Episode 574: Business Improvement in SaaS Vendor Operation (Part 1)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Operation: Design work

The work of a design team is extensive.

There may be small projects such as "changing icons in SaaS products" and adding them, and there may be also major projects such as "interface development of new SaaS functions".

However... in addition to those, there may be a case where they are requested publishing of a "Customer story article" written by the sales team on the Website, and furthermore, to create a flyer containing the story. Moreover, for an exhibition planned by marketing team, there might occur project of Web contents production, and creation of posters , and so on...

After all, it can be said that it is "a team that continuously being asked for helping hands?" from the entire company.

Challenge: Efficiency Improve on Work that Occurred Passively

It is true that the design team is certainly demanded by everybody.

However, it is inevitable to be said that what they are doing is unobtrusive compared to the fact that the direct division "product development division" and "sales and marketing department" are acting on a daily basis. For example, it is like gift wrapping service counter in a department store. They are keep on giving decorations on outputs of the store as they are asked to do so. And when they notice, "passive attitude" has ingrained on themselves.

Even if they grumbled that if it was the architectural industry, rather, the "designers will move actively, and the engineering group such as "structural" or "environmental" would be passive, "demands from internal company" won't be gone... First of all, I'd like to consider a way to do this passive job in a handsome manner. (Since, even in accounting, human resource department, or IT department, they are handling these "passive job" brilliantly...)

Business Template: [Designing Request]

Solution: Make the Design Process Independent

It is inevitable to some extent that indirect departments supporting direct departments become "passive". Also, indirect departmental Steps (swimlanes) are often incorporated into the Business Processes of the direct department.

However, since the design team himself does not have ownership of the Business Process definition, it tends to occur problems such as

  • Processes within the design team are not improved
  • The situation of work load is not recognized
  • The inputs / outputs of the design process will become disjointed by the work

This Business Process definition, it is not only accepts requests from outside the team but also allows "process linkage" from other Process (cooperation like a subroutine call).

By defining as an independent Business Process like this, it makes easy to visualize the various tasks that the design team receives.

(It does not apply to cases where the direct department possesses an "exclusive designer" within the team.)

Discussion: Necessity of Measurement of Performance Results

A design team is not the only indirect department in a company. There are many other indirect departments within an organization. (It is also referred to as Back office.)

It is common that teams such as for example, "Legal", or "Human Resources" or "IT system", are independent as an indirect department, even if it is in "an organization of non-flat structure" or "a company with more than a thousand employees". (Other than that, translation team, quality control team, brand management team, BPM team, and so on...)

However, even though the same indirect departments, the method of Business Process Management differs greatly by Organization which

  • is not incorporated in daily business of direct department such as "Human Resources department"
  • tends to be incorporated into the daily work of the direct department, such as "legal team" or "design team"

In other words, if it is a "Human Resource team", it is possible to continue to improve personnel work process groups by themselves with ownership. Whereas, processes such as "Legal check", for example, which is incorporated as one Step of the "Order acceptance process" it will not subject to be improved very much.

The design team in this case can be said to be a creative team where the measurement of each person's performance is also important. If you need to grow it to a competitive organization, you should probably consider an independent business process that starts with "Request acceptance" from another department.

[Designing Request:"1. Request designing]

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