In Office/Service Process, Can You Focus on One Customer-Related Activity or Function at a Time?


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I’ll be uncharacteristically direct expressing my opinion.

Here’s an example of why you can’t. A new financial services client had invested lots of effort improving process one function at a time. But the whole place was running out of sync with high defect quotients they wanted us to fix…one function at a time. So we had to explain to them “one function at a time” was actually causing the problems. Here’s the gist of what we said.

O/S flows are highly interdependent. Change one and you readily create unintended consequences affecting downstream flows – plus often you can’t change what needs changing without going upstream. Manufacturing process does experience some of the same issues, but nowhere nearly as many as in the O/S.

They got that part, so we went to work. However, despite our pleadings to not “fix” anything until we’d redesigned the entire flow structure, after every meeting they insisted on going out and “taking care of” issues we’d just unearthed in cross-functional team meetings. When we’d finished and prepared our comprehensive recommendation, complete with comprehensive change management approach, the devil in me made me ask our sponsor, “How many of those ‘quick fixes’ you folks made right after meetings stuck?” She admitted, “Less than half.”

Tons of wasted time and effort, not to mention pointless burning of “change capital,” resulting from their irrepressible impatience.

Do you agree?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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