Business Improvement Guide
01 July 2012
Written by: Mark Whateley
The BI Process
Improvement is a
broad subject with many sub disciplines. It is often called Business Process Improvement but experience
has taught us that in order to be successful you need a more holistic approach to
To be successful, you need to be clear on what your business is
selling, understand your environment, know where you're going, have a good understanding of who your selling to and
how you reach out to them, know what motivates your people and have systems and processes that effectively meet
your customers needs and efficiently meet yours.
Having everything aligned and in balance is the key to a
successful and optimised business!
"We use a blended approach to achieve this which is shown in this basic
Strategy: We start with strategy which sets the direction and objectives for the project. This is a
critical phase but shouldn't be overdone. Strategy should always be a positive outcome linked to some
Diagnosis: The diagnosis stage is really important as this is where you generate insights to your
business, your market, competitors, customer experiences, operations, etc. While much of the work revolves
around analysis you need the skill to put the information in some form of context and interpret it in relation
to your business.
Engagement: This is the key element missing from most change programmes. However much the company invests
in talking to their people about the change it probably won't be enough. What we need to achieve is a behaviour
shift and a sense of being part of the change. It is often felt that people are resistant to change but in our
experience they are resistant to uncertainty rather than change. This means that if they feel in control, know
what is going on and feel they are shaping the change then they will be fully engaged.
Optimise: This is the element where you bring together all the information you have pulled together so
far and make the changes you need to processes, systems and people to create a better experience for the
Review: This is a continuous process so you need an effective measurement strategy and review process
that not only looks at performance but also records the 'lessons learnt'. The review should focus on the
effectiveness of the change process, the results achieved, what went well and what could have been better. The
final part of this process is planning for the next project using the things learnt from the previous