Focussed Business Review

 Focused Business Diagnostic

How focused is your business model?
What is your ability to change, innovate and adapt to a changing business environment?
Area   Please be honest with your answers in order to obtain an accurate assessment of your business. You may find it useful to complete the assessment with a group of employees, or to ask individuals to complete the assessment themselves and compare your responses. This will show you the varying perceptions of the business.
Category   Focused business model (Business Model)
Explanation: 

Assess the ability to efficiently and effectively deliver a focused business model
Questions

1.  We have a clearly defined vision for the business based on knowledge of what the customer wants.

Best Practice Example: A leading branded company in the food and drink sector has the vision of becoming number one brand in its markets. It is focused on maintaining brand awareness and perception of quality and this is at the core of all decision making in the business.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Vision and value proposition
Suggested Action: Define a clear vision for the business based on knowledge of what the customer wants
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/strategic/visual-strategy
Title: Visual strategy
2.  We have a deliberate strategy to achieve this vision which is supported by an appropriate operating model.

Best Practice Example: The business has a rolling strategy 3 years ahead that is focused on achieving the vision of the business. It contains business goals and objectives in each functional area that are assigned to a particular employee for delivery. The operating model (i.e. decisions to outsource, manufacturing strategy, etc) are made in accordance with the overall strategy and business direction. Since brand maintenance is paramount, the business keeps all production processes in house to ensure quality.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Strategic planning and implementation
Suggested Action: Develop a focused strategy to achieve your vision, and ensure that your operating model allows the business to deliver this effectively.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/strategic/visual-strategy
Title: Visual strategy

 Focussed Business Review

3.  The business is meeting performance targets and customers are satisfied with our offering.

Best Practice Example: Performance targets are being achieved for the most part and the business considers itself to be operating according to its strategic plan. Sales patterns are as expected or better as customers are satisfied with the products being offered to them, and customer feedback is positive.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Business performance
Suggested Action: Ensure that you are measuring the right things, and that your performance targets are realistic.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/operational/performance-measurement
Title: Performance management
4.  We know our critical processes and regularly measure and improve them to ensure maximum efficiency and performance.

Best Practice Example: Based on our vision to be the leading brand, critical processes are sales and marketing, production, and logistics, as well as customer relationship management. These key processes have been mapped and analysed to identify potential efficiency improvements, and are continuously measured and monitored.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Critical process management
Suggested Action: Ensure that your critical processes are well defined, measured, and improved.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/operational/process-management
Title: Process management
5.  We have invested in, or have access to, appropriate technologies and business management methodologies.

Best Practice Example: To ensure quality control during production, as well as efficiency supply chain management, the business has invested in an ERP system and real-time production data acquisition program. It regularly sends its employees to conferences and on training courses to ensure they are aware of latest production technology and management practices.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Manufacturing and business technologies
Suggested Action: Investigate manufacturing and business technologies that are relevant to your business.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/operational/digital-manufacturing
Title: Digital manufacturing

 Focussed Business Review

6.  Our employees are appropriately trained for the tasks they carry out and are regularly reviewed to identify development opportunities.

Best Practice Example: Each staff member has a personal performance meeting every six months in which targets are agreed and any potential development opportunities are identified. All employees have the opportunity to request additional training if deemed necessary to deliver business objectives. New staff are trained using a formal induction process.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Employee training and development
Suggested Action: Carry out a skills audit to identify any training needs or development opportunities.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/managerial/people-development
Title: People development
7.  Employees are motivated in their work.

Best Practice Example: All employees understand their role in the business and perform their tasks as expected. Managers and supervisors do not have to spend a lot of time correcting behaviours or checking that tasks have been completed.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Motivation
Suggested Action: Investigate where in the business there are motivation issues, why they exist, and take steps to address them.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/managerial/leadership
Title: Leadership
8.  We have a clear understanding of cash flow in the business (costs, pricing, revenue streams), and manage it well.

Best Practice Example: There is a formula for calculating the costs and revenues for each customer order, and the sales team does not agree an order without first ensuring it fits within the company’s guidelines. Weekly accounting information is produced and reviewed at management meetings to flag any potential cash flow issues.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Financial management
Suggested Action: Develop a process or some tools to help understand and manage the financial state of the business.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/strategic/finance
Title: Finance
9.  The vision, strategy and performance of the business is regularly communicated to all relevant personnel.

Best Practice Example: All staff are aware of and understand the vision of the business and the high level business goals and objectives. The management team communicates the performance of the business to subordinates on a regular basis and there is a process for passing on such information throughout the organisation.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Communication
Suggested Action: Communicate the vision, strategy, and performance results to all employees in a visual and engaging way.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/strategic/visual-strategy
Title: Visual strategy
Category   Adaptability (Adaptability)
Explanation: 

Assess the ability to change, innovate and adapt to the emerging environment.
Questions

1.  We know what is happening in the external business environment.

Best Practice Example: People in the business have responsibility for gathering information from the external business environment and feeding it into management discussions. We understand what is happening in our markets and the industry as a whole.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Horizon scanning
Suggested Action: Scan the external business environment for information relevant to the business.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/adaptive/horizon-scanning
Title: Horizon scanning
2.  We use information gathered from the business environment to identify opportunities and threats.

Best Practice Example: The business understands the impact that changes in the business environment has on its current operations and uses the information to identify opportunities for the business, or threats to its performance. This is discussed regularly at management meetings, and when new significant information comes to light. Because we have this process in place, we discovered that one of our competitors was in trouble and so we approached them with a take-over deal.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Using external information
Suggested Action: Create a process for gathering and discussing information from the external environment, in order to identify opportunities and threats.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/adaptive/horizon-scanning
Title: Horizon scanning
3.  We review our business strategy in light of any changes in the business environment and change it as required.

Best Practice Example: The business strategy is reviewed according to the current business environment and reviewed if necessary – we do not wait until the formal strategy review takes place, if it needs to be changed, we discuss it as a management team and change it accordingly.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Horizon scanning
Suggested Action: Use information from the business environment to review the current strategy and make changes if required.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/strategic/visual-strategy
Title: Visual strategy
4.  Our business is flexible enough to reconfigure in order to respond to opportunities and threats

Best Practice Example: When we do identify a new opportunity, we are able to invest time and resources to develop it further or reconfigure the business to exploit it. Similarly, if we recognise a threat we can make changes quickly to avoid it or minimise the impact. It is our culture to be proactive when possible.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Horizon scanning
Suggested Action: Use information from the business environment to review the current strategy and make changes if required.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/strategic/visual-strategy
Title: Visual strategy
5.  We have enough resources or support from customers/investors/local government etc to allow us to get back on our feet if a crisis occurs.


Best Practice Example: The business has a good relationship with its lenders and peers, and is considered an important part of the local community, therefore it has the support of local development agencies and industry groups if difficulties arise.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Horizon scanning
Suggested Action: Use information from the business environment to review the current strategy and make changes if required.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/strategic/visual-strategy
Title: Visual strategy
6.  Employees are given the opportunity to suggest ways to improve processes, practices, products, services, the way they do their job.

Best Practice Example: We have a process in the business that allows all employees, no matter which level they are at, to suggest improvements to the business. They can put a suggestion on our intranet forum, or suggest their ideas at their daily meeting. All ideas are considered in terms of how they will benefit the business and we make sure to feedback the outcome of this to those who made the suggestion.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Innovation
Suggested Action: Give all employees the opportunity to suggest improvements to any aspect of the business operation, and put relevant ideas into action.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/adaptive/innovation
Title: Innovation
7.  Change is part of the culture of the business – we are not afraid of changing the status quo and employees do not resist new ways of doing things.

Best Practice Example: When new ideas or initiatives are introduced employees are not considered barriers to implementation. Through communication and participation they engage with change leaders and help to initiate and carry through changes that will benefit the business.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Change management
Suggested Action: Develop a culture of change in the business and work towards removing any barriers to change.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/adaptive/change
Title: Change management

 Focussed Business Review

8.  We have discussed succession for the business and have a plan for ensuring experience and skills are not lost when people leave the business.

Best Practice Example: We try to make sure that more experienced members of staff have the opportunity to pass on their knowledge to younger members. We have also identified key members of staff who we will develop into higher roles so they can join the management team when current managers leave the business.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Succession planning
Suggested Action: Develop a succession plan for the business, and put in place processes to ensure that valuable skills and experience are not lost.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/managerial/succession-planning
Title: Succession planning
9.  We learn from past experiences and changes and use this knowledge to improve future changes and decision making.

Best Practice Example:
After any big change project, and at our strategic review meetings we discuss and document anything we have learned from our experiences. We also ensure that before starting a new project we review these learnings to help stop us making the same mistakes and so become more efficient and effective.
Question Cut-off (out of 3): 2
Guidelines
1
   Disagree
2
To some extent
3
    Agree
Action
Need To: Organisational learning
Suggested Action: Develop the business capacity as a learning organisation and put in place processes to capture learning from past experiences.
Strength: Blank
Web Search: Blank
URL: http://www.futuresme.eu/resources/adaptive/organisational-learning
Title: Organisational learning