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What is meant by an end-to-end process?

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Baskar Sundaram

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An end-to-end process is a systematic series of actions or steps directed toward a specific end. Organizations that consistently follow a defined business development process win more business and use fewer investment resources. An end-to-end business development (BD) process is like a roadmap. It allows teams of business developers to know where they are, where they’re going, and what path to follow to reach their goals.

Given below are some tips to keep in mind when creating an end-to-end process:

Create a documented, unified process

Any effort to design an end-to-end process should include representatives of all stakeholders who will eventually be affected by the process. Their insights are critical to designing a process that meets the organization’s needs, and their early involvement promotes acceptance and effective change management.

Align with the customer’s buying cycle

Create phases in the BD process that include activities responsive to the customer at each phase.The generic end-to-end process introduces the principles and best practices common across selling environments. Organizations must develop tailored end-to-end processes that best support their company and their customers.

Make the process flexible and scalable

The end-to-end process provides a baseline for designing a BD process tailored to any organization. Design a process robust enough to address the largest, most complex type of opportunities, but flexible enough to support smaller, simpler opportunities as well.

A flexible process implies that phases, bid decisions, and team reviews are included based on the opportunity category. The process should be scalable depending on the size of an opportunity, delivery deadline, and available resources.

For a large, complex opportunity, a face-to-face kickoff meeting is appropriate. For simpler opportunities, you may be able to conduct the kickoff meeting virtually, with fewer participants.

Clearly define roles

Once an end-to-end process has been defined, it’s possible to establish clear roles with associated responsibilities, authority, and accountability. Eliminating redundant efforts is critical to gaining efficiency. Clear role definition also ensures that no tasks fall through the cracks. Once you’ve identified roles, positions, and supporting organizations, create a RACI matrix to document who is responsible, accountable, consulted, or informed for each activity in the BD process.

Develop needed staff competencies.

For a defined end-to-end BD process to be successful, users must understand the process and have the skills to execute and adapt it appropriately.  Given a clear definition of roles, organizations can identify necessary competencies and skill gaps and plan training.

Ensure consistent, disciplined use

Designing and developing an end-to-end BD process is a straightforward task that most organizations can accomplish relatively quickly. However, implementing and sustaining an effective BD process requires management focus and continuous effort.

To succeed, the launch of a new BD process must include a change-management plan that accounts for the predictable stages that most individuals experience when faced with change. Change management is a significant challenge, and those attempting it should take advantage of guidance from experts in the field.

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