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Use Value Streams to Improve Your Organisation

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“If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road;” CS Lewis

If you look around your own business, do you see departments overwhelmed with business as usual? Are there pet projects swallowing the capital budget, with minimal strategic impact? Endless reorganisations with little rationale? Software  purchased because someone liked the glossy brochure and the vendor said it was good? These are symptoms of strategies that fail in their execution more than in their design.

Business Analysis (BAPL) has developed up a way to escape the strategy to operation mud bath. It involves taking a process based approach to strategy and driving outcomes through identifying the business value stream.

Take for example a company that wants to improve its customer satisfaction. BAPL would start by identifying all the processes used to deliver the product(s) or service(s) in question. We would then work with managers and relevant stakeholders to understand which are the processes that really drive customer satisfaction.

These might include the call centre processes, the product delivery processes and the billing process. If managers don’t have a good understanding of the drivers, then we may need to do some targeted research. The sum of all these processes is what we term the ‘business value stream” for customer satisfaction.

We take the business value stream processes and prioritise them. This considers both their impact on the target (improved customer satisfaction) and the improvement opportunity for that process.  The output is a list of Epics that will align to and deliver on strategy. BAPL can help you improve your organisation and enable you to achieve your organisational strategy by helping you understand what value added areas need improvement, and how.

The exciting aspect is when you run this analysis across the whole company, you will see the key value streams represented across your product and services.  If you look for overlaps, you might find common areas (processes) that can deliver significant strategic benefit from improvement. Additionally, you might find effort being put into processes that have little impact on the value streams, and hence the strategy (poor investments). Admittedly, this is only part of the equation – the inside looking out perspective. The converse of this must also be incorporated for a clear view (which we will focus on in another article). 

Ultimately – once complete, this will prove a clear link between strategy and investment to ensure each initiative is notching the organisation closer to its ultimate goals, with a clear view of cost/benefit across expected business results. Knowledge is power as they say.

So if you want your strategy to head in the right direction, talk to us at BAPL.

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