In our last post, we discussed the reporting and decision-making problems that were plaguing one of our large corporate clients.

In this company, more than 75,000 annual hours were being spent creating redundant reports. After our analysis, we determined that only 4% of those reports actually contained unique and relevant information. In other words, that’s a LOT of wasted time, money, and resources being spent on useless reporting that only ends up confusing key decision-makers.

Here’s a look at what caused this culture of waste and distrust to form.

Root problem #1: “Too many cooks in the kitchen.”

In this company, approximately 1,000 individual reports and spreadsheets were being used by a finance team composed of roughly 250 people, so 4 unique reports per person.

Does a group of that size really need to be generating that many reports? No!

With that many cooks in kitchen, the company’s reporting process completely lost focus and scope.

Root problem #2: Distrust between Finance and IT.

As we continued digging, we found that there was a general sense of distrust and head-butting between Finance and IT.

Finance blamed IT for providing faulty data and not automating, and IT blamed Finance for not providing accurate business requirements.

Between the overwhelming sense of complexity and the general sense of distrust within two of the organization’s most important divisions, things were not going well at this organization. No wonder their reporting processes were so complex and out of hand!

Root problem #3: Reporting complexity.

We identified 5 core factors that created complexity within the company’s reporting and decision-making processes:

  1. heavy turnover, no standard processes, and a leadership team that craved data
  2. lack of proper business intelligence software and dashboard generation
  3. lack of important data streams flowing into the existing data warehouse
  4. super-users who would blindly pull source data and join it with existing reports
  5. teams detached from the group with no common knowledge sharing

How we solved it.

In an effort to turn things around, we implemented 5 separate solutions:

  1. brought in a new Director of Business Intelligence to oversee the processes
  2. began decommissioning reports among specific teams
  3. invested in a proper business intelligence platform
  4. brought teams together as part of a Business Intelligence Competency Centre
  5. focused on creating a culture of transparency in terms of what key decisions needed to be made, not just what reports needed to be created

These changes encouraged all company associates at all levels of the company to start thinking about why their reports matter. It wasn’t long before the tides began to change, and the company was on its way from a “reporting” mindset to an “information” and “decision-making” mindset.

And with that new focused mindset comes smoother processes and increased performance. Talk about a win-win!

What questions do you still have about the sense of complexity in reporting and decision-support organizations? Leave us a comment below, or contact our team of cross-functional performance improvement specialists today for personalized support.