So there are two different ways of explaining what we do here at Flat Five consultancy. We could say we’re a boutique management consultancy that delivers focused, results-orientated leadership across a range of different disciplines, primarily Project and Supplier Management, Business Intelligence and Service Governance. This is all true but it’s a bit, well... overdone isn’t it? You probably started yawning half-way through.
In keeping with Albert’s quote above it’s more our style to say we can make things happen quickly & efficiently, talk productively to your business partners, use your data in smart & innovative ways to explain what your business is - and isn’t - good at and then help you control and improve the experience your customers have when dealing with you.
If you prefer the second one and think we could help then talk to us.
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Too often project managers elevate process above outcome, the bureaucracy above the benefits. No matter how complex the environment the tools and techniques in most methodologies should be used intelligently and selectively, always in pursuit of your end goal rather than just because you have a template or because you’ve always done things that way!
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We have exposure to a range of different methodologies broadly aligned with Prince2 and all following the usual lifecycle approach (initiation, planning, execution and closure). If you are a small-to-medium sized enterprise without an established PMO function we can support you in terms of establishing your own unique methodology and toolset to help you to successfully deliver projects across your organisation.
It’s not at all unusual for projects to drift off course, often creating huge operational and commercial risks. When this happens it’s important to act quickly to identify the reasons for the drift and the solutions required to address it. Flat Five can help you identify and address common areas of concern including resource availability, inadequate control environments and scope-creep to help turnaround troubled projects quickly and with confidence.
It’s increasingly rare for companies to own & control, end-to-end, every aspect of the service they offer their customers. The global economy provides even small-to-medium sized enterprises with the opportunity to outsource some of their services and leverage the expertise and scale from other organisations, nearby or on the other side of the world. For larger organisations this has been the norm for almost 30 years and supplier management is no longer the narrow, supply-chain focused discipline it once was.
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Business Intelligence is too often misunderstood and neglected by organisations who stand to benefit tremendously from taking it more seriously. Be they small-to-medium sized enterprises with one or two spreadsheet specialists or large corporates with multi-site / multi-function teams generating huge volumes of management information there are a range of common mistakes and pitfalls that routinely undermine how businesses use their data.
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For ‘in situ’ managers there are key management information basics that they need to have in place to control and improve the service their teams deliver. We can work with senior management teams to understand their challenges and longer-term goals to allow us to design and then deliver focused, action-orientated MI on a regular basis.
The fragmentation of service delivery in large organisations (outsourcing, utility functions etc.) makes it very difficult to clearly understand the cost dynamics in your business. Having in place focused commercial MI is extremely important to manage those dynamics. At Flat Five we have extensive experience establishing Activity-Based Costing programmes, profit centre set-up and internal billed-provision arrangements to help you understand how cost operates within your business.
Businesses often spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying about the results of their existing measures rather than taking a critical look at what they’re measuring and whether or not it’s the right thing. Most management information has evolved over time, at the behest of long-gone senior managers and the focus of the data is rarely questioned. At Flat Five we can take a ‘blank-page’ approach, interrogate your leaders to understand what they want to achieve, their concerns, what broad themes they need to understand etc. and then design a suite of measures that provide everything they need to know.
Service Governance isn’t a settled or established discipline, certainly not in the way Supplier Management or Business Intelligence is. But given the complexity of modern-day service design this is changing fast and ensuring you have the right governance in place across your service offering is critical to the success of your business. Governance is about more than knowing you have a team meeting on a Tuesday morning and someone takes the minutes!
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