Key dependency is one of the risks overlooked in many business organisations. How can you mitigate against these risks and identify where these risks are for your business? Can you afford not to have contingency in place?
Identify your key person dependency. Usually they will be the “Go To” person in the team, the people who have been around a while and can quickly help anybody who has an issue by helping them find the right tools for the task and the best approach to use in that situation.
Contingency what is it and how can your business partners help? With no contingency in place, especially with single person dependency you are only one step away from potential problems that could cause significant risk to your organisation.
Risk of losing business continuity – Loss of an employee (due to resignation, medical condition, holiday, and or retirement) may interrupt business continuity and, in turn, affect the smooth running of the business.
Risk of knowledge concentration – When your business information and knowledge are locked into one person, it is like having all your eggs in one basket.
Risk of knowledge restriction – A lack of best practice documentation and knowledge restricted to a small number of individuals can limit the growth of the business.
This blog lists three best practices to ensure that key dependency risks are reduced, so your business can continue to operate at any time:
- Process control
Reduce your risk in this area by standardising your business processes. Use value driven business process management tools to document and record your key business processes. Keeping those processes Live and Current by using the right tools helps the whole business thrive and helps your Business Support Partners identify key and strategic areas for improvement. Use these tools to create training documentation for new employees, reference guides for current ones and provide a Central Resource as the Place to go to review your processes effortlessly.
- Effective ticketing system & knowledge base articles
Use a ticketing system with knowledge base area. Effective use of simple tools and a common approach to creating and recording knowledge base articles can only enhance the knowledge of your team. Using a solution like this in combination with working with a trusted support partner can significantly reduce your reliance on your one Go To team member.
3. Cross-Train and Outsource
Cross-training can be a highly effective technique to overcome the risk inherent in relying on key individuals. Identifying the right people in your team to share the knowledge is never easy. Encouraging collaboration and ensuring critical information is communicated throughout your team is vital.
It is all too easy to overload your key resources, we all do it, we rely on the people who have always been our Go To people. One way to spread that load is to look at outsourcing. This can be done in many ways, regular visits by experts to your site, remote monitoring, help desk services and best practice training visits. Mix those off the shelf services with business partners that you know and trust and you can see how effective this kind of service could be for your business. Are you better off letting your experts excel at what they are good at and reducing the key person dependency by spreading the load?
Prepare your organisation for unintended yet inevitable events. Systemising your processes, implementing effective ticketing systems and knowledge based articles, combined with cross-training and outsourcing your ERP management.
To learn more about how Columbus Managed Services can help your business work more effectively, download our whitepaper titled ‘Fundamental principles of robust application management.’