The MD Jason McKenzie was planning a dream family holiday for 3 months in Europe and wanted to ensure the business was left in capable and safe hands.
Surety [IT] is a technology company based in Brisbane with 15 staff.
KEY FRIDAY’S OFF SOLUTIONS
· Re-define the key management roles particularly responsibilities, tasks, decision making and authority levels delegated by Jason to the management team.
· Document and strengthen the key processes and procedures that defined outcomes that impacted on quality, productivity, profitability and customer service.
· Provided ongoing training and coaching support especially around managing staff, communication, problem solving and customer service.
KEY FRIDAY’S OFF SOLUTIONS
THE FOUR KEY CHALLENGES
Strategy design and implementation of a successful leveraged business model.
Attracting, engaging and retaining the right people.
Implementing and hardwiring the core processes that deliver quality outcomes.
Building the trust and confidence to let go and delegate to others without micro-management
THE DEEP DIVE DISCOVERY PROCESS
The purpose of this process was to assess the following;
- How well the business owners and the Culture engages the team around a collective sense of vision.
- How well-defined expectations of performance are including their measurement criteria.
- The approach and thinking systems that drive problem solving and decision making.
- Process optimisation and system flows.
- The adoption and integration of technology solutions to drive accountability and business improvement.
- How prepared the business owner is to delegate certain responsibilities and tasks including what they are. That includes examining fears or apprehension they may have.
- How well assumed knowledge is embedded in business processes.
- The effectiveness of internal and external communications.
- Levels of teamwork, co-operation and warmth of working relationships.
- How well- defined key stakeholder expectations are at a customer, supplier, staff, family, and strategic partner level.
THE DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS
Once we clearly understood the outcomes and the current business status at key levels, we designed the process to a timeline that would deliver on those outcomes. Some of the solutions employed were;
- Strategic and business planning.
- Sharpen the saw on business plan and goals implementation.
- Further mapping and embedding of the culture.
- Re-designed position descriptions and KPI’s.
- Map, assess and make more effective use of the best use of people ‘s time, especially the MD &MD.
- Authority levels and decision -making protocols.
- Mapping all key business tasks to more efficiently design and process manage.
- Implement more effective short-term planning and reflection regimes.
- Improved technology utilisation and integration of otherwise disparate systems.
- Introduced improved time management and personal productivity strategies.
Implemented a self-managed performance management process
CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY – but the lessons learned were invaluable
- The change process uncovered 2 people who were not on board the bus and had to be replaced. That resulted in some short- term pain, but at it turned out long- term gain.
- We underestimated the time required to fully implement the improved processes, procedures and technology systems by around 25%. That was however manageable.
- In the early stages the business owner Brian found it hard to totally let go and trust the team and some entries back into the day to day occurred for the first 6 months. This did cause some minor irritation with the new general manager and senior management team.
- Initially the business owner was feeling somewhat frustrated seeing the overhead costs increase without a corresponding growth in revenue. This did occur after 6-9 months but pressure was put on the working capital up until that point.
- The business owner Brian found it initially hard to focus on his newly created and elevated KPIs and quite a bit of coaching was required on our part to help him focus and cope.
One of the key outcomes of the project was to build internal capacity in people and processes. That was clearly achieved and arguably was our biggest achievement. Through the implementation of the above steps and processes the company is now well placed to embark on their growth and lifestyle balance strategies. Some of the key outcomes in summary form were;
- The business owner has now moved to a managing director role with a new set of KPI’s.
- A general manager has been appointed.
- A 3 -person senior management team is now in place.
- The MD works on average 32 hours a week, down from close to 55.
- Revenue is growing at 20% compound each year.
- Although margins have been squeezed a little the cash returns to the business are excellent.
- Finally, and perhaps most exciting of all is the internal professional learning and development platform established to not only retain people but find the next generation of business leaders.