ILX Group calls for organisations to look at best practice models to gain competitive advantage and minimise risks

Published March 25th, 2010 - 01:12 GMT
ILX Group plc, the best practice training company, today called for organisations to make greater use of best practice models to improve performance, deliver greater efficiencies, control costs and minimise risks. In 2009, ILX saw a twenty per cent increase in the number of people undertaking best practice courses and to help businesses who are reviewing their internal processes has issued a ‘seven step guide to implementing best practices’.
According to the ILX Group, any organisation or individual can benefit from implementing one or more or more of the leading best practice models. The most widely used models include Managing Successful Programmes (MSP™), which helps organisations manage business change; PRINCE2®, which provides a process-based approach for project management and ITIL®, which outlines a best practice approach to the delivery of efficient operations in commercial IT services.
Eddie Kilkelly, Chief Operating Officer at ILX Group plc comments, “For the past year and a half, many organisations have focused on survival rather than improving their growth. Many claim that the organisation is too busy or resource-constrained.  However, best practice models are all about managing the change and maximising the resources that are at the heart of every organisation.  Arguably, now is exactly the right time to implement a best practice model and it’s easy to do if the organisation follows a few key steps.”
ILX’s seven steps to implementing Best Practice:
Make the business case: embedding best practice does require an investment of time, effort and cost; while not excessive, this still needs to be justified, just like any other business project.
Engage with stakeholders:  use the business case drawn up in Step 1 to raise awareness of the method and its benefits among key decision makers.
Map out a plan: set out a staged plan for implementing best practice in a structured way.  If introducing more than one method, decide which should be introduced first. If the organisation needs to address fundamental business change, adopt PRINCE2® or MSP™ first.  ITIL® should preferably be introduced into a stable business environment.
Engage with the experts: from external consultants to training companies, accrediting organisations like The APM group, and the Best Practice User Group – engage with these experts to pick up hints and tips to make implementation easier.
Define how best practice will affect each process: specify how existing processes may need to change to comply with best practice – best practice models can be highly customised at the practical application level.
Start implementation:  users find it useful to complete a generic, foundation level introduction to the best practice.  This prepares them for the second stage of their training, which deals with the practical application of the best practice to their job role and business processes, once the definition process is complete.  Accelerating implementation in this way also enables the organisation to start reaping the benefits more quickly.
Review the programme regularly:  measure the success of the implementation against the original business case, so users and stakeholders are better able to identify the benefits of retaining the model.
Specific guidance is available on how each model may be applied to small, medium or large organisations, and smaller or larger projects.  For example, if a smaller company is delivering a substantial project for a larger organisation, the more formal adoption of best practice methods can help it to work and communicate more effectively with its customer. Conversely, a larger organisation may decide not to apply full best practice to a smaller project.
Kilkelly continues, “Applied correctly, best practice models help the organisation to focus on the right priorities and ensure the appropriate people are involved in running and managing projects to minimise risk and maximise the chances of success.  They also ensure that regular reviews are conducted at the end of each stage of the project, to ensure that the project is on track and remains in the best interests of the business. Best practice models are built upon years of management experience of what works – and what does not - in project management or service delivery.  In effect, the organisation can use these methods to avoid the pitfalls that have befallen others before them, potentially accelerating business performance.”
To date, ILX Group has trained over 100,000 people in Best Practice across 97 countries worldwide and is recognised as a world class provider of PRINCE2® and management training.

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