I was chatting to a potential customer recently and was trying to get behind the challenges their business was experiencing. It turned out that their challenges could be described as generally positive. The business was experiencing rapid growth while attempting to maintain the best service to its customers.
This might be described as business continuity issues one of the major challenges all businesses go through when expanding or contracting. If a business wants to go from small to big or vice versa it must move through a transformation process. This process should encompass the entire organisation from people and management to systems, tools and processes.
In his best-selling book Good to Great, Jim Collins describes the fundamental attributes a business must possess to make the transition from mediocrity to greatness and includes such things as; calculated risk taking, flexibility and buying into change.
For the purposes of defining the work this could be interpreted as strategic planning, future proofing or contingency planning. But whatever you call it, it comes down to good business judgement.
The key here is to be able to foresee business needs and risks in a way that assists the business to plan future work, avoid bottlenecks and deal with staffing and customer demands. If you can deliver on this you are on your way to increasing your business capability and ‘doing more business’.
First consider, in a non-technical way, how you as a business owner would handle business expansion. This might look like the following:
- Understand the cause of growth
- Keep customer experience a priority
- Be open to adapting
- Measure staffing needs
- Identify needed skills and upskill staff
Next consider the above work as a set of projects to be rolled out as a program of work to deliver on your strategic objective. Follow these steps:
- Describe your strategic objective or outcome – solve business continuity issues to take on more business and support customers
- Identify the projects – report on future business trends -business needs assessments – risk analysis and reporting structures – customer support needs gap report – staffing needs gap report – systems needs gap report – skills identification and training roll out
- Deliver on the projects – set up a project office
In fact the project office can assist in the identification of the business needs gaps and the identification of projects to deliver on the strategic goals not wait to be handed them if set up with business continuity in mind.
The strategic objective here is to get more business done and if this is written into your plans say for 2019, the identification of how you get there will follow on and can be delivered effectively and with efficiency leveraging a project office.
The project office can be virtual and come from your existing line management people some new skills and knowledge to boot offering permanent value to your business.