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Synchronization: moving beyond re‐engineering

Ajit Kambil (Global director at Deloitte Research, Boston, MA, USA)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 2 May 2008




The re‐engineering movement focused on obliterating functional silos and creating processes. As processes become more prevalent, today's challenge is to overcome process silos and synchronize them within and across companies. This paper lays out the key drivers of synchronization challenges and many responses to address them.


The article defines synchronization and uses examples to articulate its impact on businesses. It then identifies six key drivers of synchronization failure: uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity, volatility, urgency, and differing agency incentives across processes. The article then outlines strategies for responding to these shortcomings and examples of organizations that derive competitive advantages from synchronization.


The article presents five steps to improving synchronization within an organization: identify key synchronization opportunities; identify responses to the opportunities; stimulate, evaluate and examine interdependencies; execute select initiatives; and evaluate and iterate.


Synchronization is difficult, and firms who successfully synchronize key processes are likely to have advantages that are difficult to replicate. As we enter an economic slowdown in the United States, managers may discover that improving synchronization will be a better strategic move than simply cutting costs.



Kambil, A. (2008), "Synchronization: moving beyond re‐engineering", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 51-54.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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