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Business Process Assessment: Create Milestone and Project Projections

Business Process Assessment: Create Milestone and Project Projections
Business Process Assessment Milestones

In our fourth installment of our eight part Business Process Assessment (BPA) series we will be covering how to go about defining milestone and project projections and why is it important.  You may have heard the saying, “It is wise to begin with the end in mind.”   If you don’t have a clear and defined destination from a leadership perspective and within the leaders of each department, it is very hard to have the whole team rowing with you in the same direction.  Your milestones and project projections will serve as a guide to measure where priorities fall within each department.  Working to develop a Business Process Assessment and culture within your organization will help your business improve how it works together to facilitate change and continue to evolve as a high performing and profitable business.  Working at all levels of your business through department committee leaders will enable leadership and accountability for results throughout your organization.

In our previous blogs, we covered the reasons why your company might want to take the time to  start a business process assessment  in the first place.   You also understand the importance of selecting a Business Process Assessment Committee and have hopefully started developing a series of questions to establish how business processes are currently running in each department.  Once you have the answers back from each department, you will have a snapshot of what improvements need to be made and how to prioritize them in order of importance.  Now let’s review how to get started on defining milestone and project projections.

The objective of a Business Process Assessment is to challenge your business to strive for continuous performance and profitability.  Once the list of issues in each department is prioritized, you can now get to work on setting milestones for the objectives laid out in the plan.  This will help break things down into stages and monitor the progress.  If resources need to be allocated to accomplish a department’s objective then you will have a way to plan out what amount of time or money needs to be budgeted and spent to accomplish the goals.  Here’s a closer look at the next two steps in moving forward:

Establish Business Process Assessment Milestones

Business Process Assessment milestones help break up each department objectives with communication of issues and coordination of activities that need to be accomplished along with a tracking tool to manage toward success of each objective or project.  An Excel spreadsheet would be an example of a basic tool that is often used to track this progress.

What is a milestone?   A series of activities that have a goal in mond with a deadline.  Make sure each milestone is achievable with access to the required resources (funds or activities).  A milestone is measured progress to date, the status of activities and the percent of completion in relation to the deadline.

BPA OBJECTIVE EXAMPLE:   Accounts Payable Department wants to improve check writing procedures to vendors – Owner - Ruth (AP department BPA committee leader)

•    Milestone Activity #1 – Ruth will investigate how current check writing and check approval process creates backlogs + deadline Friday, February 8, 2013 + progress to date = Ruth is interviewing AP clerks, managers and vendors and will report findings and recommendations to the committee.  Ruth will explore options on how to improve process based on findings.
•    Milestone Activity #2 – Ruth will report back to BPA committee findings and recommendations + deadline Wednesday, February 13, 2013 + progress to date = pending completion of Activity #1

Establish Business Process Assessment Project Projections

Business Process Assessment project projections help companies achieve their goals and lower operating costs by helping to manage and prioritize multiple projects by department.  Project projections also help to ensure the proper resources of time (by role) and anticipated budget are allocated appropriately.

Project Projection looks at the overall project cost, the individual task total cost, expended costs to date, balance to complete, pending costs and anticipated hurdles or delays to completion.

BPA OBJECTIVE EXAMPLE:  Accounts Payable Department wants to improve check writing procedures to vendors.  Owner - Ruth (our AP department BPA committee leader) has completed her milestone activities for project and has reported her findings and recommendations to the committee. Ruth has prioritized the next steps on how to improve the AP department check writing and approval process. Based on the committee approval and prioritization, it is determined that the check writing and approval process should be improved.

•    Project Projection #1 - Ruth estimates that it will take her 2-3 days to explore recommendations for improvement to the current process + this will take her away from her normal duties which will require overtime pay or an AP clerk temp will be hired while Sally the AP clerk backs Ruth up + $1,200 is allocated to hire a temp or pay for Ruth’s overtime + pending costs will be tracked + Ruth may need to purchase an ERP system add-on or total system change to automate process =  1 week is the goal for Project Projection #1  completion

•    Project Projection #2 – Ruth determines that the check writing and approval process is wasting the department’s time totaling 10 hours per week with their current manual process and Ruth is exploring ERP software check writing and approval enhancement options that will integrate with their Sage 100 ERP software system. + Ruth will take 1 day to explore options and review estimated costs + pending costs TBD ($2,000 to $4,000 is estimate for ERP enhancement add-on) = ERP enhancement for Sage 100 ERP software recommendation will be presented to committee in 1 week
Project projections help organize the costs and success of each individual activity for each department in your organization.

Contact us to learn more about our free 30 minute ERP software needs assessment.  If you would like to learn more about how and why you should get started with a business process assessment, please contact us!   As ERP consultants, we have over twenty years of experience in helping hundreds of businesses become more efficient and profitable.

Posted by Keith Perkins at Accounting Software, a Sage 100 ERP consultant firm serving Sage 100 ERP customers in Shreveport, LA and surrounding areas.

Accounting Software Shreveport

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