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How an operating model assessment can help you navigate digital transformation

In an ever-evolving business landscape, organizations are constantly challenged to refine their operational strategies to stay competitive and agile. A comprehensive understanding of operating model best practices is crucial in identifying potential gaps, inefficiencies and opportunities for optimization for any organization.

An operations assessment serves to establish a comprehensive foundation that not only evaluates the current effectiveness of an organization’s structure, but also provides actionable insights to drive strategic decision-making and enhance overall performance. Organizations undergoing complex digital transformation initiatives are responding to changing consumer demands and transformative technologies, making an assessment to confirm strategies a critical component for sustainable growth and resilience in the face of changing market dynamics.

How does an operating model assessment work?

An operations assessment is a critical component of a successful digital transformation to not only shed light on existing challenges, but also establish the groundwork for tailored solutions that streamline processes, enhance productivity and drive sustainable growth. This provides organizations with the necessary insights to strategically plan and implement digital initiatives that are designed to work with the natural operations of the organization.

Baker Tilly Digital’s approach for operational assessments has been tested by dozens of clients across all industries and is based on three phases: Planning and initiation, Flowchart and activity inventory and Operating model assessment and opportunities.

The three phases of an operational assessment

Phase 1: Planning and initiation

Establish the groundwork for a collaborative relationship and streamlined project by co-developing a work plan.

The focus of this phase is to understand the current process narratives and stakeholder needs that provide context for the prioritization setting and define the project’s approach, goals and objectives. Since not all projects can be accomplished simultaneously and levels of impact vary, the prioritization process establishes a sequence of projects that align to considerations specific to a client’s unique requirements.

Phase 2: Flowchart and activity inventory

Understand existing operational processes, organizational models and key technology support in order to prioritize future state capabilities and drive enhanced performance across the organization.

The focus of this phase is to baseline the current state of the organization from a technical and process perspective by conducting a series of process discovery sessions (both quantitative and qualitative, people-oriented and data-driven) and performing walkthroughs to validate documented processes. This allows Baker Tilly Digital to consolidate the organization’s inventory of core activities into a single source of truth, determine the skills needed for each core activity in the inventory and identify redundancies that highlight opportunities for activity/process optimization.

Additionally, these assessments work to identify activities, processes or sub-processes that may be ideal for automation before developing a high-level automation opportunity road map for organizational consideration. This work is then presented to include the key activities, inputs/outputs, technology systems/tools used and key controls that define an organization’s effective operations.

Phase 3: Operating model assessment and opportunities

Review the current state operating model against the observations developed in the prior phase to determine recommendations and operating model improvement opportunities.

The focus of reviewing the current state operating model is to gain a better understanding of the skills required and expected level of effort to complete the high-level grouping of activities outlined in prior phases. Knowing this allows Baker Tilly Digital to conduct a future state operating model brainstorm and resource capacity assessment to determine if the existing model is optimal. If not, we develop future state operating model recommendations that work to maximize team performance by leveraging their strengths and workload availability while minimizing redundancy and downtime. The development of future state operating model options includes a cost benefit analysis to quantify the return on investment (ROI) from any proposed implementation.

Why should you undergo an operational assessment?

As disruptive innovations and shifting consumer demands are the norm in today’s marketplace, organizations must continuously adapt to remain relevant and profitable. Additionally, following unprecedented disruptions, such as the global pandemic, organizations have realized the importance of having operations that are resilient and flexible, making the assessment of their operational model a critical step in building an adaptable framework that can withstand unforeseen changes.

Operational assessments establish core understandings and guide organizations through the complexities of digital transformation through a comprehensive understanding of current processes to identify operational inefficiencies, optimize resource allocation and enhance overall productivity. Additionally, operational improvements benefit core business objectives aligned with the defined operational strategy to foster an organizational culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

Ultimately, an operational assessment helps organizations build resilience, improve operational efficiencies and maintain a competitive edge in a rapidly changing business landscape.

Real world example

This financial services company was struggling with their traditional monthly processes as they were overwhelming and required an abundance of work to be completed within tight deadlines with little room for error. Read our case study to learn how a process and operating model assessment helped this company identify operational and technical inefficiencies to decrease time spent on non-value-added activities.

Ready to get started?

As organizations continue to navigate the complexities of digital transformation, an operational assessment plays a critical role in creating an organization that is flexible and resilient in the face of change. Baker Tilly Digital is here to support your organization, regardless of where you currently are in your digital transformation journey. We can help you assess the current state of your operations to ensure your operational model is optimized for efficiency and organizational capacity.

For more information on Baker Tilly Digital’s operational assessment services, or to discuss how we may be able to assist your organization, contact us today.

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