The process of improving business process performance should always be at the top of your agenda, as I keep saying, if you are not improving you are going backwards. In this world, change is the only constant so you always need to be ready and prepared for what change is coming, for good or bad, and the best way to achieve this is through business process optimisation, WHY?

  • The more optimised you are, the quicker you will adapt to change
  • Your cash flow will be strong
  • Your profits will be strong
  • Your people will be more resilient
  • to name but a few…

I was lucky enough to have a great mentor in all things performance during my time with a company called SA Partners and they had some great ways of visualising the journey of process improvement, the one in this video being one of my favourites. Targets should continually reviewed, always asking questions like

  • How can we do things better?
  • How can we do better things?
  • Are we truly helping our customers and solving their pains?

The more you ask these questions the more you will improve and along with that, the more you will reduce the cost of unsolved issues over time which can have serious consequences on your business. Remember any activity that is not adding value to your customer is considered a waste, albeit necessary or not.

This is a simple strategy that can implemented with ease however can have a substantial impact on your bottom line!



Operations Effectiveness – Video Transcript

Hi Shay Lynch here
director of Future State

and today’s topic is all about becoming

operationally effective okay?

Now that means many different things

for many different business

but at a macro level it’s the same

where you wanna go in terms of the journey

of improving performance right?

So I’m gonna show you a chart here.

Now this is a chart.

When I learned my trade through
working in my younger days

and I spent a bit of time with
a company called S A Partners

where I really got to hone my skills.

This is a chart that we would work

through with our customers

and I still use it today

because it just makes perfect sense.

Customers can see it and they can relate

to where they are along their journey

and before someone like me
comes into your business

I can tell you most of the time
we’re gonna be around here.

Now how this chart works

is this is the journey
of performance over time

so as you improve the journey

you wanna increase your
performance along that journey

but when I typically started
working with customers

and I would show them this

I asked them where are
they on their journey?

So I’d break it down
into three main steps.

First of all they have
lots of internal issues.

They have some good stuff
they have some bad stuff

but they’re not really
sure why it was good there

and why it was bad there.

They’ve got surface metrics

but nothing to go down into the detail

of what’s working well and
what’s not working well

and then again also who’s doing it.

When someone else does it is it good

and when someone else does it is it bad?

Okay so how we then
bring them on a journey

to get to a place of stability

and then once you’re happy
with the performance

so you’re rinsing and repeating

you’re getting every core
part of your business

to an area where you can repeat it

regardless of who’s doing the work

and then once you’re
secure in your stability

how do you improve that performance?

An improvement can come
in many different guises.

It could be in terms of
customerfacing improvements

customer value delivery

improvements of your operation
and service delivery

internally what you need to do.

So this can take many forms

but the key is to continually do it

and again when I ask my customers

where they believe they
are on this journey

nine times out of they point here

and this to me is great.

First of all they admit
they have problems

but also once I go into a bit more detail

and I show them why this
is really important

they really see the value

because if you don’t
fix these issues here

your cost of unsolved problems over time

are just going to increase.

These become chronic problems

so you need to understand
how do you remove

these chronic problems?

They may not be something that’s sporadic

something that’s big that happened

like a system going down for a few days.

They could be just
staying under the radar

so you just think “Ah it’s okay”

so you don’t do anything about it

but these are the chronic issues.

Like a chronic cough
a few coughs are okay

but a consistent cough over time

will lead to a chronic
issue that you have.

Same in your business performance.

You need to understand what
these chronic issues are

and this is regardless of
any size of your business.

It’s the same the only difference

is application and scale.

In a small business you wanna make sure

all your focus is on increasing
sales at an effective rate.

In a larger business

that could mean multiple different areas

doing a little bit wrong here

a little bit poor performance here.

It accumulates to something quite large.

So this a huge part of your business

performance you can spend on

and when I work with a client

if I’m working on a journey with them

first and foremost I
start working on solving

the issues within their business

on the core processes that lead

to customer value especially
and also the sale

so it’s usually between
operational and sales.

I spend a lot of time
focusing on the issues

so we can mitigate them or
eradicate them completely

and once we have focused
on the key the rule

the top % of problems that
are causing % of the issues

then we say well how can we ensure

we can get to an area of stability

where we know regardless
of who’s doing what

they can get repeatable results?

And again this talks
about how you can create

a blueprint in your business

if should you want to scale.

So say if you want to open another office

in a different demographic

you’ve got the blueprint for stability

so that’s the way I like to
describe it to my customers.

How would you like to scale your business?

This is it so once you ensure

that you have achieved
stability in your business

how are you going to improve?

Now this may not be as cleancut

or as linear as you see here.

Improvements can happen here too

but in terms of presentation
it’s all a process.

You reduce the issues
create stability improve

’cause the goal of any
business should be to improve

’cause if you’re not improving

in this day and age
you’re going backwards

so it’s important to continually improve

and those little step improvements

could be for different
areas of your business too

and I like to focus on
the customerfacing ones

the internal supply
the internal operations

and then also with your suppliers.

They’re the three main
areas you need to focus on

when you’re making these improvements

because the goal then

is what’s this gonna
deliver for your business?

Well first of all you’re gonna have

improved performance internally

and from a customer’s perspective

you’re gonna increase the value for them

you’re gonna improve the experience

and improve the delivery.

These are the goals.

Everything you do here

has to relate to these
goals and then finally

from a business perspective
from your perspective

you’re gonna drastically
improve your cash flow

and your profits because
you’re gonna first of all

improve your operations
and I say this all the time

the better the more efficient
you are in your business

you can deliver your service quicker

without cutting corners
you can invoice quicker

and get paid quicker.

You can increase this can be as much

as to % in your business.

Just imagine what your business could do

if you get paid % quicker.

What improvements will
you see in that cash flow

so you can do other things

do other projects with your business

without having to get investment

without having to get loans.

You’re doing it on your own.

Then with that improve profits.

So once you decide once you
want where you are today

once you’ve decided
you’re happy with that

do you wanna do something
better more with your business

like scale your business go
into different demographics

do something different?

Your profits on paper will
show potential investors

and banks that you have a
really strong business model

that can improve and succeed
when you do these things

so it makes it much easier

and paints a better picture

and presentation to these third parties

that your business is secure

and it all starts with stability
and having a blueprint.

No matter where you go
you can just plug and play.

So again the three steps.

Reduce issues and once you’ve done that

get a period of stability

and then look to improve.

These are the things
investors and third parties

and banks look for when they
want to help your business.

Focus on them to achieve these goals

and you will really deliver
and improve performance

and take your business to a future state

and deliver its true potential.

Now the question I always ask

is what are you gonna do today

to start improving your
operational effectiveness

bearing in mind the stuff
that we just talked about?

I hope this makes sense
and in the meantime

this is Shay Lynch saying
thanks for listening.