Redesign and Tuning of Business Systems Optimizes Growth
Growing the business is the goal for most organizations. Managing that growth becomes difficult while managing and meeting the day-to-day business goals. Cliintel provides real world experience to facilitate operational improvements, create best practices and take businesses to their next level of success.
A leading provider of insurance for new housing construction as well as appliance and home warranty services had experienced exponential growth. This growth began taxing internal systems, specifically the IT department’s trouble-ticketing system.
The Business Issue:
When organizations experience extreme business surges, much of their time, money, focus and resources are spent upgrading and adding customer facing applications while internal systems are pushed to their limits, or even neglected. The client’s IT department found itself needing to support both a myriad of new tools on multiple platforms, as well as an onslaught of new employees. The rudimentary trouble ticketing system they had been using for years was not capable of responding to the rapid growth. The increased utilization of the ticketing system soon revealed that the system and associated processes did not support adequate problem identification, timely resolution or proactive trend reporting. Furthermore, established and ‘rightsized’ Service Level Agreements had not been baselined or followed and resulting in longer than necessary system outages and downtime.
The new and improved utilization of the ticketing system resulted in a cost savings of $75,000 per year and created an enterprise repository and improved management of resources.
Utilizing Cliintel’s INSIGHT methodology, the team took a holistic view of the client’s business operations, and through a series of end-user interviews and operational observations, gathered system and user requirements. Existing contractual commitments required that the client continue to use the existing trouble-ticketing system. Cliintel examined the existing system and identified features and functionality not being used and presented a plan to modify and upgrade current versions to meet the growing needs of the client.
Cliintel worked with the trouble-ticketing vendor to complete system reinstallation and improved report development. The trouble-ticketing system was redeployed with appropriate support, documentation and procedures. Cliintel established modified procedures and standards to facilitate disciplined ticket management.
The reimplementation of the trouble ticketing system enabled the client to reduce system outages and proactively prevent future outages from occurring. The new and improved utilization of the ticketing system resulted in a cost savings of $75,000 per year and created an enterprise repository and improved management of resources.
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Imagine that you’re a department head in a regional office of a large national organization. For years, you’ve campaigned for a business process change that requires a new software deployment. Despite the steep up-front cost, you’re certain the return on investment will be impressive. Your process change concept may not have much traction at the division or corporate office, but you’re confident that if you can get it off the ground, it will be a winner. Finally, you’ve managed to get budget approval from the regional VP. You’ve found the best software developer and you’re ready to roll. Or are you?
Experienced process change consultants advise that an approved budget may not be enough to get the job done. Many a process change has been killed mid-stream because its sponsor failed to secure upper-level commitment. When tackling process change, it’s obviously essential to engage the stakeholders who will be directly affected. But in most cases, especially if an intervention or new software is involved, don’t forget to seek support as high up in the corporate chain of command as possible. Think of it as crossing the street in a combat zone: look left, look right, and then look up.
The more levels of management in an organization, the more important it is to have senior executive support for process change. In large and multi-national companies, it isn’t unusual for the plans of local business units to get lost in the corporate shuffle. Enlisting executive commitment for your process change will ensure that you can overcome the resistance you may encounter along the way.
Without visibility higher up the ladder, a process change project can be killed or sidelined for several reasons.
- New budget cuts may be mandated – an all-too-common experience these days. If HQ is unaware of your unit’s need
for process change, it’s an easy cut to make.
- Unbeknownst to you, the division or corporate office may fund a different solution to the problem your process change is intended to solve, making yours redundant or irrelevant.
- Your process change may not align with company strategic direction.
Although you may be action-oriented and eager to stake out your territory, haste can definitely make waste. In some cases, senior executive support is so critical that you’re doomed without it. In most cases, getting that commitment will simply allow you to get the job done more quickly and less expensively. Even if your process change plans are turned down when you seek upper-level endorsement, it’s better to get that decision sooner rather than later. Instead of wasting time and resources on a project that ultimately won’t see the light of day, you can spend the time building your case, or on other, more productive efforts.
While the risks of not having executive support are many, the benefits of having it are equally great. Process change experts know that the higher you go, the better the solutions. While you are familiar with local business unit issues, a more global perspective will help determine if the local problem you’ve identified is truly unique. Perhaps a more comprehensive solution can be of benefit to the larger organization. An aerial view may also help identify potential allies from other business units with whom you can team up to make your case.
How high is up? A good rule of thumb for seeking executive support is to go as high as possible, then try for one level higher. Incorporating senior executive commitment into your process change plans will ultimately make for a smoother deployment and get you to the finish line faster.
To learn more about process change management, please visit www.cliintel.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.