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BPI Internal Organizational Overview- Envision Phase

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI Internal Organizational Overview- Envision Phase
Internal Organisation REview.jpg


An internal “snapshot” of the organization (focused on the internal dynamics of the business), that identifies factors such as:
  • Core competencies/markets/products
  • Financial trends
  • Key partnerships/alliances
  • Organization structure    
  • Physical infrastructure (facilities/other assets)
  • Regulatory environment
  • Technology (current and planned)
  • Company history.

Customer Value

  • This overview sets the context for the BPI program, ensuring everybody shares a common understanding of the company background and current status, and the environment in which the organization operates. Having a shared perspective facilitates communication with client personnel, and simplifies data collection and interpretation.
  • The information collected for this deliverable guides many subsequent activities throughout the current and following phases. Not performing this analysis will prevent the project team from quickly obtaining a clear picture of day-to-day operational issues and will inhibit the team from identifying organizational, technical or other issues that may impact the BPI program later on.


The team should gather and report sufficient information about the client organization and the projects that the client is currently conducting in order to have a clear portrait of the company. This will include information available from the client, information from other projects similar to this client, literature searches performed by the consultant, operations “walk-throughs”, and/or other interviews/surveys. The timing and the amount of detail information collected may vary based on needs of the project.
The steps to developing an Internal Organizational Overview are as follows:
  1. Identify and review readily-available operational information about the client organization    
  2. Conduct a project inventory of initiatives recently completed or currently under way
  3. Collect and review additional information (e.g. through plant “walk-throughs” or other interviews/surveys).
  4. Complete analysis, and develop report containing observations/results (Company Baselining, Organizational System Model). As appropriate, highlight the following elements:
  • Internal performance reports—key statistics on efficiency, effectiveness, growth, quality, inventory management and customer service.
  • Core competencies/markets/products—information describing the core operations of the company, the marketplace in which they compete and he products or services they provide to their customers. Information may include product information drawn from annual reports, Dunn and Bradstreet™ guides, Standard Industrial Classification codes (SIC) and as well as other magazines and periodicals. (Core Competency / Product / Market Analysis)
  • Financial trends—statistics and measures on key financial information of the company and their trends over time. Information includes Revenue, Sales, Net Profit Before Tax (NBT), Gross Margin, Return on Assets (ROA), Return on Investment (ROI), Cost of Operations, Total Costs, etc. Sources include annual reports, Dow Jones, Dunn and Bradstreet™ guides, and past articles in business newspapers.
  • Key partnerships—information on any alliances, joint ventures, subsidiaries, parents, divisions and descriptions of the business relationship. Sources include annual reports, Dunn & Bradstreet, articles.
  • Organizational structure and culture—portrayal of the organization of the company in terms  of departments/functions, reporting relationships, individual positions, etc. Information may include spans of control (how many levels from CEO to “front line”), and levels (number of direct reports), position descriptions, number of people (per department or process), department/function descriptions, geographic locations, management practices, internal communications, rewards and recognition, training and development, innovation and risk taking. Sources include business or strategic plans, interviews, organization charts.
  • Physical infrastructure—the facility location and layout of physical units. Information     includes number, size and type of units, geographic location and space lay-out. Sources are generally internal company documentation.
  • Regulatory environment—review of any controls imposed on the industry, products or company by federal or local regulations. Information includes pertinent company policies and procedures, intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, industrial designs), national or local laws (e.g. environmental, transport, emissions, etc.) Sources include industry literature, Dunn and Bradstreet™ guides, business articles, law books.
  • Technology overview—review of the technology infrastructure, hardware and software along with how technology is developed, purchased and maintained by the company. Information may include client server versus mainframe, type and distribution of computers, software utilized for each function, Internet access and packaged software used. Sources include information technology plans, other company documents, interviews. (Application Portfolio Analysis)
  • Company history—high level overview of where the company has come from and how it has evolved over time. Information includes products, owners, mergers and acquisitions.



  • Managers in the client organization do not appreciate being canvassed for information multiple times in succession. Develop a sound data collection strategy, and take advantage of any information already gathered by Consultant Organisation.

Tactics/Helpful Hints

  • Use information gathered from this deliverable to feed other activities throughout the life-cycle of the project. Ensure that the information received is reliable. Verify dubious information from multiple sources, whenever possible.
  • Concentrate efforts on those topics that are most likely to be areas of interest later on in the BPI initiative.
  • A significant amount of detail information may not be necessary until focus areas are selected and  “As-Is” processes are being analyzed. Do not spend an inordinate amount of time up front collecting detail information. Gather the amount of information that is considered “just sufficient” to aid the visioning and selection of Focus Areas.
  • Take opportunities to go to the “front lines” (e.g. manufacturing floor, dealerships, field sales offices, support or maintenance facilities, distribution points, etc.) to conduct informal interviews with operations staff to gain new perspectives and to validate information received from executive management.
  • Always review available material on company, industry, etc. before interviews, and plan     content of interviews accordingly.


  • Bring together a team that is well-versed in process/operations, human resources and information technology to conduct a rapid but thorough assessment.
  • Leverage audit personnel to obtain information from previous audits.
  • Typically this is a one to two week exercise, but allow appropriate time depending on geographic distribution of resources and locations for interviews or operations “walk-throughs”

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