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Silver Bullet

September 15, 2008 Leave a comment

Every business leader is looking for a “silver bullet” to help them solve all of their critical issues.  Many executives mistakenly thought a new information system was the answer they were seeking, hence the well documented dissatisfaction with IT investments.  We have found that the closest thing to a silver bullet is Business Blueprints™. 

 

Here is a list of business problems that a set of Business Blueprints™ can resolve.  Don’t keep treating the symptoms but instead get rid of the problem.  Business Blueprints™ allow you to go right to the root cause of many business ills.

 

Read through this list and see how many sound familiar.  It is not uncommon to recognize three or four as being challenges your company is facing.

 

1.      Performance Not Meeting Expectations

 

-          80% of performance issues are the result of the design of your business.

-          How can you solve design problems if you can not see the design?

 

The business design needs to be visible to know whether your strategic sales and profit goals are reasonable.  Changing strategies has absolutely no effect on the design of a company.  The key to performance is Design, not strategy.    

 

2.      Disagreement on Direction and Strategies

 

-          Are you certain everyone is going down the same road?

-          How did you decide to go in a particular direction?

 

The Pareto Principle is intended to focus businesses on what is critical.  Even with that tool most businesses are uncertain about what to do next.  Business Blueprints™ provide clarity in determining what is important in order to achieve strategic goals.

 

3.      Technology Selection

 

-          Are you interested in minimizing the risk of selecting the wrong technology?

-          Do you want to spend millions to automate the same ineffective processes?

 

A well-selected piece of software will support the updated design of a business.  Selecting a piece of software before knowing the design of your business is very risky.  Most companies do not know their design and most ITsolutions are considered to be a business failure for that reason.

 

4.      Problem Prioritizing Projects

 

-          How difficult is it for your management team to prioritize projects?

-          What method do you use when prioritizing your work?

 

Companies look for quick wins when selecting projects.  But the greatest ROI is not necessarily the best project to pursue.  Most of the work after updating a design is centered on implementing the new design so that the desired strategies can be executed.  Prioritize initiatives and sequence projects.

 

5.      Unproductive Strategic Planning

 

-          If strategy execution is dependent upon the capabilities of a design (and it is), how can you create strategies if you can’t see your design?

-          How much more productive would strategy meetings be if everyone was looking at the same blueprints?

 

Strategies must be embedded into the business design to enable the strategies to be executed.  It is harmful to create strategies that can not be executed with your current design.

 

6.      Alignment of the Organization

 

-          Are all the departments within your company going in the same direction?

-          How can you empower your people if they do not share a common understanding which is only possible with a set of Business Blueprints?

 

Alignment must be designed into a business; it can not be managed in.  Therefore the design of each business must be documented and made visible and the parts designed to ensure Total Business Performance through alignment. 

 

7.      Value Provided by Departments

 

-          How can you measure the value provided by the organizations within your business?

-          Has each department defined and quantified the expectations of its customers for its products and services?

 

By having the design of a department documented you can see its critical customers, services and processes.  You can also tell how well the department is performing against its customers’ expectations.  Raise the value of critical departments.

 

8.      New Management

 

-          How long does it take a new executive to understand all the parts of the business and their relationship with one another?

-          Would it be helpful if an executive could see pictures of all the parts of the business and how they fit together?

 

By having a documented set of Business Blueprints™ an executive can understand in two months what it will take 12 months without them.  This means better decisions can be made more quickly.

 


9.  Mergers and Acquisitions

 

-          Do you think that merging two cultures, product lines,   customer segments, processes, organizations,…. is more difficult than adding a room onto a house?

-          Would you like to significantly increase the likelihood of successfully merging two companies while reducing the time and cost?

 

Having the blueprints of two companies make mergers possible.  You can actually see how the parts of one company compares to the other and how to best combine them.  The costs and time necessary to create blueprints will pale in comparison to the risks and the efforts necessary to try and merge two undocumented businesses.

 

10.  Growing Faster than an Organization can Accommodate

 

-          How can you tell if each executive shares the same understanding about the destination of the company and how it will get there?

-          How are you changing the company to accommodate your growth?

 

Growing too fast can introduce serious challenges to any organization.   Communication become exponentially more complex as businesses grow.  You need to ensure that the design of your business can support the increased growth and it won’t collapse upon itself.  A set of Business Blueprints™ allows you to see your existing design and to make adjustments to accommodate that growth.

 

It is interesting that so many diverse issues within a business can have the same root cause.  And it is even more interesting to understand that having a set of Business Blueprints in your hand will position you to go after any of these issues within your business.  What problems are giving you pain?

 

 

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