7 steps to fast improve your business

Many SME has a dilemma on how to improve their processes to take the opportunities that come to them. The fundamental question is the same for all. What is the step do I have to take to solve my problems? The answer is not as simple as it looks, but there is a standard road map they can choose to do it.
The road map consists of seven steps:

1. Identifying the essence of the business

Before starting to design or redesign your processes, even before trying to alter the mission and vision it needs to understand the fundamental reason of the company. First answer these questions: Why your customers want to do business with you? How are you contributing to your customer’s goals? Are you their first option? Is there enough business in your area or market? etcétera.

The purpose of the first step is getting into the full understanding of your business. It´s important to involve as many influential people as you can, no matter if they are from your company or trustable advisors. At the end will finish with reasons for your business success and metrics that will guide you to obtain your business objectives.

2. Conceptualizing your strategic intents

Now after understanding what the factors that will take where you want are, now transform them into strategic concepts. These concepts are mission, vision, values, central policies, main entries, main deliverables or products or services, strategic objectives, critical success factors, and the process structure with their business objectives.

It´s relevant that before any strategic element read and remember the reasons for your business success (RBS). To ensure they are aligned and well defined. Try to do it in several session instead of one extended work session, because it will allow you to transfer your RBS completely to the redaction of the strategic sentences.

3. Define requirements to improve or implement

Now is the time to compare what you have in the business in terms of processes, objectives, roles, responsibilities and so on. First analyze the old mission and vision, and other strategic sentences with the ones you just defined on step two. Next, compare your actual policies and the rest of the elements redacted to identifies differences on inconsistencies.

On this step, it can use the MOCICIRE methodology to make them clear to organize and prioritize the improvement projects to your business model. This methodology is as follow:

M – element business Model to analyze
O – Opportunity founded
C – Causes of the opportunity
I – Impact on the result
C- Countermeasure needed
I – Implication to put it into action (people perspective)
R – Requirements (excluding people)
E – Results to have at the end

The order in which the projects will carry out depends on the impact they have on the objectives, which may be for their benefit or their criticality.

4. Design the improvements

Now it´s time to design the improvements or adjustments in the order was defined on step three. The design will impact on one or several of the following four dimensions Functional, Information, Resource or Organizational. Or say it with different wording is procedures, operating procedures, technology, personnel competencies, and so on.

During this step, the company can assign this responsibility internally or externally. But this a decision that the top management team will take on the expected results and the certainty to obtain those deliverables.

5. Implementing changes or improvements

Well, all the past work is time to put it into action. But now comes the tricky part, the people. Why is so complicated, well keep in mind the most fear situation any employee prevent all the time is the get fired. And for that reason one of the condition needs to be verified all the time is the level of understanding on the new way to work.

That’s why the implementation consists of training and testing. Train to give the employee the confidence in the new work situation and test to ensure everything is in place correctly. Thus the top management has to be aware of this and follow the implementation process very carefully and make the adjustment on time.

6. Operate to obtain the benefits

The time to harvest the benefits is now, but will no come easy because some additional factors could impact on the results. So the operation step has its main characteristic on measuring of everything relevant. Be sure the company has a methodology to measure results and well understood for all responsible involved.

The use of dashboards to have on one page all relevant indices is highly recommend it. Operation stage mentioned before it’s all about indices and graphics. Finally on this stage periodic meeting to review the performance indicators and take corrective actions is also highly recommended.

7. Decommissioning the actual process

Decommission state apply to the processes that are not on service at this moment. But let me formulate the following question, what is the reason for this step? Well, It’s to remind you that the decommissioned procedures are useful for future consultation. Remember knowing the past will prevent us from repeating mistakes in the future.

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