5 Ways To Improve Business Performance
As businesses begin their new fiscal year, questions are bound to come up about what teams across the organization can do to improve performance and ensure the business is able to hit ambitious targets.
In this blog, we’ll look at five keys that will help professional services organizations improve business performance:
- Define the Present and Future. Use outside resources to create a picture of the organization’s current state and future state, related to market trends.
- Pick a Few Well-Defined Goals. Prioritize three to five goals.
- Create a Plan. Detail the time the plan covers, actions, responsibilities, resources, and specific outcomes.
- Get the Right People on the Job. Fit the best people to responsibilities.
- Monitor Activities and Results. Use a system that gives feedback and forecasts against budgets and timeframes.
Define the Present and Future
To improve performance, you’ll need to understand the business’s current performance and future potential using tools and resources like these:
- A SWOT analysis reveals the weaknesses and strengths of the business—as well as threats and opportunities.
- A benchmarking analysis compares your business’s performance against similar businesses.
- Market research and trend analyses look at large-scale business data to discover how to better serve your customers.
- Purpose-built software can give your organization a clearer picture of its current and potential performance by eliminating data silos and applying robust Business Intelligence (BI).
- Finally, a consultant could help you create a new business model taking trends and other data into account.
Pick a Few Well-Defined Goals
Usually, a business with more than five major goals won’t be able to focus enough resources on any one of them to accomplish it well. To make your business more efficient, pick only three to five goals. Make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant (as in they would have clear impact on improving your business), and time-bound – that is associated with a deadline. Finally, put them in order of priority, because it’s efficient to focus on some goals before others, rather than trying to do all of them at once. Some are more urgent, and some can only be achieved with a methodical, long-term plan.
Create a Clear Plan
Speaking of plans, to make progress against your goals, you’ll need to create a plan composed of the following elements:
- First, list the necessary actions and tasks in detail.
- Next, define a length of time for each, with start and end dates.
- Next, list personnel who are responsible for the completion of each task. Also, list all the staff, supplies, and other resources needed—including budget.
- Finally, define the desired result of each task and how it will be measured.
Get the Right People on the Job
Your success will be based on having the best people for each task in place. You’ll also need to build a culture that supports the kind of people the plan needs and which encourages them to collaborate. Besides getting to know your staff well enough to match them to the best tasks, your HR department should also hire people who are a good fit for your culture from the outset. You should also hire personnel who are excited about being mentored; if they’re willing to be coached to improve their individual performance, they’ll be better equipped to improve overall business performance.
Monitor Activities and Results
Finally, you’ll need to monitor the progress and results of tasks using the measurement criteria you defined in the “Create a Plan” step. Some simple tasks may be measured as simply “completed” or “not completed.” But you’ll measure major goals with numbers, such as a percentage increase in profit. You can also increase productivity by setting milestones on the way to each goal that help employees track how well the plan is progressing. With this concrete feedback, you can search for ways to increase the business’s efficiency at turning resources into outputs.
Professional services organizations are using purpose-built technology to give decision-makers the clarity, control, and confidence they need to improve business performance. Vertical SaaS solutions like the Kantata Cloud for Professional ServicesTM are helping businesses compile performance data and output a real-time visual representation of progress toward goals, and efficiently assign the best-fit team member to projects and tasks by simply dragging their name onto it.