Our FAQ Of YOU - Does Your Business Need a Technology Strategy to Optimize the Role of Technolgy?

Our Philosophy and
Our FAQ of YOU

The Process Solutioneering® concept is laid-out on this page.

It's a method of developing technology strategy for both software and non-software companies.

Entinex connects your top line to your bottom line.

Entinex's unique Process Solutioneering® method of matching development methodologies to your way of business results in processes that don't sacrifice productivity, agility, or responsivity to clients.  These are process that promote project predictability and manageability without unnecessary overhead.  The bottom line is Entinex increases profitability on your bottom line by giving you processes that work right, work better, and work in line with your business.

Typically, your need is to make money on every project.  To know with certainty that each estimate will result in a product that is delivered on time, on budget, and does what your clients expect it to do.  From your perspective, this means it will be a profitable project. 

It is always Entinex's position that your profitability is paramount.  You make money by selling a product or a service, not by following a process.  Processes should only be put in place to facilitate your ability to make money.

Remember:

Process discipline must support the creation of a superior product as well as improve your bottom line.

Processes must add value, produce business intelligence and deliver on promises.
Otherwise, don't do them.

The following are the kinds of questions we ask you to ask yourselves.  The answers to these are the things we seek to help you reach.  The process of getting to the answers will reveal things about your company that you may never have known.  The results of answering the questions will bring to light areas of your company that are working well.  And will also expose those things that are probably keeping your business from meeting customer demand, or from being able to deliver products on time, or from reducing defects.

At Entinex, our job is to help you answer these questions and then see what it will take to make the things that work, work to greater advantage, and change the things that, well, are broken.

Here we pose a set of questions, and offer some food for thought to get you thinking like we do.

Question

Food for Thought

Could some of your processes use a facelift? 
Or a forklift?

Some process simply haven't kept up with the times.  The company has changed but the processes haven't.  So either you aren't using the processes because they no longer make sense or your processes never matched your needs in the first place.  Processes (whether bad or good) are based on how things are done or need to be done.  These are usually based on a specific point in time.  By the time many processes see the light of day, they are obsolete.

Another common process problem is that they are so tedious or cumbersome they are not used.  Often, they conflict with the business' competing goals to do things quickly as well as  do them well as well as  leave a paper trail to document what was done.  Since business growth, sales, and revenue often drive what gets done at a company, having processes that don't fit the goals makes no sense at all to use.

What are your business goals?  Does everything your company spends time/money on help or make it easier for you to reach those goals?

It seems to be a natural path that companies follow.  Companies put their time, energy, and resources to work on projects, tasks, and problems that they are immediately facing, but that don't necessarily have an immediate (or even long term or productive) impact on the overall goals of the business.  Is your company working on the right problem?

Is technology a convenience or a tool?

The right answer is found in how much your business relies on technology.  The way your business understands and uses technology is a powerful influence on your success.  It affects the information you use, gather, process and distribute, it affects your organization, it affects how you communicate with customers, and how well you can adjust your internal processes to meet external demand.  Technology could be your competitive advantage -- or it could be your competitor's  advantage.

Does technology ever get in your way?

Did you buy an expensive software tool only to find that no one's using it, or worse, that people are using it but it's impact on your business was actually opposite of the anticipated direction?

Are you ready for an infusion of new technology but are so invested or integrally reliant on your current technology/processes that you'd rather do without the new technology to avoid disrupting your business?  Is there a way to have technology not get in the way of your business?

If technology is the business your business is in, then how do you coordinate your business with technology?

No, this is not a trick question.  In fact, we wouldn't ask the question if we hadn't seen so many technology companies not run like one.  Is a company that makes software for the human resources industry a software company, or an HR company?  Is a company that makes digital monitoring equipment for the medical industry a hardware company, or a medical lab?  Don't get us wrong, we're not saying that being an expert in a field is not important to the success of your company.  You must be the expert in your field to be credible with your product, but run the company so that it promotes the development, delivery, and quality of your technology -- which is the outlet for your expertise.  What business is your company really in if you make money by selling a technology?

Are you using technology to grow what your business can accomplish?

This isn't just "automation," it's about making technology a strategic asset for your company.  Whether you are a technology development company or not, do you treat how and where you use technology the way you treat who you hire, how you market, and how you work with clients?

Is the way you develop and deliver your product or service costing you more than what you can recoup for the effort? or taking more time than the customer is willing to wait?

Do you have a handle on exactly how your product is developed?  How confident are you in your ability to estimate, predict, and track progress on your product or service turn-around time?  How easily do customer demands turn into a new service?  How well does your operation handle rush or special orders?

How are your customers involved in product/service development?  Do you have links from customer service into design and operations?  What's the right information to capture and pass along to the development group from the customer service group?

What data is important to measure, track, and communicate?  How do you measure customer satisfaction?  How reliable is that data?

Are you measuring the activities and outcomes that directly relate to how the business is operating?  How do you know what to measure?

Is there a balance between what you measure internally and what you are working towards externally?  Have you heard of "Balanced Scorecard?" What you measure is what you get.  You're used to using numbers to track the progress of your sales and other values, right?  What are some numbers that can be used to track the progress of your operational effectiveness?

What happens to your processes, your measurements and your insight into and control over your projects when you are running behind schedule?  What causes you to get behind schedule?

What are some of the exceptions to your processes -- and exceptions to who follows them? 

Does everyone have a process, do they have what they need to comply with the process and do all the processes work with one another?

How often do your project results meet or beat estimates and customer expectations?  How do you know?

What do you base estimates on?  How do you capture customer expectations?  How do you handle changes in expectations or estimates?  What sort of project tracking and feedback mechanisms are there in place internally and with your customers?

Does it sometimes seem like managements' goals and your tasks are not supporting one another?  How can you synch them up?

Do processes work both ways in your operation?  Could your operation stand some streamlining and coordination between tasks?  Is there a certain amount of focus lacking in the processes you follow?  How are management and their company goals involved in designing your processes?

You need to know that your projects are on track.  You need to know that your products will work.  You need to keep your employees happy and motivated.  You need your managers to support you.  You need to know whether your vendors have the capability to deliver on their promises.  You need to convince investors/customers that you have the capability to deliver your product.  You need to implement processes without risking your current business or projects.


How do you satisfy all these needs?  Is what you're doing effective?  How do you know?

How do processes come about at your company?  Does your company actively design how things get done?  How are decisions made in the company?

How are you using processes to minimize the risk of your company's growth?  How are you using processes to handle the day to day? the unusual? the critical tracking needs of your business?

If processes aren't supporting your day-to-day activities, then how will your growth affect daily operations?  What do the various functions within your company rely on to reduce the risks of being in business?

Are the details of your business laid out in your processes?  If not, where are they laid out?

Do you have processes for the sake of having them?  Is your business reflected in the processes your company uses?  How do you connect how you market your company to what you actually do?  In other words, how do you walk the talk?

You don't need processes that are so rigid that they stifle creativity or flexibility in the name of productivity.  If a process is too rigid it's probably too broad. 


Where do you draw the line?

Where's the balance between the detail-orientation of processes and the progress-orientation of sales and growth?  Is there a balance to be found between process discipline and business speed?  Which of your processes are built for speed?

You don't need processes that paralyze progress in the name of thoroughness. 


How much is enough?

What will your company look like when you will have achieved the balance between process discipline and business speed?  If such a balance existed, would you want that for your business?  If you could install processes that grew when your business grew, adapted to your market, provided you with the data you need to make decisions, what would those processes do for you?

You don't need processes that only work if the consultant who helped you build them is there to run them. 


Wasn't the purpose of a process to help you make money or save money?

While it still may be a cost-effective solution to hire a consultant to run your new processes, it certainly isn't a scalable solution, is it?  And while we're on that subject, if the process is so complicated that it takes a consultant to make it work, is it really the best process for your business?  Is it really an effective process or is it just a work-around?  And if it is a work-around, what is it trying to work around?  Are there "untouchable" processes in your business?  I n t e r e s t i n g...

How are the processes that manage your technical activities connected to the processes that conduct business with your clients/users?

We hope you've been reading the earlier questions and thought tidbits.  If not, go back and read some, if so, then we hope by now you see a pattern.  What good are processes in a vacuum?


How many of these questions can you answer?  You don't need us if you can answer them, and if you like your answers.  Otherwise, contact us and we'd be glad to talk to you about the ones that gave you trouble.

 

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