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March 2011 Edition   

Founder's Monthly Message

It is a well known fact that having a tight control over the costs associated with managing a business is an important factor in its success.

Furthermore, considering the limitations in financial manoeuvrability of small and mid-size businesses, overall cost impact of wasteful activities makes it a significantly important issue to small and mid-size businesses.

So, logically and from a business survival and growth perspective, it becomes paramount that among infinite business interactions, a business would be able to define, analyze, isolate and eliminate all wasteful activities.

To achieve this goal, by asking the following simple yet fundamental questions, one would need to lay the foundations of developing an understanding of the overall process:

1- How would one identify and analyze the wasteful activities within a business?

2- How would one isolate and eliminate the wasteful activities and in turn their related costs?

Although gurus of process improvement may suggest many off-shelf and complex approaches ranging from Kaizan to elements of 5S within Six Sigma, based on my extensive personal experience in dealing with array of businesses in many shapes, sizes and sectors and assisting them reaching their objectives, in my humble opinion, basic and simple, yet logical approaches are the only tools that one would need. Yet before engaging in any activity, ensuring one element is absolutely important; the willingness of a business to change!

So, I would hope that the content of this month's issue address these fundamental questions and spark the initial thoughts in finding the most suitable solutions for your business.

Rahmat Ushaksaraei

t: 416 - 275 - 5543
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quick business tips!

Question: What are two fundamentals of a process?

Our Response: Regardless of the type of a process and its application, the two fundamentals of a process are its Capability and Stability.

Question: What is the difference between Capability and Stability?

Our Response:  Capability is the ability to achieve the goal within a well defined margin of the error. Stability is that a Capable process would be able to repeat the same result continually with a very tight margin of error.

Question: Is there a value in continuing with a Capable process without aiming for its Stability?

Our Response: Although reaching capability of a process is the initial objective, without attaining stability the capable process becomes the source of costly waste.

What is a business process map and what are its values?

In dealing with any business evaluation and improvement case, it is imperative for us to fully grasp one of the three fundamental attributing building blocks of a business; i.e. the overall business Process and its interactions with other two main elements of People and Information.

Furthermore, for improving an overall business process or concentrating on a particular one within, logically and as the first step, one would need to identify the current status of the business or that specific process. During this exercise, the aim is to outline the process and its outcome as they are today without either criticizing its shortcomings or influencing its architecture; i.e. merely defining a process as it is and illustrating all its interconnections pictorially.

The procedure, whereby the overall process and its entire internal and external interdependencies are identified and documented is referred to as mapping. In this regard, although overlooked by many business academia and key decision makers of businesses as perhaps a simple, primitive and not commercially branded business evaluation tool, the value of process mapping as the only pragmatic initial step of evaluating a business or process goes beyond, what it is normally given credit for.

Now, by merely focusing on processes within a business, in majority of the scenarios, the level of obsoleteness of a process will naturally grow over time. This is merely due to the simple fact that time will change the status of a business for either better or worse. Inevitably, in either case, the "needs" and "wants" or business goals and objectives in a more technical terms will change. Considering this dynamic aspect of a business, the internal processes will consequently be impacted.

The other contributing factor that impacts the processes within a business is related to the improper high regards by many for the common myth that "change will be costly". So, in lieu of continually re-aligning the processes within a business with the dynamically changing business focus, the processes are merely patched over and over and sometimes to a point that no sign of the original one may be found anywhere. in any case,  

Recommended Step 1: Mapping the process as it is.

The next coherent step is to outline the desired, realistic and attainable outcome(s) of the same process under investigation. This involves brainstorming and defining necessary sequential steps and their interactions, which support the ideal outcome. Once again, during this step the goal is not to be 100% correct and on target in defining all necessary steps, yet its aim is to ensure that all criteria are covered and there is no stone unturned. So, 

Recommended Step 2: Mapping the process by starting from the ideal outcome(s) to identifying necessary steps within; i.e. reverse engineering

Upon completion of this step, the tertiary element involves both reviewing and tweaking all aspects of the mapped process within the step 2 and finalizing the ideal process with its attainable results. In summary,

Recommended Step 3: Reviewing, tweaking and finalizing the outcomes of the mapped process in step 2

If all three steps are followed precisely and in the recommended manner and the results are observed, evaluated and analyzed properly, the difference between Existing Process and Ideal Process will define redundancy, overlap and waste within the process under scrutiny:
Thereafter, in order to materialize the elimination of the identified waste within a process, following criteria may be used for developing a time bound series of activities:

- "What" must be done to isolate, eliminate and control all elements of waste within a process?
- "Who" would need yo do "what", "how", "by when" at and "what cost"?

Now, by looking inside your business and taking an unbiased approach,

1- what is the overall cost impact of waste in your business?
2- how often would you review the processes
within your business and their suitability and applicability?
3- would you have a systematic approach in defining waste within your business and are you familiar with the pragmatic approaches in identifying waste within a process and eliminating them?
4- How successful have you been so far in defining, measuring, analyzing isolating, eliminating and controlling waste within your business?

If in doubt, contact me directly and let's have a chat!

About the author: Rahmat Ushaksaraei is an Accredited Associate of the Institute for Independent Business (IIB), Founder of GeBTL, Global executive Business & Trade Links, the only global top level executives' business platform, Founder of Bio Wood Pellet, representing the North American producers of the wood pellet in the global market, President of the accrete, The Business Excellence Realization , an author, presenter, Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), Project Management Professional (PMP), renowned expert in Concept, Project, Process, Quality and Communication Management,  business executive and leadership coach to large corporations, business mentor and advisor to small and mid-size businesses, pioneer of Diamond Total Management (DTM)business excellence model and Human Intelligence Management (HIM)and Human Emotion Realization (HER)methodologies and architect of the valuator™ and evaluator™ business evaluation tools for small and mid-size businesses. Rahmat Ushaksaraei may be reached at:

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