Consulting

Process Design can help clients deal with specific issues on an ad hoc basis. We have worked with clients on situation assessments, strategy mapping, performance management, problem solving, and project management. We can provide group facilitation with all stakeholders or individual coaching, depending on our clients’ needs.

Here are some examples of areas in which we focus:

Performance Analysis

Sometimes an organization finds that it has a performance gap: a shortfall between what management would like to be happening and actual results. Other times, an organization would like to take advantage of a new opportunity and wants to know how to maximize organizational performance. Both situations benefit from Performance Analysis and we work with clients to help them analyze and improve performance.

Process Design has worked with clients to:

  • Help structure the appropriate questions to elicit the required information
  • Run surveys, interviews, and focus groups with all key stakeholders to determine why results are falling short of set goals
  • Assimilate conclusions and insights, stemming from the data
  • Determine action steps for the issues identified
  • Ensure that key stakeholders buy into the action plan

Clients who we have helped using through Performance Analysis:

  • Having invested heavily in the design and delivery of company-wide training to increase staff product knowledge and customer service, a large company decided that it needed to get an objective outside perspective on how well the program was working and so determine its next steps. The project involved the design and implementation of a company-wide survey. This was followed up with focus groups to identify the successes of the program and the gaps still to be closed. As a result, the company took specific steps to increase the effectiveness of the training outcomes, including such things as management coaching of employees.
  • Having set up a customer service centre by combining the staff and systems from across several business units, the management team of a major company decided that it needed to find out what performance measures were being used, how well they worked, and what gaps existed. The project involved designing and conducting a series of interviews with managers and staff. The resulting insights provided the management team with immediate opportunities for progress and alignment on a longer-term direction. The management team was able to implement a balanced scorecard to report progress to its stakeholders.
  • Having set up a shared services organization combining units from across ministries, a provincial organization decided that it needed to identify what elements its managers and staff believed should be part of a common service delivery model. The project involved designing and conducting interviews and focus groups to identify common elements and business rules. The resulting overall model was adopted by the organization and was incorporated into customer service training and service level agreements.

Group Facilitation

In order to reach a common understand on a situation and take aligned action, a group often needs a structured process for discussion that will cover all the bases quickly and thoroughly. We work with clients to help facilitate dialogue on important issues in a way that maximizes stakeholder buy in.

Process Design has worked with clients to:

  • Design an agenda to which all stakeholders agree to adhere
  • Appoint an impartial third party as the meeting leader so that the team leader is not perceived to be running the meeting to support his or her personal agenda
  • Balance the need for quality dialogue against time constraints
  • Encourage participants to reach an agreement, state individual commitment to the plan, and commit to a course of action

Clients who we have helped through Group Facilitation:

  • A ministry that was attempting to get cross-functional alignment on a major information system project wanted to use a facilitator to maximize productivity and ensure the quality of its project definition. The session used Process Design’s Critical Thinking Skills and Project Management methodologies and a skilled Process Design facilitator to arrive at a consensus definition of requirements. This enabled the cross-functional steering group to clearly define its contract with the system suppliers and manage the project to a successful conclusion.
  • A health care organization decided that a strategic planning session was needed to set clear priorities for the next three years and create team alignment. The session used Process Design’s Strategic Management methods and two skilled facilitators to bring the group to a consensus on strategic priorities and create a heightened appreciation of how the team could collaborate more effectively.
  • A company faced with rapidly changing market conditions decided to launch a business process re-engineering project to develop and implement new ways of doing business to meet customer needs and maintain company profitability. The sessions used Process Design’s Process Management, Project Management and Strategic Management methods and an experienced facilitator to review progress, identify obstacles, and keep the project on track. As a result the company successfully developed and implemented six new core processes that enabled them to better meet client needs and restore company profitability.

Individual Coaching

In order to implement strategic objectives and plans that get results, individuals — be they senior executives, new managers, high-performance employees, or entrepreneurs — need support to assist them at critical points. Coaching has been done face-to-face, by phone, and even via email. Some clients are interested in retaining us for an extended period and others simply wish to trouble-shoot a single issue which has them stuck.

Process Design can work with clients in a coaching capacity to:

  • Assist in helping define an organization’s objectives, vision, and values
  • Act as a sounding board by asking relevant questions and engaging in active listening
  • Encourage new managers and help them gain the confidence they need to lead a team
  • Outline options for action and methodically explore all of the possible implications

Clients we have helped through coaching:

  • Team leaders of a company responsible for planning a re-engineering project and leading their team through its implementation decided that they would benefit from experienced coaching to assist their decision making and action planning. The coaching sessions were face-to-face, one hour at a time, focused on specific concerns that each leader faced. As a result, leaders felt more confident about handling team issues and conducting meetings. This led to the successful completion of their projects.
  • Charged with coordinating the implementation and integration of more than a dozen strategic technology projects, the project coordinators of a large public sector organization felt the need to have some coaching to help them make sense of the wide variety of issues they faced. The coaching sessions, each half-a-day in duration, guided them through the process of project transition and successful transfer of ownership to the line organization.
  • Having determined that a strategic restructuring was needed to create greater alignment with stakeholder needs, a department head of a major Canadian corporation decided that he needed a coach to help him to think through the alternatives and issues and act as a sounding board for his decisions. The coaching sessions, which each lasted a half-day, helped the department head to arrive at a structure that fit the department’s needs and to implement the structure successfully.