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Dearly Beloved: A Better Approach to Business Systems

Dearly Beloved, we gather here to talk about…

If you’re here, you probably noticed by the title of this blog and the title of this article that I am a guy who has a lot of “-isms.” In fact, when I asked some of my colleagues to give me ideas for the title of my new blog, I got way more Tim-isms than I asked for.

That’s a good thing, however, because I want you to know exactly who I am.

It’s nice to meet you…I’m Tim Colligan…and I approve this message.

In all the posts that will show up here, you and I are going to be talking about a lot of practices and concepts that will not only drive more profit but will improve your workforce’s morale, engagement, and ambition to work together towards your business goals.

So then, who the hell am I? What do I provide for the world?

Well, putting it quickly, I teach and mentor business systems analysts and enterprise architects to help design and build the tools of the future, and I consult with business leaders on how to plan and move forward their large-scale systems projects.

Putting it simply, I look into the details of business processes in order to give my clients the exact tools they need to fix/upgrade their airplane (their business) while it’s flying, so to speak. But I’ll tell you, from my experience, people approach systems in all the wrong ways. Often, they choose a tool before fully understanding the job of the person wielding said tool (i.e. please don’t give a dentist a hammer to do dental work.)

In fact, for a lot of people, “systems” itself is a scary word. It means details, nuts and bolts, and a bunch of tech jargon and, honestly, tech folks who understand technology but have no clue how your business works. Let’s fix that.

I take more of an architectural approach to analyzing and teaching systems. Here’s what I mean by that:

I believe the best and most effective way to make a system work is to look at the whole thing – the big picture – and figure out how everything works together.

Looking Past the Cogs

On every single project that my team and I have done, the tiny technical pieces have never been the hardest part. Actually, the technical pieces are frequently the easiest part.

No, the hardest part is “achieving proper business alignment,” which is just a fancy way of saying, “Get all the people who need to be on the project on the project, especially the right decision makers and facilitators, and get them to agree to things, therefore letting your “doers” do.”

At this point in my career, I’m much more of a politician than I am a technologist…a technocrat as it were. I am constantly bringing people to the table and helping them understand what’s going on, and how one business process or system affects another (breaking down silos), gaining consensus on what is going on and how to move forward.

In fact, I know of a few managers who jokingly call me “The Senator” (and one who refers to me as “a middle finger in a three-piece suit,” because sometimes a little irreverence is what it takes to get the job done.)

Having worked with all types of businesses and organizations in numerous industries, from finance to transit and beyond, I can see the common threads in all of their systems – not to mention their issues. Everyone can benefit from the things I am going to teach you.

If you own and/or operate an enterprise (regardless of size), what I have to say will help you. And like I said, it won’t be the nitty-gritty details of IT or tedious trips “into the weeds” that we break down together.

I am going to give you simple, straightforward, super effective techniques to help your organization run effectively, smoothly, and more harmoniously than ever.

Stick with me – we may be unbolting your airplane’s engines one engine at a time while it’s flying but, in the end, the plane will land safely and your passengers won’t even notice. The engines will be a lot more powerful and shiny, too. ?