Business Adept Blogs

Business Process Improvement

Keith manages a business process that covers the order-taking, resourcing, assembly, testing and delivering of a bespoke product. There are always problems along the way and additional costs are eroding profit margins. Addressing individual symptoms has not resolved the problem.

Keith’s options are limited. He could:

  • spend a lot of time, effort and cost on a thorough investigation of the whole process
  • put up with the process as is and increase prices to compensate – reducing competitiveness
  • consult his intuition at

The latter takes only minutes and, as a member, costs nothing. What does he have to lose?

The method
Keith choose to use the Problem Solving layout twice (free to non-members) and focus on seeking insights to:

  • the underlying issue where the solution will give greatest benefit, though not necessarily quickly
  • the underlying issue that would be a quick fix, though probably giving smaller benefit

The outcome summary
For the longer term fix, after reading the supportive text and listening to his own intuition, Keith’s interpretation of the displayed images was:

  • Underlying issue – Validation – lack of analytic control throughout the process

  • Hindrance to progress – Risk Analysis – lack of contingency planning for the product build

  • Potential solution – Supervisor – installing a frontline performance controller at each stage

And for the quick fix:

  • Underlying issue – First Edition – as a bespoke service every product is a first edition

  • Hindrance to progress – Analyst – there is too little strategic/managerial oversight of the process

  • Potential solution – Orchestrator – temporarily to have a senior production manager oversee the process and ensure customer satisfaction while studying the logistics of the process.

Keith could put the quick fix into effect immediately and use it as a medium for preparing the longer term fix.

The moral of the story
We all know more than we think we know but it is not easy to access that knowledge. Images can tap into that knowledge when we need it.

Business Applications