Ken VanOverberghe
Ken VanOverberghe

simplify delivery


Often you will hear that large and complex companies are too bureaucratic. When confronted with this. I often respond – see how well the organization works without bureaucracy. It is some level of bureaucracy that allows the organization to function, to continue as a going entity as leadership changes, and yes, to define policy and processes for its day-to-day function. Without it, a company would spiral into chaos. The challenge is to rethink the functionality of the organization and optimize the execution at the most basic levels, what occurs day in and day out – because that is what most people view as ‘bureaucracy’.


Assessing these day-to-day functions requires closer scrutiny on two major components – the process and the organization. Several core questions to address include:


  • Why are we doing this at all?
  • Is the process fulfilling the intended purpose?
  • Are stakeholders being affected by the activity?
  • Is this what we would do if we could start over?
  • How many hand-offs / touches within the process?
  • Who ‘owns” the outcome from end-to-end?
  • Does the function add value? Create value? Enhance our customer’s


The last bullet is important, as often times, portions of the process, or in some cases,  the entire process itself, are performed simply to satisfy internal demands of the organization. These are ripe for re-engineering or elimination.


Coupled hand in hand with simplification are the corresponding organizational changes. Done correctly, the simplification process with redefine roles in the organization,  improve decision making and clearly articulate authority, accountability and  responsibility.  


Embarking on a simplification effort may not be for every organization. But those that embrace the effort reap tremendous benefits. Improved efficiency, increased profitability and the elusive competitive advantage - a delivery process not easily replicated by competitors.