Profitability or Stagnation? Efficiencies or Deficiencies? Part 2 of 3
- Published: August 10, 2015
- Written by Shelley Sweet
Do you want to build profitability in your company---and know how to improve execution to make that happen?
Part 1 of this article provides a short self- assessment online that any BPM practitioner, company employee or manager, or groups of employees can take. It only takes 5 minutes. And you get your results back compared to the full database.
Part 2 (below) uses the self- assessment to identify where your organization is in building execution capability (Beginning, Middle, or Advancing Process). Then it relates your company answers to the McKinsey 7S elements, and shows you how to evaluate the elements to build a more productive organization.
The I-4 Process Capability Self-Assessment
Begin by answering the questions in the I-4 Process Capability Self-Assessment below. It will take you less than 5 minutes. The easiest way to take the survey is online using this URL: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/I4Capability.
If you want to have several employees and managers take it in your company, contact me and I can give you a company code, or I can send the survey to the designated individuals. (Their names will remain confidential.) After taking it online, I will provide you a report that shows your results and how your organization compares to other organizations in the database.
I-4 Process Capability Self-Assessment
|Question||Column 1||Column 2|
|1. Have you reorganized recently to better serve customers but not much has changed regarding customer service satisfaction?||Yes||No|
|2. Is the company’s strategy changing your fundamental operations or just generating special projects?||Special Projects||Fundamental operations|
|3. Do you use data from customers and internal operations as the primary driver for decision-making?||No||Yes|
|4. Have you tried to make improvements in the company but have not seen the results you wanted?||Yes||No|
|5. Do you have customer complaints that are hard to resolve?||Yes||No|
|6. Does work involve more paper documents and complexity than necessary?||Yes||No|
|7. Have external regulations been incorporated into the work processes so they are smooth and easy to satisfy?||No||Yes|
|8. Are handoffs between employees and groups frequently the source of errors, confusion, or friction?||Yes||No|
|9. Can new employees quickly perform their primary tasks, as the company prefers them to be performed?||No||Yes|
|10. Are you able to incorporate consistent processes as you grow into new regions and globally?||No||Yes|
|11. Are employees pushing for clarifying individual roles or forming natural work groups?||Clarifying individual roles||Natural work groups|
|12. Are executives prioritizing work in their own division first before projects that benefit the company as a whole?||Yes||No|
|13. Is the most common first response to an error to ask “who made that mistake?” or “what went wrong?”||Who made that mistake?||What went wrong?|
|14. Do leaders provide answers to work problems or coach employees and teams to find answers on their own?||Leaders provide answers||Leaders coach employees|
|15. Does the company value the ability to analyze problems as much as it values domain expertise?||No||Yes|
After completing the assessment, count up how many of your answers are in Column 1 and then how many are in Column 2. The more answers you have in Column 2 the better, because Column 2 shows your company has more process capability, whereas Column 1 shows less process capability currently.
Process Capability Level One - BEGINNING
If you had 11 to 15 answers in Column 1 and 0 to 4 answers in Column 2, then not much is happening with process improvement in your company. Your company may want to do better, but it keeps trying to improve operational excellence by doing the same things and not making any progress. At this point the company is not paying attention to work processes, but it would benefit significantly from considering process improvement.
Process Capability Level Two - MIDDLE
If you had 6 to 10 answers in Column 1 and 5 to 9 answers in Column 2, then your company is moving toward more process capability, but process success has been mixed. Indeed, the company has likely paid some attention to work processes, and it has seen some successes and failures as a result, but you may not know why.
Process Capability Level Three – ADVANCING PROCESS
If you had 1 to 5 answers in Column 1 and 10 to 14 answers in Column 2, good for you! You are already on the road to incorporating process efficiencies and workforce effectiveness into the culture, daily work discipline, and profits!
Below I address the each assessment question to show how each question interacts with organizational capability and impacts operational excellence. Consider the actions suggested and see which ones are right for your company.
An easy way to gain insights from the self-assessment is to use to the McKinsey 7S model shown above. Robert H. Waterman and Tom Peters of McKinsey Consulting developed the seminal model in the 1980’s. The framework shows seven elements that need to be aligned and reinforced to improve performance. Thus, weak elements need to be improved to increase the synergy of the whole model and increase performance results. Each question in the I-4 Process Capability Self-Assessment is matched with its relevant 7S category below.
Let’s look at the questions in the I-4 Process Capability Self-Assessment along with each of the 7S categories.
|1. Have you reorganized recently to serve customers but not much changed regarding customer service satisfaction?|
Question 1 relates to Structure, or how the company is hierarchically organized, how tasks and people are specialized, and how authority is divided up.
Work processes run horizontally across units and functions in a company to produce an output for the customer. But structural reporting relationship usually are vertical not horizontal. Each executive is responsible for only parts of the horizontal process. It is hard to service customers across the company when leaders and employees are focused on their own BU or functional area.
|2. Is strategy changing your fundamental operations or just generating special projects?|
|3. Do you use data from customers and internal operations as the primary driver for decision-making?|
Question 3 relates to Shared Values, or the core values of the organization that serve as guiding principles. For example, if your company is still entrepreneurial in spirit, these shared values suggest a customer responsive attitude and a fast-moving pace. Decisions are often based on dictums like, ”Get the sale,” or “Do whatever the customer needs.” Process improvement might be perceived as slow and not innovative, and bureaucratic. Data gathered from customers and internal operations may not float to the top in company decision-making.
At the BEGINNING level, process improvement might be seen as being counter cultural and risky. As companies grow, there is a need for stable work processes and standardization to scale. These companies come to realize the value of work processes and working with complete and accurate information. As the size of a company grows (100 employees or more, and $20 million or more in annual revenue), companies often feel the need for documented processes that are executed consistently.
Coming Soon! This final part, Part 3, looks at the last three elements in the 7S Model and then discusses how to build a company roadmap for your organization. Each of the questions in the survey is related by number to one of the 7S categories; then examples are given about the category and how it impacts execution.