Improving bad processes

The problem is that almost all organisations have too many processes that are no longer appropriate for today’s business environment.  Even worse, in some organisations staff hide behind the processes and use them as an excuse for their actions or inactions.

I once worked with a new Managing Director of a company who during his first 90 days personally reviewed and in some case rewrote the major SOP’s (Standard operating procedures) of a £50M company. He believed that it’ was a good way for him to really understand the business and also make very clear what he expects of his staff.  Needless to say he came from a very customer centric way of thinking.

The results were fascinating.  Simply by stating that he was going to do it a lot of processes  rapidly got improved or even dropped across the business. “Boring” processes suddenly became a hot topic for everyone to spend time on and attitudes changed significantly.

Whatever situation you are in it’s always good to look at existing processes and ask the two simple questions that the MD asked about every process.

1) How does this add value to our customers?

2) Does the manner in which this process is carried out fit the objectives and strategies of the organisation?

Interesting discussions always follow.


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