In today’s world, most successful companies implement some type of accounting software. After all, when we take in money, we have to account for how it moves and what ultimately happens to it. But what truly defines a company’s ability to execute in an efficient manner is how they do things with their software. We call these “things” business processes, and – whatever degree of success a business already enjoys – there always seems to be room for improvement!
It’s one thing to recognize that you need change, and that gaps exist in your processes. It’s another thing entirely to make the commitment to execute positive change for your organization. How do you effectively start down this important road?
I always argue that everything starts at the top. If your organization has buy in – from key leadership or stakeholders or both – that becoming more efficient in the way you do business is a priority, you have already taken the first step toward implementing change. Furthermore, improving your company’s efficiency will have an amazing effect on everyone else in the organization. If people's jobs become easier to perform, and if they become more effective at those jobs, then their morale will improve. This has a ripple effect that can spread all the way to the people you do business with. After all, isn’t customer service the lifeline of your business?
So it’s agreed: change is necessary, and you are now committed to it. Yet defining and understanding business processes is not your company's specialty. Where do you find this skill set? In almost all cases, those same professionals who collaborated with you on your successful accounting software implementation will be the best place to begin. They’re already familiar with your business, and in most cases they have years of experience examining the processes of companies just like yours. They can offer a wealth of knowledge and help bring positive change to your business.
So how does a Business Process Analysis work?
Your Trusted Advisor, probably better known to you as the folks that support your accounting software, will work with you and your team to gather all the necessary information about your current business processes and identify opportunities where needed change might best be applied. Understanding the dynamics of those opportunities and clearly comprehending the impact that change will bring the organization is the power of a Business Process Analysis.
In his article, The Principle of Change, Stories of Learning and Leading, George Couros uses excerpts from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why to help articulate how a struggling business can come to understand their purpose and develop an environment for change. He poignantly states, “You can’t change people. What you do is create an environment around them that helps them change themselves.” Doesn’t that sound empowering?
Here are some helpful steps that will assist in understanding how this works:
- What is the gap or pain in the existing process?
- What is it comprehensively costing the business?
- How can we institute change to solve this “pain gap”?
- How will change truly benefit the organization?
- What will it cost us if we do nothing?
I hope that just reading those five questions has already generated ideas in your head for your own organization. It is a very powerful event to commit to the evolution of change.
The time spent as a group addressing each of the uncovered opportunities for change will empower the entire team and create excitement for the path embarking down ahead. By exposing the financial and personal burdens these painful issues are causing, and by empowering your team to participate in this positive change, you will do much more than immediately influence the bottom line. You’ll create a new and powerful culture within the organization. As George and Simon explain, “People are less likely to tear down a culture that they have helped build. Not only will they not want to tear it down, they will want it to grow.”
Now that’s truly powerful!