As professional services organizations grow, processes have to be rethought. Rapid expansion can result in too many decisions being pushed upwards. This can lead to a previously dynamic and agile business slowing down, decision-making bottlenecks arising, and opportunities to take timely action being missed.
Processes that may have worked when the organization was smaller can slow down as new staff join and others are promoted. There may be concerns that newer, less-experienced staff could make serious mistakes or omissions. A desire to keep control of the business as it expands and retain high levels of customer satisfaction and business performance can result in the concentration of power in a few hands. But if the CEO makes all the decisions, the company’s ability to expand successfully will be impacted, regardless of what new technology is brought onboard. Painfully aware of the bottlenecks, leaders begin to ask:
- How does the management team ensure that appropriate decisions are being taken?
- How are all staff supported to deliver at the level of the most experienced?
- How do colleagues access the information they need to make decisions which will impact the business’s bottom line?
Having the facility to share up-to-date, real-time information across the organization, such as is provided by an integrated professional services automation solution, is a prerequisite for devolved decision-making, but so are establishing clear ownership of financial outcomes, agreeing to metrics, and instituting rigorous sales and delivery processes.
In this Best Practice Guide, we describe five simple steps to driving decision-making downwards.