External Quarterly Reviews work as a great grounding or as a valuable validation tool. The results of an external review can go either way and the results may be a total surprise.
I have previously mentioned that the closer that you are to a product or service the harder it is to see the failure points. This is not new. It is why police cannot investigate crimes that have directly affected them, it is also one of the reasons why doctors cannot operate on family members.
Quality standards have been established so that processes can be defined. Aligning your business to one or more of these quality standards will provide you with a quality standard to work against. Being accredited against one or more of these standards means that an external agency has come in and independently tested you against the standard. If you meet all the criteria, then you become accredited.
So if external review is a widely known and accepted concept and implemented in established organisations, why don’t you do it?
External reviews need resources. Sometimes, these resources can be significant. Accreditation to ISO standards is an expensive and extensive process – so is usually confined to larger organisations, or organisations that would achieve commercial advantages by being accredited to a standard.
For smaller businesses ISO Quality Accreditation is just always a viable option, especially since this type of accreditation is typically against process rather than product.
Small businesses should not however discount the external review process. The concept of a product review makes perfect sense and can be performed periodically without committing too many resources.
Periodically assemble advisors. They can be friends, family, or business associates. They must be people whose opinions and judgment you value. Their brief: To critique every aspect of your business.
The moment of truth. Your advisors have reported back to you. You don’t like what they have said. What do you do? Should this be a great time to chuck a sad?
Absolutely not. Your board has given you gold. Embrace the information. Implement the recommendations, and importantly, review this again in 3 months.