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What is Business Process Due Diligence?

I hate fitting rooms. They’re the worst substitute for actual usage that has ever been invented. How can I determine if I’m going to want to put these jeans on every Friday with my cute work-appropriate shirt? Or if they’ll look good with that hot tank top I wear to concerts? Staring at them in the fitting room I’m still forced to use my imagination.

Next, consider the 30-day software trial. This option is possibly worse than perpetually hot dressing rooms with fraudulent skinny mirrors. I never want to use the software too much because if I hate it, the work I’ve done will disappear when the software does. So I play with it, imagine what it would be like to work from it, consider how it might meet my business needs. But I don’t really know, do I?

Business process due diligence is the equivalent of the fitting room and the 30-day trial. It’s meant to prove to a potential buyer that the company you’re selling knows what it’s doing.

Legal due diligence ensures the company is a valid entity with the proper ownership, non-competes, and non-disclosures. Financial due diligence ensures the revenues are accurate, the expenses under control, and the forecasts reasonable. Process due diligence demonstrates the company has an operational structure. It knows how it does what it does.

So, how do you do what you do?

Someone in the company knows. They’re doing it every day. They’re running sales methodologies and procurement. They’re quoting services and submitting contracts. They’re building project schedules, implementing software, testing no programs, and making adjustments for clients. Not everything they do is covered by PMBOK. In fact, most of it isn’t. Most of it is made up on the fly.

Most business processes are invented by the people who use them.

They say, “I need to do X. How will I do it?” They consider the tools they have, the resources like time, money, and persons, and they decide how to do something. If the process works, they repeat it until either A) it doesn’t work or B) they come up with an easier/cheaper/better way.

Business processes are so fluid that they change daily.

They are so invisible that many people don’t even know they’re using them.

Until they have to explain them. Then the conversation that begins with, “How do you…” proceeds immediately to, “This is how I do it, but someone else might do it differently.”

And that’s what your new overlords absolutely, positively do NOT want to hear.

Business process due diligence is about consensus. What needs to get done? How does it get done? Is everyone doing it that way?

No, Margo from Marketing, you can’t just tweet when you feel like it. You have a campaign to run, messaging to deliver. Let’s talk about when and how you tweet.

No, Jack from IT, you can’t just deliver a new laptop to the new intern in finance. You have connectivity procedures, security approvals, and hardware procurements that go with workstation set-up.

Your new overlords will want this information. They might tell you to do it their way, that’s absolutely true. They definitely want to know that you know what you’re doing.

You do know what you’re doing, don’t you?

Good. So, write it down. Prove it. Show the world you build not just a product but the means by which to market, sell, deliver, and install that product. You have user models and upgrade plans. You have a growth strategy that includes responding to customer feedback and market demand. Your processes are all supporting your drive for market share and revenue.

CRC can help you capture those processes.

We can examine the how and determine if you’re using the best tools to meet your goals. We can review the various ways people are processing work and help you decide on best practices. We can document how you do what you do so the buyers – your new overlords – believe you when you say you’re worth buying.

And, you are worth buying.

To get started with a business process due diligence project, call 803-569-8200.

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