While various companies have made great strides in improving their efficiency and creating real, tangible results in terms of productivity gains, financial organizations seem to have done this despite the fact that they continue to do a notoriously poor job of evaluating and improving their processes. But with all of the regulatory changes thrust upon us the past few years and the lost revenue that will accompany them, there has never been a better time to focus intently on what banks can control: how work gets done in our own shops.
Many bankers have made attempts at process improvement and reengineering, and many feel the results have been mediocre at best. At Cornerstone, we have found five key elements that consistently permeate process-driven organizations:
Granted, these examples of executing on a process improvement initiative seem simplistic on the surface, but, to be blunt, we rarely see anyone that has been able to put JUST these five pieces together. Doing so can mean improvements ranging from minor efficiency gains in a single department to 30%-40% overall productivity gains across the organization. So, before quickly dismissing these thoughts or breaking out the fountain pen to sign a project proposal for the latest and greatest system, GonzoBankers will take a good look at how they’re doing things today. Some of the best organizations we see aren’t performing exceptionally because they are comparing their processes to others – it’s because they focus on doing their internal processes the best way THEY can.
How an organization designs and executes its business processes is an important competitive differentiator. Cornerstone Advisors helps organizations develop a disciplined approach to process improvement that can identify not only short-term financial improvement opportunities but, more importantly, improvements that are in alignment with the organization’s overall strategy. Cornerstone can also provide training and tools to enable process improvements to continue with internal resources.
2 thoughts on “5 Tips for Becoming a Process-Driven Organization”
Building off of what Daryl mentioned in the posting, productivity enhancement continues to be a hot button issue in banks. Sometimes it is difficult to identify the tangible benefits until after a required investment (whether human capital or financial expenditure) is made, thus creating somewhat of a ‘catch 22’ scenario. In our niche, many banks identify automation of document tracking (via an electronic management system) as a priority. However, some institutions are unable to pull the trigger regardless of the ROI calculations we present. In some respects, it may seem logical to keep the “status quo” for the short term; however, long term productivity enhancements are certainly being sacrificed.
While I agree that going Big Bang is a monumental undertaking, there have been organizations that made this work such as Toyota, GE and Motorola.
One key sucess factor that is missing from the above commentary is the linkage to strategy. Unless these initiatives are clearly linked to supporting key strategic objectives, performance drivers and voice of the customer they are doomed to be the flavour of the month. Driving the consistency and efficiency of processes that don’t add value to customers will not make a business successful.
Organizations need to start managing their processes as important assets that need to provide value in the eyes of their customers….anything else is navel gazing !