Enhance and Streamline IT Processes

You can’t be assured of a competitive advantage by just buying the latest technology. Your top competitor can easily match that feat by simply spending as much on the same tools. To be always at least a step ahead, you’ll need to perform tweaks on your IT processes aligned with the strengths of your organisation.

IT solutions are like a pair of sneakers. If they fit perfectly, they’ll help you run the extra mile. If they don’t, you can develop blisters faster than you can reach a single mile.

In all our efforts to enhance and streamline your IT processes, we’ll start by looking at all your logistical advantages, limitations, and objectives to determine which technologies suit you best. Once we’ve obtained them, we’ll perform the appropriate customisation to make them perform optimally under the conditions unique to your organisation.

Below are just some of the enhancements we can apply to your organisation:

  • Put up application and systems monitoring to identify bottlenecks and underutilised resources in your IT infrastructure.
  • Propose areas where you can plough back the generated savings to further improve your ROI.
  • Take scalability into consideration when pushing for certain IT investments to ensure that the IT solution will work for your organisation not only today but even as your organisation grows.
  • Introduce mobile-capable enterprise-class IT solutions that allow seamless collaboration between team members working at different locations on the globe so that pressing matters can be resolved and decisions can be arrived at as quickly as possible.
  • Integrate Business Intelligence into your IT system so that massive collections of data can be processed into insightful information which managers can draw on to make intuitive decisions.
  • Introduce avant-garde solutions, like virtualisation and infrastructure sharing, which may require large scale changes but can also significantly reduce operational costs.

Find out how we can increase your efficiency even more:

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The Child at Work: Fun Team Builds with LEGO SERIOUS PLAY

There is a child just below the surface in all of us. When were kids, adults lopped off the sharp bits that intruded into their ?genteel? society. Schools, to their everlasting shame sanded away our unique free spirits, as they stuck us into uniforms and imposed a daily classroom discipline. We received badges and prizes if we obeyed, and strict sanctions when we did not. This produced a generation of middle-age managers who no longer know how to play.

Life can be so deadly serious ?

Things work pretty much the same in business. Life is deadly serious. If we want to keep our jobs, we must deliver on the bottom line in our departments. There is little time for fun outside the Christmas party, when we may, within the limits of decorum engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation, rather than a serious or practical purpose.

Team builds (and strategic planning sessions) can be deadly boring affairs that proceed down narrow funnels defined by human resource facilitators. No matter how hard HR they may try, the structural hierarchy will remain intact, unless they find a way to set it aside during the program. Injecting fun into the occasion liberates independent thought, and this is why.

? But not for a little child at play

Next time you dine out at a branded family restaurant, select a seat that allows you observe the kiddies? play zone. Notice how inventive children become, when the family hierarchy is not there to tell them what to do (although parents may try from the wrong side of the soundproof glass). The ?serious play? side of fun team-builds aims to liberate managers by releasing their child for the duration. Shall we dig a little deeper into this and discover the dynamics?

Many of us have less than perfect oral communication skills. This is one of the great impediments to modern business meetings. We may not have sufficient time to formulate our thoughts for them to remain relevant when we speak. When we express them, we sense the group?s impatience for us to hurry up, so other members can have their opportunity to contribute.

Sharing better thinking with LEGO? bricks

Most of us feel an urge to click the brightly coloured plastic bricks together that carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen released into a war-weary world in 1949. The basic kit is a great leveller because the blocks are all the same, and the discriminators are the colours and the power of our imagination. Watching a free-form LEGO builder in action is equally fascinating, as we wonder ?what they will do next? and ?what is happening in their mind.?

Examples of LEGO Serious PLAY in action

Instead of asking team members to describe themselves in a minute, a LEGO? SERIOUS PLAY? facilitator may gather them around a table piled high with LEGO bricks instead, and ask them to each build a model of themselves. The atmosphere is informal with interaction and banter encouraged. It is still serious play though, as team members get to know each other, and their own personalities better

The system is equally effective in strategic sessions, where the facilitator provides specially selected building blocks for the team to experiment with as they learn to listen, and share. This enables them to deconstruct a problem into its component parts, and share solutions regardless of seniority, culture, and communication skills.

Creating problem- and solution-landscapes three dimensionally this way, enables open conversations that keep the focus on the problem. Participants at these team builds do not only reach effective consensus faster. They are also busy building better communication skills as they do.

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Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

 

Any business in the manufacturing industry would know that anything can happen in the development stages of the product. And while you can certainly learn from each of these failures and improve the process the next time around, doing so would entail a lot of time and money.
A widely-used procedure in operations management utilised to identify and analyse potential reliability problems while still in the early stages of production is the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA).

FMEAs help us focus on and understand the impact of possible process or product risks.

The FMEA method for quality is based largely on the traditional practice of achieving product reliability through comprehensive testing and using techniques such as probabilistic reliability modelling. To give us a better understanding of the process, let’s break it down to its two basic components ? the failure mode and the effects analysis.

Failure mode is defined as the means by which something may fail. It essentially answers the question “What could go wrong?” Failure modes are the potential flaws in a process or product that could have an impact on the end user – the customer.

Effects analysis, on the other hand, is the process by which the consequences of these failures are studied.

With the two aspects taken together, the FMEA can help:

  • Discover the possible risks that can come with a product or process;
  • Plan out courses of action to counter these risks, particularly, those with the highest potential impact; and
  • Monitor the action plan results, with emphasis on how risk was reduced.

Find out more about our Quality Assurance services in the following pages:

Business Turnaround Tip for a Successful MBO Turned Awry

When you acquire a company through an MBO, your hopes are always high. You know the business more than anyone else and you’ve got too much at stake to do a sloppy job. So how could things go wrong? Well sometimes they do. And if you don’t make a quick business turnaround, you could end up losing more than just your company.

If that management buyout was financed by a bank, then chances are you were required to invest a sizeable amount from your own pockets. I won’t be surprised if you even remortgaged your house for it.

Regardless of your source of funding, whether it was a bank, a venture capitalist or through a deferred consideration, the mere thought of losing your job and getting buried in enormous debt at the same time might be too much to bear. If you get too overwhelmed by your emotions and can’t think clearly, you’ll have to step out of the driver?s seat and have someone take over.

That someone can’t be a member of the management team that took part in the management buyout. Like you, he/she might be in panic mode as well. You need someone from the outside who has no emotional attachments to the company and hence can view the crisis from a clear perspective.

Here’s what’s needed:

Review and Plan

Take a closer look at all factors affecting your business: governance and organisational structures, employees, suppliers, systems and procedures, roles and responsibilities, etc. Identify potential risks and assess the likelihood of them affecting your business.

This will give a clearer picture of cause-and-effect relationships as well as the specific tasks on hand.

Thus, when it is time to draft a plan, you can do so from a well-informed standpoint. This will enable you to target specific areas of improvement and avoid pointless activities.

Assure all stakeholders

Once a watertight plan has been formulated, you will have to approach your stakeholders. They?ll need to know what your directions are. Once they’re all sold on the plan, you could implement our strategies unimpeded.

This is a very crucial part because a sceptical stakeholder can serve as a major stumbling block in our efforts to improve the situation. You need to convince your banks, sponsors, and investors in order to avoid additional financial obstacles. You need to convince your suppliers too. If they cut off or limit supply, you won’t be able to continue doing business.

Most of all, you need to persuade your staff and employees that the proposed major changes have to be carried out in order for the company to survive. You can’t run your operations without them on board.

Redesign and set up new systems and procedures

Any company requiring a turnaround will certainly have systems and procedures that are no longer working well in the current conditions and hence would require either major changes in key areas or a total revamp. You need to study personnel roles and responsibilities as well as systems and processes, including financial and IT systems, and supervise the implementation of necessary changes.

You will need to evaluate your existing IT architecture and determine how you can best maximise what you already have and propose what you think will work more efficiently for our proposed systems and procedures. Every piece of hardware or software recommended will take into consideration your present resources. There are many solutions out there, you just need to find the best fit.

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