In the last few posts we touched on Growth and Scaling preparations in terms Human Capital Management, Financial Resource Management, Strategy Management and Project Evaluation Management. In the last post in the series we will touch on additional practical considerations.
All said and done, there are many limitations that are outside the control of any organizations including market and competitor behavior, consumer perceptions, external stakeholder objectives as well as rapid innovations. Those and many other factors that shape the overall perceived and real “business environment” that will inherently have an influence on the outcome of any business related project. Hence it is vital to account and plan for certain margin of error that will dictate changes, adjustments and pivots.
Though a stable tool of business management, expectations management is one of THE most important yet clearly underutilized component of scaling and growth projects. Drawing on the idea that there are inherently many more unknowns in those projects that can lead to limitations, it is extremely vital to utilize both the theoretical and practical aspects of expectations management theory.
Growth is NOT unlimited nor is Scaling. Contrary to the belief that there is no ceiling to expand and grow, the reality is much different. As mentioned previously, the sheer fact that are many components outside the influence of an organization, it is rather logical to see why there are real life limitations. Hence it is extremely important to start off those growths and scaling projects with reasonable outlook and goals.
Business Process Engineering (Reengineering)
When limitations and expectations management are accepted and implemented, process engineering and reengineering become indispensable. In line with other component, business process management, engineering and reengineering have an even more outsized role when it comes to scaling and growth in order to address and accommodate both the limitations and expectations management.
It is safe to assume that virtually no two businesses are alike: starting by the initial founder that sets and shapes the organizational culture to how the company behaves in any given situation. Hence, all the previously discussed components have to be flexible and adaptive in a way that syncs with the overall organizational philosophy.
All previously discussed components, will have substantially less real and perceived value if the stakeholder and team members are not in the loop; as in not only participate in planning but also be included in updates and results. Granted there may be some compartmentalization necessary to avoid information overload and/or streamlining of effective decision making; however, the information flow MUST be a “two-way street”. By facilitating a lean but flexible information channel that allows for updates and results to work its way to stakeholders as well as allowing the stakeholder’s feedback to flow back to the appropriate members the feedback loop will become one of THE most important tools in growing and/or scaling a project successfully.
Scaling a business to achieve growth has many similarities with general business management principles and practices. The key to success is understanding and addressing the subtle differences that can and will make or break the end result.