A support team, or “engine room team”, is a concept that should be created and formalised as soon as what you do is “IT”. In process, it consists of a group of people who want to help you design a new process or create new products, and are not necessarily people who have expertise in the area under discussion. Usually people from different departments or functions put together, but you might also have 3rd parties included as “engine room team”.
In many businesses, I have found that in identifying a need for a support team, the owner of the business isn’t really aware of the benefits that can flow from bringing in a third-party on a consulting basis (if one is needed). For example, rather than drafting a set of “nagapoker” to be evaluated by senior business users, you might have a set of “processes” created by a third party that include input from the top 100 business users in your business. That results in a process that is more appropriate, and leads to improved business processes, with input from more business users, and improves the design itself.
The days of “thinking creatively or making stuff up” are over. If technology is supposed to spell out ways to improve the quality of business, it is right there, every day, all across the globe. What SME’s need are only to collaborate with tech, as opposed to compete.
Business owner readers, please ask yourselves the following questions:
- Does a support team help you identify a better business model or improved processes?
- Does a support team identify growth opportunities or business strengths?
- Does a support team help manage growth or identify trouble spots in your business?
If your business needs help with Efficiency & improved throughput/interdependency, is your company sponsor the right person to get to the technical people? Why go to people who don’t do the job even though this is, maybe, the most important part of your business?
Look around the business you work in, do you run the ragged remotely from your office, or are you in a remote operation? While technology can certainly help reduce the business costs of owning a business, a bad IT setup can actually hide business deficiencies in your business, along with a host of other hidden costs with regards to poorly managed operating systems, IT costs, and more.
Software has a huge benefit of saving a lot of capital as it improves the organization’s cost effectiveness, especially when it is capable of fully eliminating the vast majority of the things software does. Combined with access to dedicated experts in your business, that means you can get a software solution at a fraction of the cost of multitude of software companies( computer vendors) can charge to implement their technology.
What about automation? Or a process to run how we do things set-up and forget? But, in reality, if the business is in a continually changing environment, that means a constant process of change. On the bottom of that, no one likes to take on someone who’s an expert at what he does and then suddenly becomes a repeat employment for him. Or worse, the business owners are afraid that the new employee will “hit the cold pitch from a mile distance”, or something out of place or out of place, weren’t the things they loved and enjoyed to do, or just plain did not get their attention.
So, create a “help-with-new-employees” team, and then invite them to sit down with your team to really explore and understand what the business is doing, why it’s doing it, and how they can benefit from the change. And once the business owner has created a proper business model for the new employees, what is the sales and operational cost of each employee? Do you have hit a “bonus hit”?
NOTE: I frequently refer to “engine room plan” where you have a group of people with a semi-create system to solve the business problems.