Ever engage in a serious spring cleaning? Nothing is overlooked! Every closet is opened, every drawer tidied, every crevice vacuumed. When it comes to business transformation, have you overlooked the importance of spring cleaning?\n\n\nMany companies underestimate the importance of spring cleaning, failing to take a close look at what is out of order, cluttered, dusty, or dysfunctional within their own house. But if efficiency, productivity, and cost are three primary drivers for your business transformation (as they pretty much always are), then you should take a long, hard look at what you are doing and how you are doing it \u2013 and get ready to clean up the problem areas you are inevitably going to find.\n\n\nAssess Your Capabilities\n\n\nThat long, hard look starts with assessing your capabilities \u2013 and recognizing weaknesses where they exist. Ideally, each unit of your business needs to take a service approach to their main functions. That is, business units should ask,\n\n\nWhat specific services do we deliver to the rest of the company, to our vendors, and to our customers?\nWhich services do we excel at delivering?\nWhich services do we struggle to consistently deliver at desired service levels?\nWhich services are we (honestly) lousy at?\n\n\nMost companies discover that each service consumed (whether in the area of IT, legal, finance, HR, etc.) needs to be reassessed to find out if it makes sense to use internal or external resources.\n\n\nDecide What Stays and What Goes\n\n\nOnce you have determined what you are good at and what you are not, you need to decide what stays and what goes. Don\u2019t assume that you always outsource what you currently don\u2019t do well, or that you always keep what you\u2019re good at. You may decide that it is worth your while to learn to do a job better yourself, rather than turn it over to a vendor; or that you should outsource a function even though you\u2019re good at it to free up resources to better meet business goals.\n\n\nAsking some basic questions about each service helps this decision making process:\n\n\nDoes this service fit into our core competencies?\nDo we have the talent to do this in-house?\nHow much does it cost us to deliver this service?\nHow much time does it take us to deliver this service?\nIf we do this well, should we continue doing it, or is our time better spent concentrating on other revenue-generating efforts?\nIf we don\u2019t do this well, should we learn to do it better, or should we source the function to someone who specializes in it?\n\n\nThe answers to these questions are made at a business unit level, but with the best interests of the entire company in mind, rather than focused on a single department\u2019s efficiency or budgetary goals.\n\n\nEncourage A Mental Shift\n\n\nYou\u2019ll decide to keep many things in-house after your spring cleaning. Others you will divest to outsource providers. For those functions you keep internally, part of your business transformation will be encouraging a mental shift within your employees.\n\n\nNamely, business transformation includes evolving from a \u201ctasks completed\u201d mindset to a \u201cservices delivered\u201d mindset. \u201cTasks completed\u201d has a narrow, departmental focus: \u201cCan we check this off our list?\u201d \u201cServices delivered\u201d has a broad, holistic perspective, \u201cDid we help our company\/vendors\/clients achieve their goals?\u201d\n\n\nYou may find that you need to create new positions within some or all departments to facilitate greater collaboration between functions, e.g., assigning account managers to care for relationships with other departments and explain internal service catalogs. This allows each department to immediately see what\u2019s available and what, if anything, requires outsourcing.\n\n\nDeveloping a method of internal chargebacks is also recommended. When internal chargebacks are established, each unit is better able to show value and control their own profits and losses for services rendered. This means that each department can act not only as an internal service provider, but also as a service broker for externally-sourced services.\n\n\nIf you\u2019re still hesitant on where or how to begin, go back to the idea of spring cleaning. There are de-cluttering services and closet organizers who can help you around the house. Likewise, there are consultants who can analyze your current business structure and processes and help you kickstart your business transformation.\n\n\nAfter a good spring cleaning, your company will have \u201ca place for everything, and everything in its place.\u201d And that is a great way to ensure efficiency, boost productivity, control cost \u2026 and achieve the total business transformation you are striving for.\n\n\nThis article was previously published on Forbes and Sungard Availability Services.