Three ways to identify areas for business efficiency gains

What gets measured gets managed, wrote Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author. So how do you identify what to measure?

Quantifiable metrics are easy to identify and measure – revenue, expenditure, profit, customers won and lost, complaints, compliments, lost time injuries, the list goes on. But the factors that influence the raw numbers on the surface lie deeper down. It’s those factors that need to be measured and managed to improve the quantifiable metrics.

Maturity assessments allow organisations to measure the strengths of their capabilities against tried and tested, best practice requirements, frameworks, maturity models and standards. Find where the organisation isn’t up to scratch, then close the gap.

Here are three ways to identify what to measure in your organisation to drive improvements that lead to improved outcomes.

Business functions

Consider a list of all the functional aspects performed by your business. Intuition will lead you to query the capability maturity of some functions more than others. Signals include high staff turnover, complaints and unexplained or unexpected increases in costs and decreases in revenue and profits.

Look at functions like:

  • Asset management
  • Risk management
  • Customer experience / support
  • Human resources
  • Finance
  • Sales and marketing
  • Research and development
  • Innovation
  • Corporate governance
  • Corporate culture
  • Cyber security
  • Digital asset management
  • Digital transformation

Industry and discipline specific publications

A great source of information that can be used to identify areas of a business that should be considered for assessment are industry and discipline specific publications. A good journal or periodic publication from an industry or discipline focused group will discuss contemporary issues affecting members and peers; such articles will be strong indicators of factors that should be seriously considered by boards and leadership teams in the context of their organisation.

In Australia, the excellent Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) periodically publishes articles (in print and online) that discuss issues and trends that directors should be cognisant of, and oftentimes these matters are prime fodder for an organisation to measure its position against. The AICD’s Newsroom is a good place to start. As at the time of writing this post, a quick sweep presents a number of signals pointing to areas organisations may want to do a deep-dive into in terms of assessing their capability maturity:

Industry and sector regulations, standards and frameworks

Across industries and sectors there are a plethora of requirements set and imposed by a variety of bodies and authorities, in the form of law, regulations or otherwise. Compulsory or not, measuring up has many benefits, including:

  • Increased confidence in attesting to a position
  • Development of evidence demonstrating capability
  • Early identification of areas for improvement

Requirement sets, standards and frameworks within Australia that may need to be adhered to by various entities include:

  • Safety Management System Guideline; Published by Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR), National, Australia
  • Victorian Protective Data Security Standards (VPDSS); Published by Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC), VIC, Australia
  • Asset Management Accountability Framework (AMAF); Published by Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF), VIC, Australia

Need help with any of the above? Contact Assessity with more information.

Assessity is a business capability maturity assessment platform, a tool that enables organisations to self-assess how good they are at doing something. It contains an ever-growing range of maturity models for users to self-assess against, providing a consolidated view of their position on the maturity scale, along with documented evidence and a plan of attack to close the gaps.

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