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Methodology
Many processes in use today have evolved rather than been designed. It is a natural human tendency to want to get on and do things, rather than spend time up front thinking about how to do them. So we use a fast efficient method to do the design, which will not delay the project schedule.
Process design or re-design
We will work with you to determine;
What's the process really for.
What are it's inputs, resource requirements and constraints.
What are it's required outputs, and what metrics are needed to monitor the quality of those
outputs.
What design will most efficiently and effectively deliver the outputs.
What the expected costs are.
Our design principles are;
To keep the process simple.
To design in prevention activities to minimise appraisal and failure costs.
To use appropriate technologies to automate the activities, the control environment and the
collection of process metrics.
If there is a current process in place a gap analysis will be used to assess whether that current process can be improved, or whether we should start from scratch (Business Process Re-engineering).

Our approach is compatible with detailed functional designs being developed using either a Waterfall approach or a Rapid Application Development method (e.g. DSDM)

Process Documentation
All design work is documented using commonly available software suitable for distribution over a LAN, and we would recommend the use of a document repository. Software is predominantly Microsoft Word, Visio and Excel. We recommend Visio is enhanced by Triaster's Process Navigator to ensure documentation cascades are simple and efficient to maintain.

Process flowcharts are delivered in deployment format, so they can be used for a variety of purposes, not just the initial design (e.g. training & ongoing process improvement).

Process Documentation
Process Management
We believe very strongly that maximum business benefit will not be gained from any process transformation unless it is subsequently managed for continuous improvement using sound Process Management methods. The way in which we carry out our design and documentation is consistent with all the major Process Management approaches
(e.g. EFQMISO9001, 6-sigma).
Process Management
We can provide training in the fundamentals of process management methods to the teams who will administer the new (or re-designed) processes to ensure that the benefits of transformation are not lost. This will equip them to:
understand why the process is designed the way it is.
how to measure process performance and interpret the results, and use the information to
drive improvement.
how to carry out improvements in a controlled and systematic way.
This training would provide a starting point to move on to the more advanced methodologies mentioned above, most of which are several generations above the current capabilities of most UK service processes, and as such represent to large a leap to take in one go.
This service is provided in association with Grayhawke Ltd
Culture Change
Although Athena Consulting focuses on process design and redesign, we also recognise the importance of culture. A company will find it extremely difficult to implement any transformation project and subsequently to develop an environment of continuous improvement, if it does not have a culture where people are self-motivated and willing to co-operate to achieve useful business outcomes.
Culture Change
Culture change has been dogged by the lack of a clear definition of culture, and a sound way of assessing what your culture is. Athena has consultants licensed to use the
Performance Improvement System which provides a sound and systematic method of assessing the culture of a corporation, department or team. We can also provide advice on how to change your culture to a more constructive and co-operative style of working.
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Jonathan Halstead
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