Business process review Development Contracts company Case study


This SME business delivers £multi-million building development contracts around the UK. Its core product range has a high demand for technical specification and use and the business has a significant number of departments and processes. It attained ISO 9001 (quality) and 14001 (environment) accreditations a few years ago and both are fundamental aspects of the business. There is strong emphasis on the need to maintain their accreditations while processes evolve and are updated, particularly following significant growth in the size of the business, the services offered and the contracts it delivers. Related issues:

  • When quality manager resigned, he had not been replaced
  • Business had grown significantly in terms of turnover, type of work and new staff
  • Senior staff, brought in for their experience, had brought their own systems and ideas with them, much of which had not been collated and rationalised
  • Many of new senior staff had less experience in the specialist market the company works in
  • Procedures needed formulating and rationalising, so as to generate consistency
  • Processes varied greatly:
    • Department to department
    • Personnel to personnel within departments
    • Location to location

Sue Cohen’s role

  • Facilitating meetings to bring 9 departments together, in order to:
    • Share information and promote understanding across all departments
    • Track information and documentation through the business, identifying key content, ownership and users
    • Thoroughly document information and process flow between and across departments
    • Ensure director-level review of relevant documentation and information

Sue’s contribution

  • Planned, organised and facilitated meetings of department heads, together with a individual department meetings
  • Challenged department heads to ensure all information was complete and understood by others
  • Challenged content without losing the objective ie “Is it really needed?” and “Can it be simplified?”
  • Influenced directors to contribute to process, build on content provided by others, work collaboratively across all departments
  • Collated and organised documentation and information

Key achievements / outputs

  • Influenced “reluctant” department heads to contribute to process, valuing theirs’ and others’ information and knowledge
  • Collated and analysed huge volume of information, constantly moving process forwards
  • Rationalised information per department, identifying:
    • Critical outputs
    • Ownership
    • Escalation
    • Authorisation
  • Collated all documentation:
    • Eliminating duplication
    • Creating a consistent approach
  • Identified critical items:
    • Timescale, within requirements of each project
    • Minimum handover per department
    • Introduced “hold points” for information flow and development
  • Specifically created new indexing system to aid on-going collation of information by department, as well as across the business


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