Walking into a business and analysing it for Operational Excellence is always an interesting task! Improving your operations should not compromise product leadership, customer service or customer intimacy.
Major shortfalls in operations are normally visible to a seasoned practitioner in the first few weeks of a consulting assignment. The rest of the DISCOVERY phase is about teasing out the detail and making sure you understand the linkages to strategy, organisation, processes and systems, so any changes have the best possible benefit.
On occasion, I have walked into a client who is trying to make improvements to a specific area, but it becomes apparent the focus is on a symptom or surface issue. Root Cause Analysis helps to uncover what the underlying issues are.
One assignment I have worked on recently has involved modelling operations using the Business Process Modelling standard ‘BPMN’, with a view to providing automation using an open-source BPMS. As the digging revealed the real issue though, we were convinced Document Management was a real concern that impacted the proposed work.
Deciding what to fix first and how to do it takes consideration. Manual fixes with diagrams and procedures, and staff training can do a lot. In this case, I am looking more deeply into a Document Management platform that will solve some key issues, coupled with manual business practices procedures as the first delivery to the organisation. I expect to see huge gains from this approach.
Having an experienced set of eyes from an outside expert on your organisation can pay huge dividends. Pigeon-holing an expert into a tight scope may get you the results you are after, but you may miss out on some real gems. The kit bag of knowledge a seasoned consultant carries in his or her head can include, and it’s not limited to:
- Organisational patterns and opportunities
- Strategy Patterns
- Business Patterns
- Knowledge of Application Platforms
- References to similar projects
- Knowledge of similar issues and opportunities
- Applicable risk management strategies
- Projects that can inform your efforts that you just don’t have any ability to reference
- Technology patterns and platforms
- The latest approaches in Business Process, IoT and Management Dashboards
Some of us like being part of teams, but our real calling is to lead: not as an internal manager or leader, but as a Change Agent, a Transformation Expert!
If you haven’t yet engaged someone to do a mile high over your operations to look for operational efficiencies of your customer service to see how you can better serve customers or increase intimacy and loyalty with your customers, maybe it’s time you did. I always get a buzz out of providing benefit beyond what a customer expects!
I’m Steve Barnes.
I’m The Process Expert.
Call me on 0423 311 839.