Process design

A business must be designed around its core work - those day-to-day activities that add value for its customers and are the reason it exists.

We redesign core work and processes to avoid unnecessary cost.

Process design is about making that work as efficient and effective as possible and minimising the effort and cost absorbed by the supporting or enabling 'boundary' work that goes on around it.

When some of this core work shifts or changes, support work may lose its purpose. If some core work ceases, support and boundary work related to it must also stop. And if new core work emerges, it may call for new support and boundary work not currently done.

Any process or individual left undisturbed for three years will inevitably become inefficient. To maintain productivity and effectiveness in the face of fast moving markets and global competitors, no company can afford to allow this. When employees do not have sufficient core work to do, they may fill time with other support and boundary activities. Eliminating redundant tasks and waste, simplifying and streamlining, consolidating and centralising, automating or outsourcing of support work should be considered - exploiting good practice where possible. And the need for boundary work should be challenged.

Our experience suggest that the ideal organisation expends:

  • 75% of effort on core work
  • 20% of effort on support and boundary activities
  • 5% of work on making improvements.

Understanding how efficiently resources are converted into outputs is at the heart of what we do. We use a wide range of tools to help managers analyse and redesign existing processes and we enthuse front-line staff about implementing new ways of working. By finding ways to work smarter not harder, the business can achieve more for its customers, spend less, and have far greater flexibility to adapt to changes in demand.

We have applied this approach in manufacturing, services, construction, airports, healthcare, banking and many other sectors, as well as large government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies. We work closely with clients' project teams, to understand processes better. To quantify the opportunity, we run workshops and collate data on effort (against processes, activities and tasks), organisation (roles and structure) and cost.

Digital transformation Process design Lean and Six Sigma Supply chain
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