Does your company seem to get less efficient as it grows? Are you constantly playing referee between the heads of your different functions? Then it may be time to identify key cross-functional processes and improve your success formulae. Our free “Cash Acceleration” worksheet will enable you to reap the cash hidden in inefficiencies, while avoiding big-bureaucracy process redesign.
As an entrepreneur in the middle of scaling up your business, it is sometimes difficult to see the forest for the trees. In most cases, businesses are started by people who have a particular expertise or knowledge base that opens a market for their business idea. It is also true that these entrepreneurs have gaps in their knowledge of starting and running a business. These gaps may pertain to administering the business, finance, human resources, engineering, or any number of areas that require particular expertise.
It is natural to seek to fill these gaps by hiring experts to fill roles in the company and manage various aspects of the business. Over time and as the company grows, organizations will develop functional silos under these subject matter experts. As you scale up, you must be aware of these silos and be ready to consider how these individual functions in your company must come together to serve your customer. Otherwise, you may lose sight of the holistic, end-to-end process in your company and unintentionally complicate your customers’ interaction with your company.
If this silo effect is affecting your operations, you will need to improve your day-to-day operations in terms of cost, quality, and flow by integrating functional areas to work smoothly together. The key to reorienting toward this more holistic approach is to introduce more process-based thinking. One way to do this is to have an executing brainstorming session to delineate and agree on key success processes for your business. This will help you to generate a common understanding of these key processes and assign accountability for implementation and improvement.
To start improving your success formulae, in your next executive offsite, first determine which 3-5 cross-functional processes are absolutely key for long-term competitiveness (or take the four we propose if they seem to reflect your business model. Then agree on what to define as the input and the output of each process. Finally, assign one executive each as a cross-functional owner of each of the success formulas, accountable for ever decreasing cycle time, cost and error rates.
During the next quarterly offsite, dig deeper to quantify the success formulae with tools such as our Cash Acceleration worksheet. This tool provides a scorecard to benchmark your current status and measure improvements on a quarterly basis as you continue to scale up. All with the goal of integrating your operations to enhance your customer’s experience with your company.
It never ceases to amaze what an incredible impact working though this worksheet has on leadership teams. Your team have the answers, it’s all about effectively facilitating and aligning your options. Go for it! It’s definitely life changing.