Best Practices: Is There Such A Thing


Susan Gould, Sr. Director, Solutions Architecture and Professional Services



You often hear the term Best Practices thrown around but what does that really mean?  Is it the BEST way to perform a particular function, no questions asked?  What about the tools that support that process?  The number of staff and skillset of the staff?  What about your type of business and the services you offer?  What about your KPI goals and the commitments you make to your customers?  All of these things can and should determine the business process that is right for you. Introducing… SMART Solutions.


CHR SMART Solutions is a methodology used by CHR to help our customer's grow their business by optimizing their CHR experience.  CHR SMART Solutions uses the Business Process Framework (eTOM) published by TM Forum as a guidebook that defines the most widely used and accepted standard for business processes in the telecommunications industry. The Business Process Framework model describes the full scope of business processes required by a service provider and defines key elements and how they interact.  Using that framework, CHR has documented the specific business processes in a way that incorporates Omnia360 functions, not necessarily industry standard functions. 

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CHR acknowledges that one business process may not be the right fit for all its customers.  Factors such as type of business, number of employees and departments, and regulatory requirements may impact the process flows of a given company.  Through a CHR SMART Solutions analysis, CHR will help our customers define the CHR SMART Solutions for their business.

Qualifying Questions

The objective of CHR SMART Solutions is to help the executive team within an organization streamline their processes and improve their bottom line.  Some questions to ask to determine if  CHR SMART Solutions is a fit for you:

  • Are your gross margins what you'd like them to be?
    • If not, what is your desired goal?
    • What are your strategic goals for this year?  (expand offerings, reduce operating costs, reduce churn, etc…?)
    • Do you have clearly defined methods and procedures in place designed to support your business goals?
      • If so, in what areas?  May they be provided to CHR?
      • Do you feel your existing business processes are efficient?
        • If not, what areas of your organization or operations do you feel are your biggest critical challenges and where are your areas of inefficiency?
        • What KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) do you track on a regular basis?
          • Would you like the ability to track additional KPIs?  If so, which ones? 


Prior to doing an SMART Solutions type effort it's critical that the staff doing the evaluation meet with the executive team to:

  • Confirm executive direction for the company
  • Understand existing KPIs and determine key areas of focus based upon metrics

The remainder of the evaluation effort must be done face to face, often observing day to day business processes, as well as interviewing staff members from all departments.  Changes are seldom identified for just one area.  Recommendations typically include modifications of processes, changes to system configurations, adding additional automation, and sometimes realigning staff.   While On-site recommendations can result in quick changes, it is critical that the end result be a recommendation document with a clearly defined strategy for adopting the recommended changes.  This document will then reviewed with the executive team and a plan of action will be decided upon. 

We often find ourselves too "busy" to performing this type of evaluation effort, but continuous process improvement is key to the success of any company.  The benefits from performing regular "maintenance" on your organization can often be paid back tenfold.  

To learn more about SMART Solutions contact Susan Gould at 713.351.5111

Written by Susan Gould at 00:00
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