If you have found yourself in a situation where the process seems to change, accountabilities are uncertain and deadlines are missing, then perhaps you have a people, process and technology problem. Getting all 3 aligned is absolutely essential to ensuring a change process will work. We at Cognisoft have given immense ephasis on these three elements however what companies forget is that the only thing that binds them in harmony is a “policy”.
Policy – Written policies and procedures should be at the heart of every organization. However, before the passage of the Sarbanes Oxley Act in 2002, most organizations did not have written documentation to support their policies and procedures. ” Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act requires management of publicly traded companies to formally attest to the effectiveness of their Internal Controls“. While it is not currently required by law that private companies adhere to these same laws, it is certainly in the best interest of all companies, regardless of their size, to have formal, documented policies and procedures and to periodically verify that they are operating effectively. The objective of policies and procedures is to document an organization’s policy for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill that policy. Policies and Procedures answer the “what” and “how” questions for individuals within an organization. For example, “What is the company’s policy regarding working from home?” and “How do I get permission to work at home?” Written documentation will allow for consistent treatment across the company.
People – What are the key issues: who owns the process, who is involved, what are their roles, are they committed to improving it and working together and importantly are they prepared to do the work to fix the problem
Process – A process can be defined as starting with a trigger event that creates a chain of actions that results in something being prepared for a customer of that process. Starting at high level and identifying the key big steps is important to see the process from end to end. Then moving into more detail to capture the various layers involved and various exceptions. Focussing on the high frequency (Pareto principle) transactions can have significant benefit to standardising the process. But also remember that it can be the non-standard transactions where service is slipping most or the potential for significant failure in the process may exist.
Technology – Now that people are aligned, and the process developed and clarified, technology can be applied to ensure consistently in application of the process and to provide the thin guiding rails to keep the process on track – to make it easier to follow the process than not do so.