The Importance of Productivity to An Organisation

“Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.”
— Paul Krugman, The Age of Diminished Expectations (1997)

A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.” To sustain increase in an organisation’s bottom line, experts will tell you to increase your revenue and decrease your cost. Expand markets, offer new products, outsource to lower costs, use technology and more. Most organisations have adopted these tried and test methods, but which of these can offer you sustained benefits?

Are you looking for a strategy that could increase revenue AND optimise cost (decrease in average costs)? Increasing productivity might be a paramount approach.

Any successful and efficient organisation recognises the importance of productivity because it could:

Let your satisfied customers do the marketing for you (Word of Mouth)
Productivity can improve customer interaction and service, and bring upon a pleasant and complete consumer experience.

Invest in the most important asset of your organisation – employees
Productive employees boost delivery of your programs/policies and sales of your products, boost staff morale, and optimise costs.

If it’s important, why are companies not doing it (increasing productivity)?

Team-bonding, skills-upgrading, automation – have you tried it all?

If you said yes, and are able to cite more approaches, have you ever wonder why it doesn’t work at all or doesn’t work to your expectations?

Despite the extensive investment in employee productivity, the return on investment could be held back by:

  1. Stagnant mindset of employees
  2. Lack of clear strategic direction and processes in organisation
  3. Systems and people are not “talking to each other”

Are you doing it correctly to get productivity gains?

2017 marks Singapore’s 50 years of national productivity drive, which supported her growth from a developing to a developed country. In the next decade, securing productivity gains by relying on popular schemes such as skills-upgrading and automation might not be as effective.

It is time to look focus on internal dynamics of your organisation through business process re-engineering to achieve breakthroughs in efficiency.

What is Business Process Reengineering (BPR)?

Do you remember having to travel to the same library (where you borrowed your book) to return your books in Singapore in 1990s? Fast forward to the 21st century, 24-hour book-drop are available at all locations, regardless of where library goers borrowed their book. Have you wondered how the National Library’s Board transformed its processes?

To re-engineer a process effectively, you will need to review the end-to-end process, starting from your customer and ending with your customer. The critical components of BPR include:

People
  • Roles – Team leader, process owners (champions), team members
  • All employees
  • Customers
  • Mindset

Process
  • As-is processes
  • To-be processes (desired)

Performance
  • Mission
  • Action Planning
  • System / Technology

By analysing and changing existing business processes, organisation should cut down the existing business processes and established workflow. BPR transformation can help to increase the organisation’s bottom line, and improve the client’s experience with enhanced products and services.

Is Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) suitable for my organisation?

BPR involves an uncompromising overhaul of an organisation’s core processes for advancement in quality, productivity, and cycle times. Organisations go back to the basics and re-analyse their current processes to bring customers better products and services.

Everyone involved in both BPR and organisational changes moves as one in overhauling the organisation in the end, based on what the customers need.

Because the change is radical, not every organisation is willing to go through both types of changes. If the organisation is not ready, the half-baked process of change could end up unsuccessful.

For a successful BPR transformation, the organisation needs to have the resources, knowledge, and manpower. Another important element is to look at the organisation culture as people are the ones who strengthen the renewed work design and fuel it moving forward. Yet, people might often be the root cause of the barriers faced in BPR.

The diagram below shows typical barriers faced in BPR (arising from people factor) and some suggested approaches.

Is your organisation ready for BPR?
Can you identify the likely barriers you might face?

How can Facilitators Network Singapore support my organisation in BPR?


 
FNS uses a sound and practical BPR methodology that had been field tested through successful consultancy projects. The methodology emphasises a holistic focus on business objectives and how key processes are aligned to these objectives. It provides a full-scale recreation of processes rather than iterative optimisation of sub-processes.

FNS also equips you with capabilities to perform swim-lane process mapping and overcome the challenges when implementing process re-engineering.

Besides the use of tried and tested BPR methodology, FNS adopts a facilitative consultancy approach to empower relevant stakeholders in championing and leading the transformation journey and in overcoming some of the above people challenges.

These multi-prong approaches enable a more sustainable outcome as the BPR transformational journey is driven by your people for your people (and customers).

So, what are you waiting for?

Contact FNS to find out how we can help you transform your key processes to improve productivity. Besides BPR consultancy, we also provide in-company training on Business Process Re-engineering where you will

  1. Understand the definition of a key process
  2. Understand why process review and re-engineering is important
  3. Learn how to identify key processes for mapping and review
  4. Learn the common process mapping mistakes and how to avoid them
  5. When to use process mapping and when not to use it
  6. Learn the “swim-lane” convention of process mapping
  7. Learn the best practices of process mapping and review

You can contact us for more information at admin@fns.sg