    2. The create capability must be controlled or your cost and revenue accuracy and validity become a risk on every change outside the system of record.
      1. on a record a transaction of either an expense or a revenue the retention of records must be controlled any adjustment infers a risk and threat to your financial reporting accuracy and validity.

Group Manager – LinkedIn Forum-WICKED



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