CS7: Systems & Procedures – Architects

Case Study: Systems and Procedures

Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.netMaking things work better

WHERE IT STARTED

The business started small and friendly, the staff all sat together and had easy access to all the information they needed by talking to one another across an office. Over the years, the business grew, premises changed, and new people and teams were added to keep up with customer demand. One thing however stayed the same. Information was still being recorded on personal files, spreadsheets and databases set up by individuals according to their own needs. Suddenly a way of working that perfectly suited a company of 25 was completely failing a company of 250. I found:

  • Duplication of information – Similar data was being held in several different places
  • Time wasted – Sourcing information was difficult. Where you found it, if you found it at all, would depend on who you asked & several people were spending time updating the same things in different places
  • Out of date information – With all these different places holding different information, no-one actually knew if the information they were using was current. Or worse still they assumed it was and based critical quotations on incorrect data
  • Poor Communication – Little communication between teams meant no-one really knew what anyone else wanted or what information anyone else had

WHAT I DID

  • Analysed, researched & asked questions
  • Identified information that was commonly required & that which was department specific.
  • Ensured the unique information really was needed & was not just being used “because that’s how we have always done it”
  • Wrote a specification for an IT system
  • Reviewed various packages, with an internal team, until we found the best fit
  • Worked with the software suppliers to set up the software
  • Provided training to different people at different levels
  • Carefully rolled out the software, trialling it and testing it along the way

WHAT THE RESULTS WERE

  • A robust central source of information on projects, clients & suppliers.
  • Staff able to easily access & add information according to the needs of their role.
  • Time freed up from searching for information spent more proactively in other business areas.
  • Managers had information they could rely on to make better informed business decisions.
  • The Directors had confidence in the system’s ability to manage future growth.

To put it even more simply, things now worked a lot better.

“Paula has that rare ability to make her vast knowledge & expertise understandable & digestible to those less able to grasp the intricacies of a system. Paula does this in a way as not to make one feel inferior, but through clear explanation and inclusion in the process.” Director, Stride Treglown