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Writing down the essential how-to information of an organization in a meaningful, adaptable way is not everyone’s idea of fun. By essential how-to information, I mean that information which is needed to be able to deliver value to customers and clients. I mean that key information which tells staff members what they do, where, when and why and what they must consider in the process.
A small to medium-sized organization can get along without writing down this information and with this information just held in people’s heads. However, underneath the rosy exterior, this is what you are likely to find:
- Frustrated staff members who do not have the right processes, systems and tools in place to get their job done in a satisfying or quality way
- Customers with complaints about the time or quality of their interaction with the organization
- Unnecessary time, effort and money being gobbled up by inefficient or illogical ways of doing things
- Hidden physical, political and financial risks just below the surface (think shark-like, generally out of sight out of mind, but that fin appearing above the water just ahead of a strike) as a result of key business activities being missed or not completed properly.
- Unnecessary pressure and reliance on one or two long-term staff members who know how everything in the place works together
- Missed opportunities to deliver better products, services and value to existing or potential new customers
Over time, these kinds of stresses can lead to a sick organization that will lose respect, patronage and money. Don’t let that happen to yours!
You see, many organisations do not have a simple framework in place that encourages and allows their staff to easily capture the bare basic information required to do their jobs well. Sure, most places have ‘goals’, HR and finance are usually pretty good at having endorsed policies in place, some managers like to have documented procedures in place, and everyone has to report on something – but this key information is usually not captured in a consistent, effective or usable way.
The Superior Business Analysis Framework addresses this by giving you:
- A simple, usable, scalable and adaptable idea of what critical information your organisation should support its staff in collecting and over time improving.
- An understanding and checklist of what information needs to be recorded and how it links together to drive the achievement of your goals.
- A method for improving your business in a way that does not cost the earth.
- A way of not just dreaming up strategy, but also incorporating strategy into business activities so that the envisioned outcomes can be realised.
- An approach that can be shared with all staff so they are empowered to take ownership over their activities and how the activities are carried out better in the future.
So here we go – this is the Superior Business Analysis Framework:
Each of the roots you can see on this tree represent an important part of the information required for your organisation to bear fruit. Depending on the size and business of your organisation and its staff, different formats and levels of detail will be more practical to support what you do. The most important bit is that someone has thought through all this.
The Aspirations are the crux of what you are aiming for. Aspirations include the mission you want your organisation to deliver; the key goals that you should be aiming for; and the principles of behaviour that you want your staff to ascribe to.
The Tactics provide direction in how the Aspirations will be met. Defining the tactics means deciding the areas of business that will be carried out by your organization, and guidance (often in the form of policy-style statements or documents) that will frame what is expected from those action areas.
The Activities break-down the Tactics into something more concrete. Activities are the series of steps needed to repeatedly implement the decided Tactics, and the systems, tools, forms and templates that support them.
The Measures are not as scary as they sound! Measures are about identifying meaningful data and methods for collecting it so that you can track how well processes are delivering on your organisation’s aspirations and whether improvements are required.
These are all mutually independent and when they are understood correctly and written down in a practical form, they can help your organisation to thrive and help everyone get a good night’s sleep. These are after all the roots of your organisation – without them there is no business and there certainly is no growth.
You see, some of this information can be held in people’s head, but you can’t expect what they do to be of a high quality if they don’t have the time, information or permission they need to improve what they do. Maybe that’s ok in some cases, but when you are asking staff to do work on which health, reputation or income depend, high quality is essential.
That is why we say: Practical Processes. Thriving Organisation.
For more practical information about how to apply the framework, check out the blog, join the mailing list or take a look around the site.