Before too long into
the new year, organizations should have made fairly detailed plans for
what they want to accomplish this year. Whether growing market share,
reducing expenses, or some other goals top your list, you need to
identify just how you’ll accomplish these goals.
So, just how does one
identify the opportunities for reaching objectives? Certainly, mandates
may be one means of communicating the goals, but just how effective are
they in ensuring you reach the desired state?
are the goals?
First, have available
(or list) the specific goals you want to achieve. Do not try to tackle
too many things in one particular time period – remember, we need to
support day-to-day operations in addition to making changes in the
organization. Change can take a considerable amount of time. (By the
way, did I mention these goals should be measurable, so you know if you
have achieved them?)
Identify the Processes
Select one of your
goals, then take a look at your organization and identify those
functional areas that directly support the goal. For example, if you
want to reduce the number of customer complaints on a particular
product, the following functional areas are probably involved: Defining
product and service functionality, Produce Product, and Measuring and
Evaluating Customer Satisfaction.
Once you have
identified the high level processes that can directly influence the
realization of the goal, it is time to break down those processes into
lower levels of detail to understand exactly what is happening. The
idea is to get to the level of detail that will allow you to identify
specific changes that must be made in order to affect the outcome. For
example, if we look at the Produce Product process, that may break down
into the next level processes: Schedule Production, Produce Product, and
Schedule and Perform Maintenance.
When we look at
processes at this level, we can start identifying some processes that
cannot contribute to our goal. In our example, Schedule Production
probably cannot influence the outcome of reducing customer complaints on
a product, so we know there is no need to explore that process area any
further for change opportunities.
Try this out with one
of your goals:
Select one of your goals for
this year (make sure it is measurable, so after you implement changes
you’ll know whether your changes are working)
Identify the specific areas
that would directly contribute to reaching the goal. Keep in mind that
this might cross functional boundaries
Break down each of the high
level process areas into its component parts, and identify those areas
that can influence the goal.
If necessary, break down the
remaining process areas further yet, to rule out areas that cannot
Once we have reached the
lowest level of process components, then we can start examining those
areas for reengineering/optimization.
I would be interested
in hearing how this exercise works for you.
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Understand the Current State