Our customers come to us because they want to reduce costs. They come to us when they want to improve their process efficiency to deliver success to an outsourcing project. At ARDEM we build business process automation solutions to help our clients cut their back-office processing costs and improve their business work processes.
Over three decades of successfully delivering projects to my clients, I have learned that answering the following questions have helped me achieve success.
1. Do I have the right team?
Having the right people in the team is very important in achieving success. Not only smart and bright minds with all the needed technical knowledge but people who are motivated and dedicated to the success of the project. People who are analytical, who are problem solvers and are driven to achieving success. I think spending a lot of effort into recruiting the best talent and then spending time on training helps.
2. Does each member of my team know the goal?
Having very clear expectations of each team member helps. Drawing analogy with soccer, each member has to play a position and the forwards have to run and score the goal. Each one has to follow the process. At our business, we create process work instructions and process workflow diagrams for every project. Each member has to be knowledgeable about the process. We spend a lot of time training each team member. I found having documented work instructions, process workflows, process control checks, and training records useful.
3. Do we have a mechanism to adapt to changes?
How quickly you can adjust to a changing environment is important. Workload volumes fluctuate, people change, customer requirements change. Success is no longer simply achieved by following the laid-out plan but a result of intelligently navigating through the complexities which come with change. We have developed a good system to collect all the quality and customer issues. We have also embedded root cause analysis and corrective action as a way of working across the organization. This has yielded positive results.
4. Do we have a Performance Metric?
A clear goal. A clear way to measure progress towards that goal. In my teams, I have favored simple, clear and measurable objectives. Each team member is aware of her objectives. The goal is to deliver 100% on-time, deliver 100% accurate data to our clients, and, get the task completed in X minutes (as required by the client) to deliver success on an outsourcing project. Feedback wherever possible should be as close to real-time so each member, or the team collectively, can make adjustments immediately.
About the Author
Arun Malhotra is an Entrepreneur, Founder, President of ARDEM Incorporated, New Jersey. He holds a graduate degree in Engineering from Stony Brook and an MBA from Ohio State University. He has worked in Operations Management for a leading Fortune 100 company before starting ARDEM in 2004. He likes to write thought articles on management, business process outsourcing, and business process automation.