Sunday, 18 January 2015

Can I Fix my Business Processes myself?

Have you ever asked the question? Surely I can fix my own company’s business processes as it is my business; I know what’s best for it!

I picked up a client that had this thinking. He owned a construction business which started as a small enterprise doing small residential constructions. Within the span of 6 years he had grown the business quite significantly and was building residential towers.

However the business had totally outgrown their business processes in the back office support of the operations. It was a business that was generating multi millions but was still trying to run in the finance and administration side as it was when it was a small business.

The problem was now that this area of the business was causing disruption to the rest of the business and causing it to be dysfunctional.   I was able to come in and build up this part of the business establishing more mature business processes and hiring the right staff in order to run this function effectively and efficiently.

The lessons learned here is that everyone has blind spots and areas that just don’t interest them in their own business, see the function as useful but not critical.  The different functions of a business are like the pistons in a car if one is misfiring then the overall performance of the engine will be out. And it is more noticeable the faster you try to drive the car!  

Also you may be part of the problem why the process is not working and cannot see the wood for the trees. That is why it is useful to seek outside professional assistance to give an unbiased insight.

Another case in story is of a client that already had an established education business and was looking to start up a new online education division. The existing business processes worked for the existing business but would not work for the new division. There was a degree of tension between the two parts of the business and that is why I was engaged to resolve the issue and make sure the business as a whole was moving forward in the most effective and efficient manner.

What was needed was a shared business process which would move the business forward. By being an objective 3rd party, not tied up with any of the politics of the business, with proven experience in business process I was able to listen to the concerns of the manager of the existing business and show them how this would benefit them and get their buy-in.

In summary the question “can I fix my own business processes?” is best answered by a saying that my father had. If you are a lawyer and decide to represent yourself you have a fool as a client. To get the best result you should seek out a proven business process consultant to assist you. They will bring objectivity, experience of best practice and will have the time to totally commit to it.


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