Process is king during tough times

The economy stinks and maybe your sales too. People get laid off and projects placed on hold. Okay, this reaction has some merit, however, I feel many organizations are missing new opportunities. For example, let's say your budget for projects is cut in half. You still have the same new project demand. That doesn't go away. You may have a process in place for selecting which projects to do first (for example, feeding the squeaky wheel). Look at how that process can be changed to deal with a lower budget. For example, all business cases would now need to show direct first year ROI above 140% to be moved to the consideration stage. Another example is you now need to implement projects with half the resources. This could mean the process for defining business requirements changes to focus more on identifying key requirements with either quick wins or short term ROI. All other requirements get trashed. Let's now look at the revenue side. Before you fire half of your sales team, think about changing their sales methodology to accommodate new objections. Or think about updating the marketing campaign processes that drive new approaches to business climate changes --- and then drive better leads for your sales team.

What ever your priority, process is king. Process is the way you do things and a process standard is the way you do that over and over. Have you reviewed your process management approach? Is your process management technology making your life easier, such as the giving you the ability to swing on a dime as the market changes from week-to-week? Do you have the right processes and can your processes adapt that quickly? If not, you're in double trouble!

Okay, let's fast forward 12 months or so. The economy turns around, new sales orders are flowing in, but heck, you're understaffed and all your processes are based on low sales. Guess what? You start to lose sales since you cannot fulfill the orders and keep customers happy. They go on to your competitors.

Again process in king. Think of your top three priorities. Mine are increase sales, cut cost, drive better efficiencies. All of these can easily be driven in PIEmatrix or other technology process platforms. (I not only use PIEmatrix for our development processes and HR, but also for driving the sales pipeline. That process has changed at least a dozen times over the past month. With my sales team's input, I we are getting better.) If your process is tangible, easy-to-follow, quick to execute, and simple to govern, you're halfway there. If your process is also easy to change today and deploy back out to the teams tomorrow morning, then you are really there!