Burning Platforms

A prospective client shared the hidden costs of ‘normal’ process management.

This is a back-office function of 4k people within in a global organization of 100k+ people. This particular division is changing fast, like most back offices.  Its transformation team set up almost 40 major change projects last year – covering offshoring, outsourcing, systems consolidation, shared services, organizational restructuring and Lean initiatives.

Every one of those change projects started with a process capture phase.  Typically 2 FTE take 4 weeks to define the current processes in detail, as the start point for managing change.

That’s roughly 6 FTE full-time employed on capturing the As-Is processes. Scale it up across the organization and that’s around 150 FTE employed full-time in capturing the current processes as the start point for managing change.

Downstream, after the As-Is processes have been defined, there’s probably much more waste – and risk – in how the To-Be processes are designed, analysed and implemented.

But it’s ‘the way things have always been’. For busy execs there’s no burning platform. It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that adopting Nimbus as an enterprise process platform looks like ‘additional time and effort, that we don’t have, to achieve a nice-to-have’.

Bring out the hidden costs though and it’s easy to re-frame it, correctly, as an investment of the existing time and effort into building a joined-up, comprehensive and real-time view of the business, and a flame-proof platform for sustainable improvement.

Related Posts

29 Jan 2013    Process Resistance

11 Dec 2012    Process Management And Google Maps

© Text Michael Gammage 2013

Chalk One Up For Sustainability

Delighted call yesterday from a client whose CEO had made a stand for sustainability.

The CEO had invited in a well-known consultancy for a year to drive a Lean program on a payment-for-results basis.

The Lean consulting team arrived two weeks ago and explained its methodology. They didn’t care that this organization had implemented Nimbus as a process platform at the heart of the business. They insisted that brown paper and Post-It notes would be used for all their work. Amazingly, they were so attached to this that they refused even to use the client’s paper. It had to be their brown paper.

When it was escalated to the CEO, he didn’t equivocate. He insisted that this organization’s process platform must be the alpha and the omega for the Lean program. It was, he explained to the Lean consultants, an integrated business management platform, but not in any abstract sense: it was supporting people doing real work 24/7. So it was the perfect framework to identify, design and deliver sustainable improvement projects.

What tickled my friend and led to his jubilant call was the CEO’s remark at the end of the meeting, as the consultants left the room, that if he saw brown paper being used in future, he would ‘personally escort them from the premises’.

The price of sustainable excellence is eternal vigilance. [as Jefferson might have put it… ]