How to Embed Business Excellence (BE) Framework in an Organization
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Business excellence is a journey of consistent efforts to excel in every aspect of your business viz: Customer, Financials, Product/Service, Processes and People. We are going to discuss it at a stretch and try to understand how to implement it.
It is a tool or model which helps you to assess health of your organization and supports with prescription to improve it.
One of the most popular misconception about BE is, it is relevant to only bigger and established organizations. It is not so. BE is relevant to any and every business however small it may be and whichever business you are into. BE is relevant to all types and sizes of businesses.
Why it is Needed?
All businesses have one core objective, that is to create wealth by offering/creating better life experiences to their customers.
BE framework or I would say a mindset, helps you to focus on this core objective and thereby ensure
Transformational and Sustainable growth of your business
Your business remains competitive all the time
Help you to sustain your business in adversities of VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world
If you think this is what you want for your business, then adopt business excellence framework without any delay.
There are many BE models or frameworks available today and one may get confused, which one to be chosen amongst them. What one needs to understand here is all models and frameworks are configured around simple concept of TWAR.
T > Thoughts – How high you want to fly in your business and what is possibility to grow? (This is how your thoughts are plotted around defining Vision, Mission, Values and Culture of your organization)
W > Words – From Vision and Mission you may define business objectives for 1-year term (Short Term Business Plan), these objectives are further cascaded as functional and individual goals. With the focus on objectives, define all your business processes, and link performance parameters to each critical aspect of business success (CSFs – Critical success factors)
A > Actions – All business actions/activities should be aligned and integrated to Thought and Words attributes mapped as explained above. An action review mechanism to be put in place to assess this alignment. We need to ensure continuous dialogue on performance at every level and every opportunity to boost actions.
R > Results – Estimated business results are tracked, evaluated and calibrated periodically (quarterly) on various parameters viz: Financials, Customer, Business processes (Cost, Quality and Time) and People capability to deliver. These results should provide you accurate insights about alignment in business w.r.t. Thoughts > Words > Action mapping explained above. Results should also provide you information on changes to be adopted at Thought, Words and Action levels as necessary.
How to Embed BE in Your Business:
All BE models/framework have a common prerequisite i.e. conduct comprehensive diagnostics of your business. It is very similar to a person going for annual health checkup and monitoring vital parameters of individual health.
In organization this diagnostic study is generally conducted by third party viz: OD experts or BE assessors. Diagnostics process has four elements:
This process is vital to analyze visible symptoms of your business. OD expert links symptoms to the causes and design solutions for each of the identified cause. Impact of the solutions is always estimated on change in business results.
Once these solutions are designed and deliberated amongst key people of your business, the priority should be set for implementing the solutions. This priority is based on impact and urgency assigned to solutions by key people in your business.
Priority setting should further lead you to assessment and upgradation of all legacy business processes that have become obsolete and irrelevant to your business growth. If you ignore this, your business may not migrate to the next level.
Next logical step of deployment is to develop capabilities of people. You will require different capabilities of people to realize expected exponential business growth. Best way to develop people capabilities is to provide them exposure, train, coach and mentor them consistently. People capability development need to be considered as an investment and not as an expense. This is what organizations do when they adopt Business excellence as practice.
Last but not the least, leadership team need to deploy priority solutions through projects assigned to cross functional teams with ownership and accountability.
Effectiveness of business excellence initiatives is assessed on A D E model with balanced short term and long-term indicators.
A= Approach, D= Deployment and E = Evaluation and Improvement