The role of a Pacemaker is analogous to the role of a medical pacemaker in that the rhythm at the heart of the SME implementation must be maintained – particularly during the first 2 years.
My Business Excellence has been designed to guide you through your organisation’s own implementation of Business Excellence in a simple linear sequence. Working closely with the Excellence Leader, your appointed internal or external Pacemaker will guide the overall process.
The Pacemaker will help set you up and keep you on track with the overall implementation. By following the detailed instructions within the Portal, they will also facilitate the Critical Events (see below) in your first 2 years. You may appoint an internal Pacemaker or engage an external Pacemaker for this important role.
But could you manage this with an Internal Pacemaker? Yes you can! This is by far the lowest cost option for your SME. The Portal contains detailed instructions for the Pacemaker on how to run every step of the implementation – including how to facilitate all workshops. The Portal also provides a complete Management Information System that enables you to monitor operational plus strategic business performance every month.
Business Excellence capability will be developed progressively by following the prescribed 2-year implementation sequence. Even in your first year, the net benefits will far exceed all costs. Clearly by using an internal Pacemaker, the know-how from your first year automatically becomes embedded within your organisation for repeated application and compounding net benefits in subsequent years. The internal Pacemaker role represents a wonderful opportunity for personal development.
Desirable characteristics of a Pacemaker
|Willingness to learn new software skills, plus attention to detail||Learning how the Portal works; learning how SmartDraw® software works; willingness to teach others how to enter and maintain their own information|
|Commitment to and knowledge of continuous process improvement as a natural way of working (‘How To’ instructions are provided in the Portal)||Open communication; team problem solving; getting results through people; PDCA cycle; process improvement tools and techniques|
|Result oriented||Energy to get the results; tenacity to follow through; willingness to pioneer different ways of working|
|Ability to coach||Problem-solving skills; team behaviour skills|
|People skills||Empowering style; listening skills; ability to build rapport; ability to mentor|
|Credibility with teams, managers and unions (if applicable)|
|Ability to deal with conflicting priorities|
|In the case of an internal Pacemaker, CEO support to devote 3 days per week on average to this crucial role|
But what if you don’t have the right internal person to undertake this role? Then you may engage an external facilitator of your choice to act as your Pacemaker. Authorised external Pacemakers to date are listed below. Alternatively, you may wish to engage a local external consultant that has worked with you previously. Many CEOs prefer to implement Business Excellence with the help of an external Pacemaker to keep them on track with the set program over the first 2 years.
Please note that the consulting fees for an external Pacemaker are far less than would be required for an equivalent implementation led by a team of experienced management consultants working without the immense cost-saving advantages of the My Business Excellence Portal subscription service. If you do decide to use an external Pacemaker, the costs for Year 1 will be fixed at [29 days x the Pacemaker’s daily fee rate], and the costs for Year 2 will be fixed at [17.5 days x the Pacemaker’s daily fee rate].
Authorised External Pacemakers
Irrespective of who you appoint as a Pacemaker (internal or external), they will need to spend some time ‘up front’ familiarising themselves with the My Business Excellence methodology and Portal.
- Together with the nominated Excellence Leader (ideally the CEO / Owner / Manager of the business), secure up-front commitment of the Management Team to follow the 2-year implementation sequence shown below. This sequence is crucial to ensuring that by the end of Year 1, the business will already have achieved savings that far exceed all costs incurred.
- Become familiar with the Portal navigational structure and the specified activities for the Pacemaker and hence understand how to:
- Configure and manage authorised access to the Portal by appropriate employees.
- Arrange the logistics of the implementation sequence.
- Guide the business in following all the detailed instructions of the Portal.
- Facilitate the workshops and progress reviews in accordance with the schedule and detailed instructions.
- Guide all the accountable employees in entering, monitoring and updating performance tracking information via the Portal and its in-built Management Information System.
- Assist Process Managers with the completion of the template for the 1-page Project Briefs for all FPI projects and BPR projects.
- Assist Process Managers and Project Coordinators in estimating the net benefits of completed FPI and BPR projects via the standard 1-page spreadsheet.
- Become familiar with how to configure and use SmartDraw software in order to:
- Manage and track progress each month against the scheduled Actions and KPIs for each Strategic Objective resulting from the inaugural 2-day Strategic Planning Workshop undertaken by the Management Team during Month 1.
- Overview and monitor the scheduled implementations of all FPI projects plus the BPR project – with focus on timely execution of the required Actions.
- Produce flowcharts for each key process of the business.
- Coach the business in how best to link ‘best practice’ operational knowledge automatically to individual process steps, thereby dramatically improving training effectiveness and efficiency.
- Work ‘hand in glove’ with the Excellence Leader to champion the My Business Excellence approach and ensure that the business rigorously completes all Chainlinks and Tasks specified in the Portal.
Pacemaker Time Commitments for Year 1
|Setting up the organisation’s multiple Users of the Portal via logins:||1 FTE days|
|Organising and facilitating the Critical Events depicted above:||20.5 FTE days|
|Providing Portal coaching support to the Users when needed:||2.5 FTE days|
|Providing SmartDraw coaching support to the Users when needed:||5 FTE days|
|TOTAL Estimated Pacemaker Time Commitment for Year 1:||29 FTE days|
Pacemaker Time Commitments for Year 2
Since the organisation will be self-sufficient in facilitating and managing several of the repeating activities in Year 2, the Pacemaker’s time commitments for Year 2 are less than for Year 1:
|Organising and facilitating the Critical Events of Year 1 less all FPI activities||13.5 FTE days|
|Providing Portal coaching support to the Users when needed:||1 FTE days|
|Providing SmartDraw coaching support to the Users when needed:||3 FTE days|
|TOTAL Estimated Pacemaker Time Commitment for Year 2 onwards:||17.5 FTE days|
Interested in becoming an External Pacemaker?
If you are an experienced management consultant, the following features of the external Pacemaker role should appeal:
- You can acquire up to 8 clients for 75% utilisation of your available consulting days – and your proposals will be essentially the same for each client. This simplifies your professional life considerably. Your involvement as a Pacemaker for multiple clients will constitute a solid and predictable base load of consulting work.
- The Portal provides you with a comprehensive, proven and ready-to-go set of intellectual property and marketing collateral for provision of management consulting services in Business Excellence. This greatly simplifies your marketing efforts to win work from potential clients – freeing up your valuable time for fee-generating advisory services. You will need to subscribe to the Portal to become familiar with the details of the methodology ahead of your first client engagement. You will also need to maintain your special Portal subscription for as long as you wish to undertake your external Pacemaker role. Your own Portal subscription cost should NOT be included in any client proposal.
- After you have been accepted and have subscribed to the Portal, your profile and contact details will be featured on the website (see above). Please note that inclusion of this information on our website will not in any way signify that you are formally accredited or licensed by us to act as your client’s Pacemaker. It will be up to you to establish your own track record and credibility by working successfully with those clients that engage you.
- No licensing or franchising fees of any sort will be charged by us for your use of the MBE approach in working with your clients. However, you will be expected to maintain your own annual Portal subscription to ensure that you and your clients are working with the latest version at all times. You will also be expected to follow the recommended methodology and terminology.
- You are free to offer any of your other consulting services in addition to the standard services required of an external Pacemaker for the MBE methodology.
- Our international network of authorised external Pacemakers enables lessons learned to be shared.
Once you register your interest and provide some key background information, we will send you the Pacemaker Business Model. This detailed spreadsheet Model quantifies the implications for your consulting business assuming you progressively acquire and maintain the recommended number of 8 SME clients. You will see that the business case for your participation is compelling, as is the business case for each of your future clients.
Then it will be time for me to call you (or you to call me on +61 438 585 009) for a personal chat about your potential involvement. Assuming we are both keen for you to proceed, I will provide you with a unique Pacemaker Code for you to enter when you subscribe to the Portal.