“We have to stop optimizing for programmers and start optimizing for users."
– Jeff Atwood, software developer & entrepreneur
OPTIMIZE, as we define it, focuses on aligning people, processes, and technology to drive improved organizational performance. It concentrates on maximizing the capabilities of your current technology, streamlining and aligning your processes to work synergistically with your technology, and making sure that your employees have the knowledge and skills to execute the processes to the best of their abilities.
When you Optimize, it improves efficiency and effectiveness of your organization resulting in improved performance and business outcomes. Targeted Optimization can be used to improve the performance of specific areas or processes within your organization. Here is a sample of potential optimization services:
Process Improvement - A current state assessment/measurement of existing process(es) along with design facilitation, implementation and adoption of improved process(es).
Project Rescue - A corrective action plan development and execution to get the project back on track. (Project Rescue should be combined with a Project Health Assessment to fully evaluate and determine Project Rescue as the correct path to take for your project.).
Application Optimization - A process to identify opportunities to optimize processes and software to address current pain points to avoid significant expense associated with acquiring new software.
Application/Process Adoption - A current state assessment of readiness and level of adoption. It provides a full scope of change management services to drive adoption to the desired level.
Optimize for Change
In 2011, a health technology company launched a multi-year optimization journey to improve change and performance management. Optimizing these processes enabled them to be more customer-focused, create lean end-to-end customer value chains, standardize their operating model, drive growth, and build a performance culture.
How We Help You OPTIMIZE
Our typical role during the optimization phase is that of guide, project manager, process analyst, technology liaison, and organizational change management adviser. We believe that you are the experts in your business and with our guidance, knowledge, skills, and methods, together, we will identify root cause(s) to performance gaps and develop and implement solutions to close those gaps.
Adjustments are typically required around people (How consistently and effectively the processes are being used?), processes (Are the processes efficient, effective, and aligned with the technology?), and technology (Is the technology configured to take full advantage of its capabilities?).
OPTIMIZE BEST PRACTICES
CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS
Focus on specific gaps/opportunities
Start with a clear picture of what success looks like
Ensure project governance and a project plan is in place
Leverage appropriate methods and tools for process improvement and change management - bring in expertise when necessary
Measure results and adjust as necessary until you achieve the desired results
Leverage 3rd party expertise, methods, and tools where appropriate
Alignment between key stakeholders and leadership
Involve the right people with expertise in your technology, process improvement, and organization change management
Run the work effort as a project with appropriate focus and discipline
Involve all key stakeholders in analyzing the data for insights and recommendations
Continuous focus on the desired outcomes
RETAIL ACCOUNTING PROCESS IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
The Challenge: The client’s retail accounting processes had become increasingly inefficient, impacting the labor and technology cost to the organization. They needed to quantify a “business case for change” to address the identified inefficiencies.
The Solution: A catalog of processes were reviewed, current processes and pain points of functional teams were documented, and process analysis was performed to identify gaps and inefficiencies.
The Result: An executive summary was presented, and leadership agreed to fund a project to examine the technology infrastructure that was supporting the retail accounting group.
STANDARDIZING A PMO FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
The Challenge: The client’s goal was to establish the foundation for a standardized, measurable, predictable, and repeatable project management practice for the professional services organization.
The Solution: An initial assessment of the client’s professional services methodology and standards was performed by interviewing project managers, support staff, and leadership team. The project management methodology was modified to include people, processes, and technology adaptation.
The Result: MSSBTA developed and implemented project management standardization with consistent templates and toolkits and provided coaching and training to make program changes fully operational. Project, program, and portfolio reporting and executive dashboards along with a PMO roadmap for adoption were put in place.