Eight Critical Factors for Successful and Sustainable Execution of Digital Transformation

Eight Critical Factors for Successful and Sustainable Execution of Digital Transformation

 

Ensure the Success of the Digital Transformation of your Organization with these 8 Key Factors.  Establish a new perspective for your business and race ahead.

Customers today want a consistent experience when dealing with organizations. It doesn’t matter which channel they use – online or offline: they want a unified experience. Sadly, organizations often deliver a disconnected experience, making their customers feel disengaged.

It’s no surprise that a recent study revealed the following:

  • By the year 2020, customer experience will emerge as the key brand differentiator, overtaking pricing and product quality.
  • A sizeable 86% of consumers today are willing to pay more if a brand offers them enhanced customer experience.
  • Moreover, 73% of customers state CX (Customer Experience) plays a key role in influencing purchase decisions, and 65% believe a positive experience interacting with the brand works more than advertising.

This entirely means that organizations who continue with business, as usual, are on the verge of losing out. To stand out in the hyper-competitive market space and to deliver customer expectations efficiently, organizations have to embrace digital transformation.

The Challenges of Digital Transformation

Any transformation is hard, and digital transformations are no exception. Studies by McKinsey reveal that less than 30% of companies experience a successful digital conversion. Moreover, a mere 16% of respondents state that digital transformations helped them improve performance. Additionally, 7% of respondents indicate that while digital transformations improved performance, they were not able to sustain the improvements in the long term.

Critical Factors for a Successful and Sustainable Digital Transformation

Taking a “technology-first” approach to digital transformation is NOT the right recipe for success. Instead, businesses should focus on digital transformation with a customer-centric goal in mind. We present a few key factors that help you achieve digital transformation in the best possible way.

  • Orientation: Begin by establishing a new perspective to your organization. If your business has been focusing on internal practices, then it’s time to prioritize your focus on customer demands, expectations, and needs.
  • Objectives: Define the purpose of digital transformation. Set overall and granular goals – what specific areas do you want to improve by going digital? What metrics are you planning to use to measure results? By setting quantifiable objectives, your digital transformation process becomes easier.
  • People: Move your business from a goal-based organization to a people-based one. Start by understanding the behaviors, expectations, and values of customers. Digital transformation success is only possible when it occurs at all levels – right from the leadership to the management team to the employees. Ensure that your entire company is aware of and aligned with your digital goals and strategies.
  • Processes: Assess your operations and infrastructure, and update technologies, policies, and processes to match your digital strategy. Begin with the customer service team. Make it unified, collaborative, and technology-driven to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
  • Structure: Create a dedicated digital experience team with specific roles, responsibilities, and accountability to give a structural approach to digital transformation. Ensure that the team is aware of your digital objectives.
  • Data and Insights: Gather and apply data to help guide your digital transformation. Data plays a crucial role in enhancing customer experience journeys. Additionally, data also enables you to evaluate the success and results of the digital transformation, helping you make changes wherever needed.
  • Technology: Re-evaluate all your technology – back-end as well as the front-end – to deliver a seamless, integrated customer and employee experience. Technology is your biggest ally in meeting and delivering increasing customer expectations. Look for technologies that are sustainable and work out in the long term.
  • Execution: This is where you implement the digital transformation. Remember that you may have to adapt and modify your implementations to keep your organization ahead of the rest and to meet all your digital goals.

Digital Transformation Is More than Technology Revamping

Digital transformation is an all-around transformation of your business, gearing it to meet the present and future demands. When planning your digital transformation strategy, keep these crucial factors in mind and help your organization handle it successfully and sustainably

Sources:

Hortense de la Boutetière, 2018, Unlocking success in digital transformations, Retrieved from: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/unlocking-success-in-digital-transformations

Walker, 2017, CUSTOMERS 2020: A PROGRESS REPORT, Retrieved from: https://www.walkerinfo.com/knowledge-center/featured-research-reports/customers-2020-a-progress-report

Chander Sharma
Founder and Managing Partner,
bizXL Solutions

Creating Organizations that are Built to Last: 360° Sustainability of Business Operations

Creating Organizations that are Built to Last: 360° Sustainability of Business Operations

From traditional behemoth corporations to emerging businesses and startups, organizations of all sizes are focusing on business sustainability as a critical strategy for growth. Read further to learn more on how to adopt a 360° approach to business sustainability and why it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve.

What is Sustainability?

According to the Brundtland Commission’s definition of the term in 1987, “Sustainability is the practice of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

What is Business Sustainability?

Business Sustainability is a planned approach for creating long-term value for businesses by evaluating how the business operations impact the economic, social, and ecological environment. Sustainable business practices not only ensure that the companies enjoy longevity, but also help in boosting revenues and profitability.

The Triple Bottom Line of Sustainable Businesses

When embracing sustainable practices, businesses have to develop a three-pronged strategy, known as the three Ps:

  • Profit – Improve long-term profitability and maximize business growth
  • People – Support employee growth and well-being, while building social equity
  • Planet – Practice business operations that preserve the environment, while conserving natural resources

Thus, sustainable businesses adopt a holistic view of business, placing equal emphasis on Profit, People, and Planet. This three-pronged approach is known as “triple bottom line” and was introduced by John Elkington in 1994.

Why Should Your Business Focus on Sustainable Practices?

Sustainability is all about protecting your business from the risks it faces today, while ensuring that it has the right tools to meet the challenges and reap the opportunities of tomorrow. Sustainability plays a crucial role in ensuring that your business has a long-term outlook.

Sustainability is not just about mitigating risks like a rise in energy prices, tackling climate change, complex supply chains, and other risks. It does all that and more; it helps your business meet future customer needs while racing ahead of your competitors, building your brand image, and above all, improving your bottom line.

Top Benefits of Sustainability for Your Business

  • Meet present and future customer needs, while gaining a marketing advantage
  • Improve brand value and brand recognition
  • Ensure business longevity and continuity
  • Increase resource efficiency and cost-efficiency
  • Profit from a platform for business innovation
  • Enjoy operational excellence and total business transformation
  • Strengthen stakeholder relations
  • Understand and capitalize on the emerging trends in your Industry

How to Implement Sustainable Business Practices through the 360° Sustainability Program

Overview

The 360° Sustainability Program from bizXL conducts a comprehensive assessment of both your business processing operations as well as your energy, water waste solutions by suggesting efficient green solutions that help you reduce operational costs and improve your overall efficiency as well as suggesting business process improvements.

The Process

A team of professionals with years of experience and expertise in all areas of business operations like manufacturing, financial management, and environmental management conducts a top-to-down field assessment of your business/industrial facility, to identify areas that can be made sustainable.

The team then creates a cost-effective strategy that helps in enhancing the industrial efficiency of your organization, while helping you meet your sustainability goals. Additionally, bizXL also works to help you acquire some funding (pls refer note) support from NY State for your sustainable measures, thereby helping you reduce the overall costs associated with the project.

The team from bizXL uses the highly successful TBE™ (Total Business Excellence) model to help your business gain a sustainable competitive advantage over your competitors while ensuring that all stakeholders receive the maximum benefits possible.

Adopt a Well-Planned Sustainable Strategy for Your Business Today

Moving from ad-hoc initiatives to a well-planned and well-researched sustainable business strategy is no mean task. It requires expert planning, thoughtful implementation, and the right guidance. Get in touch with bizXL, a leading business management consulting services provider for a customized sustainable business strategy, tailored to your specific needs.

Remember that sustainability is not just about creating value for the society and the environment; it does wonders for your business bottom line as well.

Note:  This is applicable for businesses that meet NYS requirements

Sources:

Chander Sharma
Founder and Managing Partner,
bizXL Solutions

Four Common Reasons Why Enterprise Digital Transformations Fail

Four Common Reasons Why Enterprise Digital Transformations Fail

While businesses agree that digital transformation is imperative, few are able to successfully implement. Check out the top reasons why so many digital transformations fail.

Digital Transformation is currently one of the most trending phrases in the business world. Irrespective of whether the company is a Fortune 500 giant with decades of experience or a small startup with just a handful of employees – many enterprises are in the midst of some form of digital transformation.

They leverage the power of cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, AI, machine learning, big data, and others to provide customers with an enhanced experience and to streamline internal operations and processes.

The Hard Truth about Digital Transformations

Not all digital transformations are successful. In fact, many are failing outright. Numbers that illustrate this includes:

  • Over 70% of digital transformations fail
  • One in five executives believes that digital transformation is a waste of time.
  • More than half of 400 polled executives in the US stated that their companies aren’t executing digital strategies successfully.

As is evident, the success rate of digital transformation is sobering. Let’s take a closer look at key reasons that derail digital transformation.

Top Reasons for Not Getting Digital Transformations Right

Reason #1: Lack of Consensus on What Digital Transformation Means

According to Wipro Digital, over 35% of executives cite the lack of a coherent idea and strategy as one of the main barriers to attaining success in digital transformation. For instance, your operations team may view digital transformation as a way to enhance efficiency, while the marketing team may consider it a means to increase customer engagement.

Step One in your digital transformation should be to, set up a clear strategy,  define your objectives, then, communicate this relentlessly with your entire team to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Reason #2: Lack of Support from the Board

Digital transformation is a massive enterprise-level process, and it requires the support of both the executives and the board. When the board and other top-level stakeholders are not involved in the process, it delays the transformation process, with constant requirements for approval and validation.

To avoid this, ensure that the executive team pitches the idea of the transformation and the goals to the board, to get them to agree to it completely. Remember that digital transformation is not something that concerns only a few departments like the IT and sales teams. Instead, it’s an enterprise-level transformation practice that requires support and commitment at all levels.

Reason #3: You understand the “Why’s” but Fail to Define the “How’s”

Very often, companies realize that they are in need of digital transformation, but are clueless on how to proceed. What must be changed? Which changes should be made first? How to bring about these changes? What policies have to be updated and which processes have to be eliminated?

These are crucial questions to be addressed. One of the main reasons for the failure of digital transformations is that companies approach it with strategies that aren’t aligned with the short-term and long-term goals.

Begin your digital transformation process by identifying your objectives and goals. Work out what you plan to achieve, and then devise a complete roadmap for the process before getting started.

Reason #4: Lack the Right Talent and Resources

Digital transformations require new talent. You may need to add several new people to the team, including software engineers, data analysts, product managers, AI experts, user experience managers, and others. Tackling digital transformation by assigning additional roles and responsibilities to the existing staff is a common method for failure.

Similar to human talent, the success of your digital transformation largely depends on the available resources. Digital transformations can die a slow death if you are consistently being held back due to operational costs and budget for implementation.

Before you launch the implementation, ensure that you have access to the required talent and the necessary resources.

Reason #5: Digital Transformation Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Successful conversion to digital is a lengthy process. You have to initiate with a well-defined strategy, inculcate an organization-wide commitment, and then work out the right implementation and execution. An instant overhaul to digital is not possible and may not deliver the expected long-term results. Remember that digital transformation takes time to embrace and adopt, but the results are well worth the efforts.

Sources:

Chander Sharma
Founder and Managing Partner,
bizXL Solutions

Operational Innovation: Going beyond Operational Excellence to Touch New Heights

Improving operational efficiency has been a constant quest for enterprises in their attempt to cut costs for staying competitive in the market. This practice, known as operational excellence, has served businesses across various sectors well until now. However, the traditional approach to bettering operations is no longer enough to survive and thrive in today’s global marketplace. To gain an edge over the competition, an enterprise needs to do much more. The rapidly evolving business world of today requires a company to go beyond operational excellence and apply the new powerful weapon available to them: operational innovation.

Operational Excellence vs. Operational Innovation

Operational excellence entails enhancing performance by reforming the existing processes and procedures for reducing errors and eliminating wasteful steps. This process delivers results, but the gains are limited. There is a limit to how much a process or procedure can be improved.

The procedures and processes must change fundamentally to break free of such limitations. A company must re-imagine the entire way the work is carried out, and that is where operational innovation delivers. Operational innovation drives change at the core of how the work is accomplished within an organization. Unlike operational excellence, which is single-faceted, operational innovation impacts how a company functions in its entirety. It requires strategic adjustments in the very structure of the enterprise, which requires changes in management strategies to adjust to a newer way of doing things.

The Step-by-Step Approach to Operational Innovation

Operational innovation is an immensely powerful tool that can deliver exceptional results. However, a company may find it difficult to implement systemic changes. Proper guidance coupled with coordination among the diverse organization levels can help to overcome the challenge of accomplishing such changes. Developing a clear step-by-step approach can make this transition easier and smoother as well as maximize the benefits. The five-step approach to operational innovation includes:

1. Envisioning the Impossible: Overturning the established habits set by tradition can be a daunting task. To break out of the constraints of conventional wisdom, one must set seemingly impossible targets. Envisioning the impossible generates the top-level brainstorming required to rise above incremental improvements and effect outstanding transformation.

2. Looking Over and Above Your Industry: Looking for answers within the benchmarks of your industry will only deliver more of the same. Observing the seemingly different industries and finding a way to adopt the strategies that have worked for them will provide you with an advantage over your competitors by enabling operational innovation in areas that have been overlooked by others.

3. Eliminating the Assumed Constraints: The existing methodologies within an organization, and even across the industry, are based on certain assumptions that place constraints on what can or cannot be changed. Operational innovation requires identifying and eliminating these assumptions to pave the way for new breakthroughs. The shift in the thought frameworks will help generate unique ideas that lead to true excellence.

4. Adopting a Critical Need Attitude in Normal Times: A company finds it easy to think out of the box and bring about unprecedented changes in critical times when its survival depends on it. During times of stability, though, making such changes becomes a huge struggle. Maintaining the attitude of urgency even during a steady phase and evaluating the key drivers that make innovation easy during instability will lead to groundbreaking solutions.

5. Rethinking the Critical Elements of Work: The final step toward operational innovation involves the insights gained through implementing the four steps above and applying it to rethink the methods of completing the critical elements of work. This requires a thorough analysis of the entire workflow: when, where, and what is done by whom for the end result. Only a thorough understanding of these dimensions can enable you to re-imagine a creative solution for the transition to a leading-edge operational solution.

Sustaining Continued Advancement

Dealing with opposition from the higher-ups in the hierarchy who want to play it safe and overcoming the difficulties in the way of implementation are the next steps on this journey. Operational innovation is a change that perpetuates multiple further changes. It is a step toward evolving to a whole new level where an enterprise finds itself in a position to generate additional changes and continued advancements. Adopting this culture can turn an enterprise into a frontrunner that keeps changing the rules while the competition tries to catch up.

Work from Home: Forced from 20% to 85% by COVID 19: Implications and Way Forward

The global workspace was very different a few years back, working remotely was an exception, not the norm. Technology has been developing so quickly that virtual workspaces are becoming more common. The current famous work-from-home trend has transformed the typical workspace. This digital transformation has surged even more than it would have been because of the outbreak of COVID-19. The world was under lockdown for several months. Therefore, the number of employees that have to telecommute suddenly skyrocketed. The whole North American marketplace jumped from a 20% remote workforce (before COVID-19) to 85% overnight, in a tremendous effort to control the spread of the virus.

Remote work was initially a challenge for so many industries, but recently it has proven that the advantages outnumber the concerns of this booming trend. Flexibility from both the employer and the employee is of outmost importance. Employees like to be independent, mostly regarding location, and their schedule. From the other side, employers are always looking to cut costs and at the same time be able to hire the most suitable person for each position regardless of where the candidate is located. Several studies show that remote work is currently one of the most valuable employment perks for workers in North America.

Does remote work support or harm productivity?

It is quite difficult to answer this question. Managers tend to think that in-office settings are ideal to control employees and therefore maintain operational efficiencies at high levels. There was a fear surrounding employees working remotely full-time. This fear was based on the fact that employees cannot be monitored physically throughout the day. There was a perception that working from home or any other location might increase distractions and drive down operational efficiencies and therefore, productivity. However, recent studies by Stanford revealed that remote workers were around 13% more productive than traditional office employees, especially after the lockdown was imposed. Organizations also overlooked the fact that working remotely decreases the number of sick days utilized as they do not physically interact with many people, transmitting any virus. Organizing daily tasks and activities to suit the most productive time of each day is also boosting efficiency, productivity and the quality of work. It is eventually found through several studies that remote work is related to fewer distractions because the interaction with colleagues regarding irrelevant topics is minimized. Efficiency also is greatly achieved as most of the employees working remotely in North America feel that there is better work-life balance. Proving that, Airtasker found through a survey of 1,004 full-time employees, of whom 505 are working remotely, that remote workers are far more productive. Remote workers currently work an additional 1.4 more days per month. The same study revealed that there are quite a few less distractions as the unproductive per day is reduced by around 27%. There are still some concerns and fears from some executives regarding the long-term results in productivity, in case remote work continues to be the norm for a long time. However, the current stats show that remote work does support productivity and operational efficiencies.

Cutting costs: the strongest motive to continue remote work 

As the global economy saw a drastic plunge, due to massive lockdowns, a major concern was how organizations will survive through this unprecedented crisis. A study by Global Workforce Analytics revealed the surprising potential of saving $2,000 to $7,000 from remote workers. Cutting costs now functions as a strong motivator to let people working remotely even after the pandemic. Breaking down the costs from the employee’s side, savings on commuting, clothing, food and child care are substantial. Travelling expenses were high for both the employer and the employee. Expensive lunches or dinners at restaurants to strengthen collaborator’s and customer relationships are no longer considered necessary. Apart from that, an important benefit that organizations see now is the ability to save on office rent, utilities, and maintenance costs. In addition, employers support that remote work increases employee retention and loyalty which lowers the cost of training for new employees and hiring processes.

Remote work is transformed through surprising trends

  • The rise of a “hybrid” transformation design or model, combining in-office and remote work, presented as the optimal solution to tackle work isolation and communication challenges, two major concerns regarding remote work
  • The constant development and growth of remote work software and services along with constant improvements of cyber-security tools
  • The increase of Generation-Z employees coming into the workforce, benefiting organizations because of advanced digital skills and online training, developed lately through online education
  • An ongoing concern regarding the severe lack of preparation (management practices and technology acquisition) from the employer’s side due to the sudden work-from-home shift
  • After the Kung Group surveyed more than 500 founders of venture-backed companies, 70% of founders will let a great majority of employees or even all, continue working from home
  • The same survey also reveals that 76% of those founders argued productivity has increased after employees started working remotely

The “Work-from-Home” trend, developing fast in the financial services industry

Remote work is very effective for many industries, as well for financial services. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, flexible remote work was the exception even for this industry which is developing fast in terms of innovation and technology. It was not a significant transformation design that financial institutions were following and definitely not an essential part of their corporate strategy. On the contrary, after the outbreak of the virus, the work settings changed radically and are predicted to continue moving towards that direction even after this crisis. Breaking this down in numbers, before COVID-19, only 29% of Financial Services executives had around 60% of their employees working from home at least once per week. Moving on to the outbreak of COVID-19, this percentage of executives jumped into 69%, according to PWC research. Financial services employees embrace this change very well, 86% of them support this new reality. However, comparing to other industries, the percentage of employees that are willing to continue working remotely on a full-time basis is only at 35% for the financial services industry.  Experts say that this may still increase over the next several months, so it is not a definite number that we should stick to for long. Balancing flexibility and the need of being in-office should be within the core of current concerns in any financial institution. In this way, communication and productivity challenges can be tackled. Productivity is currently not the major challenge as it is continuously increasing within financial services, but coaching and collaboration remain a struggle. The main reasons that employees said they may not be willing to continue working remotely full-time is difficulties in collaborating with colleagues and managers and getting the right information on time. Coaching remote teams remains a concern as it is not as efficient as in the in-office environment, playing a critical role in providing high-quality customer experience.

Change management and agile development should continuously be embraced by all institutions in building resilient and efficient virtual-office systems. This will help optimize customer experience, as the success always lies at servicing the customer smoothly without any interruptions or concerns in order to make remote work successful.

The development of business consulting for remote work practices

Consulting is now extremely helpful while companies are trying to move operations where needed to remote work settings. As consulting supports, allowing only remote work will not be successful until there is a holistic adoption of that practice. Confirming compliance is the first step towards this successful adoption as a certain form of agreement may be needed between the employer and the employee regarding the new work settings and processes. Consultants also argue that optimizing tracking of the work being done every day is equally important as the compliance, which targets high levels of productivity and efficiency. This kind of tracking may include regular virtual communication, helping to prevent employee isolation. In addition, consulting is now helpful when organizations need to hire remote workers. Each organization needs a piece of advice when it comes to identifying which positions are the best for hiring remote workers, which role components will form an effective remote working model, and what are the characteristics needed for the best candidate. After hiring, coaching is another aspect of remote work that might be different than it was traditionally. Strategic coaching, prioritizing what the organization will inspire to its employees, is directed through the right consulting advice.  Above all, each organization should become a “remote-friendly” company if its goal is to have an effective transition to remote work. However, there is a newly conceived concept that organizations should now go beyond and become “remote-first” companies, instead of “remote friendly” ones, especially when organizations apply a hybrid model, having both in-office and remote workers.

Remote-Friendly Remote-First
Allowed to work remotely Empowered to work remotely
Synchronous communication Asynchronous-first communication
People and information are more accessible to people inside the office People and information are equally accessible to all employees, in-office and remote workers
Key decisions are made in-office Key decisions are discussed online where all employees can be part of decision-making
Possible bias towards promoting remote workers Equal promotion opportunities between in-office and remote employees

Do we know what is best for each organization when it comes to remote work?

Deciding on whether an organization should work entirely in a remote environment or entirely within an in-office setting or through a combination, is always up to how managers envision the corporate strategy which incorporates the “workforce system”. Whatever the organization might choose, a smart restructuring is necessary. Restructuring consulting is potentially needed, but it is certain that they should have a “conscious aspiration”. Several experts support that work-from-home is a system with various interfaces and interdependencies, which should be carefully identified and coordinated. As they set aspirations and envision the ideal work setting, they need to identify the technologies that already exist and some that should be established, human resources and the rules, norms and metrics, all making the ideal workplace. It is said that combining remote work and in-office may be beneficial for many organizations if this system is established with the right balance.

Patient Flow within the Healthcare Industry: What you need to know and why?

Patient flow is one of the most common challenges that healthcare is facing. We are seeing this even more in exceptional circumstances, such as that during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals, medical offices, and small clinics depend on maximizing operational efficiency, especially during crisis, but even in normal occasions when one healthcare organization is dedicated to retaining patients and keeping them satisfied.  Lean management is widely used by the healthcare care industry as it provides with the best directions on eliminating waste and maximizing value delivery from the customer’s (i.e. patient’s) perspective. Healthcare focuses a lot lately on continuous improvement, which is why lean methodology is a “must have” for any provider, like a hospital, a clinic or a medical office. Shared responsibility and shared leadership are two critical principles that help to continuously improve processes, purposes and people working to serve the patients in the best possible way. However, going deeper in linking lean management with efficiency, in healthcare, many organizations overlook an important aspect of lean methodology. A good idea to eliminate waste and deliver more value can be “born” at any level of the hierarchy, the key is to trust people, at any level, to generate and apply good ideas because they are the experts on finding out how they can best do the job. Therefore, critical challenges, such as patient flow efficiency, are tackled by letting people at each step of the process to figure out how to eliminate waste, it is all about sharing responsibilities and leadership, up to some extent.

According to the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, “achieving hospital-wide patient flow, and ultimately improving outcomes and the experience of care for patients, requires an appreciation of the hospital as an interconnected, interdependent system of care.”

The challenge is to find the right way to improve that experience of care for patients. Patient flow is critical for that improvement. First of all, reporting is very crucial, as patient moves from one point of contact to another. Documentation is absolutely necessary to ensure firm control and good insights regarding actions taken between departments. Documentation also allows for generating useful reports with information, in order to spot where performance, resources utilization and patient flow staggers.  Embracing the right culture of accountability could also affect patient flow, especially in smaller clinics and medical offices. Studies have shown that culture and therefore the way people interact with patients is directly influencing higher performance. Senior leaders should always set clear directions: treating people as their best resource, building trust among employees and leaders but at the same time challenging them to boost problem solving in timing, documentation, and reporting activities regarding patient flow.

Match capacity and demand. Staffing is not static anymore, so exploring different staffing models is wise. Jennifer Mensik, a former administrator for nursing and patient care at St. Luke’s Health System in Idaho, states “nurse leaders can, to some degree, control the flow of patients and staff accordingly, if they harness unit-level data to find trends and identify how they change staffing and routines to accommodate those trends.” As long as a hospital or smaller clinic has data in its hands, managers will be able to plan better and match capacity to predicted demand. The organization should take advantage of data which will be revealing capacity constraints and various demand patterns. If we match capacity and demand, we will reduce delays in patient flow. Take for instance emergency department planning, examining average and peak admissions per day in this department will assist in predicting demand and will allow for being proactive, in other words planning the amount the resources needed in order to meet both average and peak demand.

Take it as simple as possible. A simple patient flow map will help reveal time management constraints and drawbacks as also staff management challenges. The goal is to minimize waiting time and therefore maximize high-quality customer experience. A map, like that in the example below, could provide a complete assessment of the procedure a patient follows in a medical office. Call centers are essential to be efficient, answering calls as soon as possible and having the software to quickly book appointments based on the doctors’ availability. Many medical offices choose to outsource calling, this first point of customer contact because of working after hours and promptly directing other calls to the actual office. If scheduling is well managed then check in and waiting times in the reception area will create no friction and will be minimized eventually. Doctors flow in examination rooms is another challenge as it affects the wait time of patients in exam rooms. The time a doctor is with a patient in the exam room cannot be easily predicted and managed, however, if making and signing prescriptions is fast through proper technology tools, it can save up a lot of time. Then, checking out, collecting co-payments, and rescheduling appointments is considered to be a point of contact with much less friction, where it can maximize customer satisfaction while increasing the flow.

What is the actual structure of your medical office? Apart from staff and time management, we should not ignore the actual design of the medical office. Is it easy for patients to find the check-in area and follow a path towards check out? The map above should be somewhat closely linked to the office’s design. Experts suggest that medical offices that are inefficiently designed, could cause bottlenecks and subsequent delays in the patient flow, undermining the customer experience to a great extent. Patients moving in a circular motion might be the key. With that circular pattern, there are no backtracks or cross paths with other patients. Moreover, a good design allows doctors and patients to easily locate each other and effectively communicate, along with easy access to supply areas in order to set up exam rooms more quickly. The example of a large medical office design below indicates that it is important to circulate patients one way around the “support core” – the office or reception, which avoids any bottlenecks with the personal intake (check-in) and check-out. Also, the check-in and check-out points are recommended to be separate from the waiting area, as privacy is what matters the most in all points of contact inside a medical office. Comfort and efficiency are the main motives for constructing the

Why should you have a good patient flow? Reducing waste and maximizing value is critical to the customer/patient experience and the organizations’ bottom line. Reducing waste is rather a major objective as delays increase costs, and decrease staff efficiency, therefore worsening the patient experience in the medical office, which may be translated as losing business. The value that is maximized from the other side is all about utilizing resources in the best possible way, have satisfied patients with high satisfaction levels, that will come again to the medical office and will recommend it to other patients too, therefore boosting the business and the number of patients coming to the office. The answer to the “why” question above can be evaluated by four elements: stress, no-show rate, operational waste, and data capture.

Effective Succession Planning for Organizational Sustainability

Effective Succession Planning for Organizational Sustainability

Changes in organizational leadership are inevitable, but succession planning continues to be a major concern. Check out the steps that can help organizations design an effective succession plan.

The complex world of modern businesses has made organizational management one of the most complex aspects of running an establishment. One of the biggest challenges businesses tend to overlook is succession planning. While the board members and leaders regularly focus on strategic development to expand the business, succession planning seldom receives the required attention.

As per a 2017 global survey by KPMG, only 14% of the 2,300 directors interviewed agreed to have a detailed succession plan. Even the companies that do have a comprehensive plan often associate succession planning with the C-suite members. But successful companies look beyond the leadership roles and focus on recognition and preparation of a strong workforce through training, mentoring, and development to help their transition into a better position in the company.

Human resources, board members, and the executive team are required to work together to ensure smoother transitions. To achieve this, it is essential for an organization to lay a strong foundation for their succession plan. Here are a few tips that can help lay this strong foundation-

1. Commitment by Top Management

Many organizations think of succession planning as a one-off event. In reality, however, it is a long-term process, which is generally spread across several years. This is because its successful implementation abundantly relies on creating a pipeline of deserving employees.

The role of top management is crucial in the process, as their involvement will set the right expectations for all the departments of the organization. Senior managers should invest their efforts and time into the process and display their commitment in every way possible to let the entire organization understand its importance.

2. Developing Assessment Tools

For any succession plan to work, it is vital for the organization to have a rigorous and robust system in place for assessment. It is only with the help of the assessment system that an organization can identify deserving talent.

After identification, the organization should plan to offer training, coaching, and mentoring to help employees take up a senior role. The assessment system should be measurable, experience-based, and individualized to help deliver the expected results.

3. Identifying Talent Gaps

If your assessment system is effective, it will be easier for you to find talent gaps between the future needs in the company’s leadership and the current pool of talent. This will help you decide whether you need an external search or you already have someone in the organization that can be promoted.

Irrespective of what you decide, it is crucial first to understand the future goals of your organization thoroughly. This foresight will help you select candidates whose vision already matches the future needs of your organization.

4. Communication is the Key

For a succession plan to work, it is imperative for an organization to build a culture that revolves around transparency. Open dialogues with the employees regarding their career aspirations in the organization and using this information for optimizing the performance management process can play a crucial role.

This transparency and communication will prevent any misinterpretation with regards to the actual purpose of the succession plan. Otherwise, it is quite likely for the workforce, especially managers and leaders, to assume they have a bleak future in the organization.

5. Facilitating Transition

When it’s time for the transition, the organization should try to make it as smooth as possible for the outgoing as well as the incoming leaders. Most organizations make sure that the incoming leader gets to work with the outgoing leader for at least a few months.

This practice provides much-needed support to the incoming leader or manager. Being prepared with the transition in advance and communicating the plan clearly with all the parties involved can take you a long way in making the transition productive and seamless.

Ensuring Success with a Succession Plan

There is no denying the fact that building a talent pipeline, especially for replacing leaders and managers, can be very challenging.

But the organizations that do invest the time and effort on building a solid succession plan are known to gain a competitive edge. And in this age where competition is at its peak across every sector, it is remiss to let any advantage pass by.

Focus on the points discussed above, and build a robust succession plan to be better prepared for the constantly changing business landscape.

Sources

  1. Levine, S. R. (2017, May 24). Succession Planning Needs To Be Your No. 1 Priority. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2017/05/24/succession-planning-needs-to-be-your-number-1-priority/#1999fa4a62aa

Chander Sharma
Founder and Managing Partner,
bizXL Solutions

IDEA: Why and How to Implement?

IDEA: Why and How to Implement?

IDEA is a unique program for business leaders who want their company to stay competitive. Check out what this program is and how it can benefit a business.

While competition has always been an integral part of the business world, it has increased rapidly and dramatically in the past decade or so. However, businesses have begun to appreciate the fact that competition is far from the necessary evil it was once considered to be. In reality, organizations can use it as a powerful tool to improve and grow.

However, to use it effectively in today’s customer-centric world, it is necessary for a business to continually look for innovative ways to cater to the needs of the customers. An increasing number of organizations are now relying on approaches such as agile development, lean management, design thinking, and change management to stay competitive.

IDEA (Idea Design to Execution Accelerator) is a unique 5D framework that integrates the elements of these popular approaches to help businesses. It enables them to innovate in a time and cost efficient manner while also keeping the risks at a minimum.

Some of the most significant benefits of IDEA are as follows:

1. Rapid Product or Service Development

To stay competitive, it is essential for businesses to work on ways to accelerate the development cycle of their products or services. The IDEA program provides them with the ability to understand the nuances of modern development cycles. This perception helps them in improving or implementing rapid development and deployment cycles.

2. Building the Succession Plan

Most businesses do not give the necessary importance to succession planning. But a solid succession plan can take enterprises a long way in minimizing the impact of leadership change. The IDEA program helps businesses build succession plans not only to accommodate the changing leadership but also provide the workforce with better opportunities in an organization.

3. Improved Business Efficiency and ROI

The IDEA program will allow businesses to learn innovative ideas that can help the overall functioning of an organization and make it more efficient and productive. With the help of these positive changes, a business can deliver better products and services and world-class experience to the customers. Ultimately, these efforts will help improve ROI.

Implementing IDEA

Rutgers Business School, along with bizXL Solutions, is now offering a unique Mini-MBA program that revolves around the IDEA program. The program is targeted toward experienced business leaders looking for unique ways to stay competitive in this constantly changing economy.

With the curriculum spread across five crucial stages – Discover, Diagnose, Design, Develop, and Deliver, the program is an excellent opportunity for business leaders to acquire the skills and knowledge that can be implemented to real-world challenges in order to help a business improve and grow.

Combined with the university learning environment, experienced instructors, and peer interaction, the Mini-MBA program is an ideal solution for businesses looking to excel and stay competitive.

Applying for Mini-MBA (IDEA) Program

The five-day Mini-MBA (IDEA) certificate program is organized at regular intervals with limited seats. Candidates can apply online by filling a registration at the Rutgers Business School website. Program schedule, location, fees, and other related information is also available at the site.

Organizations can help their leaders register for this program and facilitate them to acquire practical skills and knowledge, which will ultimately enable the organization to grow and prosper further.

Digital Transformation Assisted by a robust Digital Strategy

Over the last decade the language of business has morphed from analog to binary as the human species gravitated into ‘Digital Natives’. The speciality of this tribe is that they only communicate through digital mediums. This ecosystem is fuelled by the mushrooming of a plethora of technology companies available at their disposal. They have adopted a virtual existence, transcended geographical barriers and lost patience. To cater to this societal metamorphosis, companies are forced to embrace “Digital Transformation” to be a viable business. This need has been particularly enhanced by the recent pandemic inflicted on the world in general.

In hearing the term ‘Digital’, people often associate it with Information Technology and thus companiesoften transfer the onus of addressing it to the Technology group which in most cases is a cost center for the company and habitually neglected. In reality, ‘Digital Transformation’ is a business strategy supported by technology. The onus of visualization and implementation of a successful ‘Digital Transformation’ should lie with the entire senior leadership of a company as it impacts each and every aspect of any business. It has an inevitable footprint in creating the product, finding the client, transporting the product from the plant to the buyer and maintaining the financial book. The entire business model agnostic of the industry runs on a successful Digital Strategy

The Digital Strategy is a complete paradigm shift in mindset. It eliminates the cumbersome processes and helps connect the organization to their clients at the touch of a button. The complete business model assumes a virtual state. The benefit is visible to the workforce, customers and any other external participant in the ecosystem which has a touchpoint with the company. Companies started adopting this strategy beginning inthe last decade.

Many of the early adopters are experiencing a significant upside to their revenue and client satisfaction. The flexibility enjoyed by their workforce has also attracted the some of the brightestbrains available. This spurt of growth enjoyed by the early adopters has inspired the rest of the economy to play catch-up, which has resulted in gaining significant interest about Digital Strategy & Digital Transformation among the business community.

Business has also realized the value of data. Data can be harnessed to read the pulse of the clientele, improve operations, reduce waste, upgrade financial health, develop new products and offer better working conditions for the workforce. And the process of capturing, storing, mining, analyzing and visualizing the data forms the bedrock of a successful Digital Strategy.

How to Achieve Operational Excellence

How to Achieve Operational Excellence

Operational excellence is a popular concept among business leaders as there is a constant tendency to increase productivity and decrease waste. However, some leaders understand the full extent of what operational excellence is and how to encompass it. Like most major business changes, operational excellence is a gradual process that involves leveraging several different strategies, which are based on certain core principles, outlined below. In addition, it is also significant to assess the way those strategies are applied by business leaders.

What’s Operational Excellence?

Operational excellence does not represent a process with specific steps we should follow to achieve greater operational efficiency. Instead, operational excellence is a philosophy. Continuous improvement in leadership is the key to embrace this philosophy. At the same time, the purpose of operational excellence is to execute innovative business strategies more efficiently and consistently. This usually happens when every person on the team can see the flow of value to the customer and make positive changes when the flow is interrupted. Every business leader should always have in mind that operational excellence involves every single person at every level of the organization. Every person is responsible to do what they need to bring value to the customer.

10 Principles of Operational Excellence

Here are the 10 core principles of operational excellence:

1. Respect every individual. Leaders should make their colleagues feel respected. In this way, they will be more willing and able to become emotionally invested in achieving operational strategy’s goals. Showing respect for every employee within the organization includes creating development plans, involving employees in continuous improvement, and offering coaching for problem-solving. Moreover, an upcoming trend within the last few years is the leadership style that involves employees in the decision-making processes. This can also show great respect and elevate efficiency in operations.

2. Lead with Humility. Leaders must have a sense of modesty, being willing to seek feedback, listen, and learn. The inclusive leadership style mentioned above is also part of leading with humility and great respect. In addition, studies show that employees tend to work harder and be more efficient when leaders value their opinion.

3. Seek Perfection. In reality, perfection is an unachievable goal. Pursuing the best version of your business automatically sets high goals and great potential. This is the ideal culture of operational excellence. A team must see the ability to improve as limitless and leaders should embrace that when they give directions and assess performance overall.

4. Embrace scientific thinking. Most of the time, leaders should employ scientific thinking to solve problems and make decisions. In other words, it is smart to realize that ideas must be tested with experimentation, observation, and analysis. This scientific method basically is not complicating the problem-solving process, but breaks it down into definitions, hypothesis, research, prediction and of course experiments and testing, one of the most significant parts.

5.Focus on Process. Many organizational problems are related to the process behind each problem, not the people. Business managers should identify and assess processes thoroughly to find their respective errors and areas for improvement. They should also ensure that all people have the resources they need to change those processes successfully.

6. Assure Quality at the Source. The work environment should be organized to show potential problems immediately. Upon noticing any error, the process must halt and be corrected to prevent the error from moving down the pipeline. This is the so-called proactive-thinking and proactive-acting notion, leaders should establish within their processes, to ensure any problem is recognized and solved as early as possible. This leads to minimizing the waste, those problems can generate when managers are not dealing with them right away from the start.

7. Flow & Pull Value. Leaders should ensure that the resources, needed to create value are available, and the flow should be uninterrupted to prevent waste. In other words, the principle of “flow and pull value” is concentrated around the following perspective: “the value offered to customers is maximized only when it is created in response to the actual (real) demand and the continuous and uninterrupted flow”.

8. Think Systematically. All processes are connected, and a business leader should understand those interconnected and dependent relationships within the system. It is wise, most of the time, to remove those barriers, which restrict innovative ideas, critical information, and necessary materials, from flowing throughout the organization.

9. Create Consistency of Purpose. Everyone in the organization should understand and embrace its mission and direction. Consistency is key to achieving smooth operations and higher productivity levels.

10. Create Value for the Customer. Delivering customer value consistently is critical for long-term success within any organization. A business leader should continuously work to understand customers’ needs and expectations. This is a process and an assessment that never comes to an end, because customers’ preferences and the general market trends are constantly shifting, as we have seen most recently during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overcome the Barriers to Operational Excellence

Operational excellence and its principles, as outlined above, are significant for the organization’s long-term success. These principles will also generate higher customer and employee satisfaction. However, realizing operational excellence is not a fast or easy task. Many barriers often prevent organizations from embracing operational excellence including:

  • Detachment, when employees are not embracing the broader business needs.
  • Lack of progress despite hard work.
  • Slow adoption of infrastructure changes.
  • High complexity when it comes to large volumes of data.
  • A gap between processes and functional areas.

Automation and specifically Lean Automation can provide smooth operations and help an organization handle challenges and barriers, such as progress difficulties, data complexities, and the gap between processes and functional areas.

bizXL Solutions is here to help you overcome these challenges and achieve operational excellence for your organization. Providing the most cost-effective and customized solutions for your organization is our goal. bizXL Solutions has experience working with leaders and organizations in several industries and of all sizes.

Learn how we can help you do more with less and embrace operational excellence by contacting us today