While every 2nd article that I read in talks about the business potential from SMB sector in India, I have always doubted if they are managed well. I happen to come across one such firm that not only has the potential to grow from “Small” to “Medium” and “Medium” to “Large” but also took initiatives to action on the same.
The initiatives pertained to formalizing the internal work flow process with key activities listed out, TATs pre-defined and dependencies identified between stakeholders. This was done in expectation of following advantages: a) Reduced TAT b) Easy identification of variances c) Fixation of responsibilities in case of variances d) Increased scale of operations e) Easier succession planning
The major drawbacks with the implementation of the whole initiative were: a) Sequential thinking amongst stakeholders leading to loss of simultaneity in most of the tasks. Ultimately leading to increased TAT. b) Stakeholders getting risk averse in the sense of non-action until formal mail received. A limiting factor for a small organization. c) Failure to understand the constraint(s) on part of his/her colleague and hence non-cooperation d) Inability to appreciate the life cycle of every process created.
Only solution that comes to my mind is “Role Playing”. This is expected to help stakeholders: a) Appreciate the dependencies of their colleagues on them rather the other way round b) Learn to know “What to Give” rather than “What to ask for” c) Bring about a change in mindset towards the initiatives and need for a formalized work flow process.