Organizational Policy: define your processes ‘bottom up’
by Bert Zeegers | Jun 22, 2016 | Business Model
In order to achieve your company’s goals, it is essential that you deploy the knowledge and skills of the people in the company, as well as the assets in an efficient and effective manner. Realizing your objectives depends highly on the degree of cooperation between departments in the organisation.
Through cooperation, the organizational efficiency is improved, thus ensuring the continuity of your business. The level of efficiency in your organisation largely determines the profitability of the company.
That makes it important to ask the question: “Who is responsible for the organizational effectiveness of your company?” The answer is, it’s not the employees. Management is responsible for promoting and improving cooperation between employees and departments.
Business ModelHow do you organise your business?
The organisational structure is the way in which activities of your company are organised. Think about who does what (task allocation), coordination between people and departments, as well as supervision.
How you organise your business depends on the type of company you have. The size, the culture, the industry, and more, all need to be considered when you start organizing your business.
Keep your external customer in mind
Many organizations make the classic mistake of starting to describe their business processes from the top (management), going down. We argue that you should map out your business processes “bottom up”. Why bottom up? Previously we’ve established that winning and keeping customers is the main goal of your company. The most important processes in your company, therefore, are those where there is direct contact with your customer. All other processes in the organization need to support these essential processes of direct client contact.
Start by describing and documenting the essential steps you and your team need to make in order to win and keep customers. Then work your way up: What does management need to do to support these customer centric processes? And side-ways: How do supporting departments ensure they contribute to the customer centric processes? Make sure you add checkpoints into your processes to measure the effectiveness and to ensure you meet your own quality standards.
The key is to have all the business processes focused on making a positive contribution to meeting or even exceeding the expectations of the external customer. The only way you will make this happen is if all processes run smoothly and they all support this one common goal. It is essential that you continuously ask yourself: “Do we meet the expectations of the our customer with this process?” Only if it does should it be approved, documented and communicated.
Work processes determine the functions in your company
Once you have documented the main processes in your company you can cluster these tasks into functions or jobs. A function is a standard set of tasks, rights and obligations for an employee. Each function gets a job description, which has the job title, describes the purpose of the job, the place it occupies in the organisation, the relationship with other functions and to which function it reports.
For leadership roles, information is added about who the direct reports are, as well as powers and responsibilities related to the role. In addition it will have information about the internal and external contacts associated with the job and which reporting requirements there are.
In a job description the work is described based on the defined processes of the company, divided into main and secondary tasks as well as the quality standards that need to be met. Furthermore add training, expertise, skills and personal quality requirements into the job description.
During my career I had several management/executive positions in both the Netherlands and abroad. I have provided leadership in a broad range of disciplines and gained a wealth of experience.