The promise and opportunity of gaining a competitive advantage through profitable scale offshore is proven. However, the reality is that only 50% of Australian SME companies realise success offshore.
The dream of a more scalable workforce and an extended capability are not without risk. Most discussions in the offshore planning phase are around people, geographical locations and BPO providers. It’s often not until later on that companies realise the importance of process.
Process isn’t just a ‘nice to have’. It’s essential for a successful offshore team and absolutely required to scale. We often hear clients asking – What is the best way to create process? How can we embed a culture of process in our organisation?
Here is our process improvement methodology that we’ve found effective in managing and transferring knowledge to remote teams.
Step 1 – Strategy and Prioritisation
Meet with your key decision makers and stakeholders to identify and agree on your high level goals and the business outcomes you expect from this offshore initiative. We often recommend prioritising process by defining the functions in your business that are already ‘ripe’ for offshore or based on your current resource constraints or bottlenecks in delivery.
Step 2 – Process Analysis
Here we suggest a combination of workshops, interviews and discussion with subject matter experts to deep dive and capture the end-to-end processes that have been identified as priority and identify the phases of each process that can be offshored. For the process analysis step the overarching goal is to standardise a single point of truth on how processes are currently executed in your business.
Step 3 – Procedure Capture
Documenting process is great, but recording and capturing the mechanics of how each procedure step in your process is executed is even better. It makes training and knowledge sharing much more simple and easy to follow.
Step 4 – Live Workflow & Platform Integration
This step brings your process to life by linking the ‘how’ material with your workflow. It’s an extremely important step to take so you can see how each step relates to each other and can be used as a management tool delivering real time visibility. If you don’t have a developer resource (and lets face it, most companies don’t) it can be tricky to implement on your own.
Step 5 – KPI definition and dashboard build
How do you recognise success? By measuring your performance. The obvious things are things like speed and quality of output, but often organisations have additional measures they like to monitor. By being able to track individual and company performance allows management to set productivity expectations and fine-tune their actions for better productivity.
Process improvement is an investment, but it’s worthwhile in getting right. We work with over 300 companies throughout Australia and the Philippines, helping get process right and we so often hear people say “Its easier to just do it myself” as they do not have the systems or confidence to pass additional task to their offshore team. The investment dividends are paid off when you can confidently pass work to your offshore team. This allows your key people onshore move from being ‘doers’ to ‘reviewers’ and means they can focus on revenue generating tasks.