At the start of a business, department or project, there's always a vision. That vision is what you want to achieve and how it might be possible. Unfortunately, change is constant and change impacts that vision.
Too often change makes organisations lose business perspective and sometimes their all-important vision. Change can find managers and business owners ‘bogged down' in the detail, stumbling through a maze and losing the overall vision. This can cause businesses to flounder, projects to fail or just not run smoothly.
The vision for any company, product, service or project begins with a goal. Management has a clear uninterrupted view of that goal. There may be a tangle of pathways between you and your goal. Frequently, those pathways form a maze – an analogy we find easy to explore. When they first encounter the ‘business maze' managers take time to map out a route to take them through the maze. However, once they enter the maze and begin the journey, it can be hard to remember the layout and the path to the goal.
When you were outside the maze you could see clearly where you wanted to go and how to get there. Once inside perspective vanished. Of course, you could work your way back, regain perspective, and return. Only you may repeat the same mistakes and become increasingly frustrated. In the business maze it's hard to preserve perspective on your needs and goals. New business problems, such as legislation, the economic climate or adjusting your goals can appear without warning and alter the layout. You need the advantage of a high-level view.
Too often, as your journey begins you question directions. Despite your best efforts, there's a slow decline in your ability to remember the original layout. Is it left or right at the first junction? After that is it anticlockwise or clockwise? The more you search for the route, the more it eludes you. Change issues (‘hedges' to continue the maze analogy) surround you and limit visibility. It's hard to decide on direction. You lose business perspective and you must regain it to make clear and positive decisions.
When you come to a junction or a dead-end you make a choice. However, are your choices based on fact, intuition or the toss of a coin? Eventually, you follow a path, and if it's a dead-end you must retrace your steps trying to remember the route you took. The longer you carry on, the more lost you become and work through the business maze without making progress.
As your team follows your vision there will always be stragglers. These are dangerous people to have in your party. They don't follow closely enough and when you meet your first dead-end and return, you could meet them coming the other way. After a while you are not sure who is going in the wrong direction. Inevitably, the situation gets worse.
In most mazes you can find your way by climbing a tower to look over the hedges to see your route. In business that's not always possible or as simple. In business you need up-to-date information on your current position to restore perspective and identify the right direction. That's where a high-level view will help you identify the problems and challenges you face.
PDT has a wealth of experience in business process analysis, systems analysis and systems integration. Our consultants can come to your business and quickly understand your environment and processes. That means we can produce process maps to identify the bottlenecks and weaknesses of your current systems. Using our own software solution, we can model any proposed changes away from your business ensuring the solution will work when implemented within your environment.
If necessary, PDT can provide a specification document to ask potential suppliers to quote against. PDT can then either supply a solution or work with your chosen supplier to ensure they match your needs. Then again, we're often asked: "Are you asking me to pay you to ask my staff and I questions, write down our responses and present them to us?" Good question. The answer is no. With years of experience we know what works and what doesn't. And we do not need to prove it again with your money. That's why we ask few questions but give detailed answers. We aim to empower our clients with the knowledge to enable them to make informed decisions about their business - to help our clients and their businesses grow and prosper.
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|Setting the Vision|
|John Warren, CEO and Chief Scientist|