Part II in our Project Redesign Series: The Redesign Phase

Part II in our Project Redesign Series: The Redesign Phase

In my first blog, we covered the Strategy Phase, the first of three phases for a successful process redesign effort. You learned the process of engaging senior leaders to define a strategic vision and set of objectives that could be used create a Business Value Linkage Dashboard, which establishes the link between project outcomes and performance indicators allowing you to show how your project will enable the broader business strategy.  This is a key step in securing buy-in and resource commitments from cross-functional leaders early in your transformation journey.

In this installment, we’ll cover the Redesign Phase and highlight the evolving role of various stakeholders as the team begins to reimagine how the process with enable the future state business objectives. Let’s start by exploring two common scenarios that we encounter with clients and how each circumstance can impact the overall approach for redesigning a process:

Minor to moderate investment available, but process needs to be fixed: If the project team decided there is minimal budget or room for change, emphasis will be placed on finding efficiencies, driving down cost, and minimizing organizational pain.

The unique difference in this scenario is the preparation needed to drive the workshop. To prepare for your redesign, members of your team should have cataloged and scored “pain points” and mapped them to the end to end current state process map. This visual will be the primary driver for your workshop and should be posted in plain sight for all to see in the room. The goal is to focus on the areas of highest opportunity based on pain, cost, error (categories vary) and design with the existing process in mind. This may include modifications to roles, potential headcount changes, simple technology fixes, lean opportunities, and improved controls and measures for accountability.

Executives have acknowledged that a process should be completely redesigned to enable the business strategy: This scenario yields the greatest opportunity. Teams are free to focus on what should be accomplished based on the Business Vision and Value Linkage Dashboard created in phase 1 of the process redesign. Most often, workshop attendees are provided a pre-read packet to pre-educate them on the vision and business objectives established for the effort and also best practices for redesigning a process. This is a critical step for setting expectations and priming participants to be focused and productive.  These efforts usually result in process changes that require workflow changes, technology enhancements or replacements as needed, changes in org structure and/or reporting structure, and significant improvements in the culture for accountability and getting results through new controls and decisions rights.

Critical Success Factor: Forget funding and forget the limitations you think you have. Nothing can be more destructive than to capture, consider, and discuss current state limitations during a future state redesign workshop.

For either scenario you will need to confirm all of the right people are present. Yes, inviting a large number of people can be problematic, but only when sessions are not segmented and participants are not prepared correctly. The effort should be broken into multiple working sessions with careful preparation. We have successfully completed in just one to three weeks what takes teams months at a time due to poor planning, over documentation, and bureaucracy.

It’s important to make sure that all stakeholder pain points are discussed, but also within the context of the Business Value Linkage Dashboard so that participants shed unwanted bias and focus on the objectives of the effort. This will keep the team focused on the highest priority areas of opportunity.

The length of the workshops will vary, but the overall timeline for achieving a future state design is usually just one week. We leverage our proprietary FutureWeekTM process to engage stakeholders in a series of well-planned working sessions that allow us to completely and successfully redesign our clients’ future state business processes and capabilities. In some cases, it can be done in a mere day or two.

Documentation in either scenario is key. Often times, in an effort to anticipate documentation needs later on during build activities, teams over-document and find themselves wasting valuable workshop time focusing on finer details that usually cloud more strategic opportunities and lure people back into focusing on the limitations of the future state.

At NEOS, we have a proprietary set of deliverables that we begin during the redesign sessions and complete over the following week. Our clients end up with a concise set of proprietary tools and documents that enable leaders and project teams to engage in immediate process-improvement initiatives. Details include key people, process and technology enablers, gaps in current-state process, impacts, risks, the right level process designs. Project teams know exactly where to start and do not have to ask for more information.

In close, redesigning for the future state doesn’t have to take weeks or even months. By leveraging the outputs from the Strategy Phase, preparing the right pre-workshop materials, clearly articulating the ground rules for the working sessions, and completing carefully defined deliverables, teams can quickly reimagine the future state and executives can work in confidence that outcomes are tightly aligned to critical business objectives.