Signs That Your Business Processes May Be Tangled

As an organisation grows,  the ways of working  and business processes that originally worked may become overloaded and  start to fail.   Business process tangles may also occur when new companies are acquired and have fit their ways of working and culture to those of the host organisation. In practice,   and invisible to senior management, subcultures  aligned to these old companies may continue  to exist and use their own  business processes and ways of working.

Tangles may be indicated by general awareness that ‘things aren’t running right’   All those signs below are symptoms of starting to lose control of the business.

  • Reduced customer and employee satisfaction.
  • Reduced profits due to unexpected costs of overtime, warranties and repairs.
  • Insufficient notice is given to key suppliers, resulting in increased costs of materials  and resources. the
  • Missed delivery dates.
  • Process tangles  reduced ability to meet special requests or sudden changes.
  • Continual firefighting to stay on top of problems reduces work-life balance.
  • Organisational responsibilities and authorities are unclear and based on assumptions.

Basically, the fun that was there at start-up stage may now be just a memory.  You may be reaching one of the points of crisis and evolution described by Larry E. Greiner.  These issues must be resolved before business process improvement can be successful.