Procedural Strip Mining and Business Analysis

Procedural Strip Mining (PSM)

Over time, we’ve come to realize that systems client management thought were operating poorly or were being stretched beyond capacity were in fact frequently being underutilized.

They were also underperforming because system users were caught in a quagmire of cumulative workarounds that reflected neither their job descriptions nor the work they were supposed to be doing. Instead, daily work flow required continual and time-consuming sidesteps of catch 22s that had to be overcome to get any real work done at all


PSM uncovers and analyzes existing processes and procedures within the client's environment that, unknown to the client, reflect either (a) workarounds or (b) existing undocumented requirements that are being met outside published work descriptions.

Unless documented, detected and corrected, such activities will be nonproductively perpetuated in future systems, creating still additional tiers of workaround activity to enable the unrecognized work processes to continue. The PSM approach either eliminates this activity or uses technology to integrate and automate it. In either event, the cost reductions and productivity improvements are both predictable and documentable

While some of Teleconvergence's work is strategic, other aspects are simultaneously tactical and practical. PSM is bottom up, focusing on actual needs of individual business users in the context of a potential technological solution. It is natural for us to look for ways to apply technology to help such users achieve their objectives.

It is not as obvious that we also expend effort and time identifying and eliminating tasks and processes that are unnecessary in the first place. Since our intentions align employee objectives with those of the organization, we find very little resistance to exploring avenues of improvement that would simultaneously benefit both.

Business Analysis is part of our basic perspective and approach to project management and system evaluation. Systems don't just do things. They exist to perform processes that lead to the satisfaction of business objectives. We can't articulate your requirements until we understand your business needs, future plans, and operating priorities.

The Teleconvergence Approach section explains this in detail.  If you've read the section, then our services in strategic operations, including PSM, shouldn't come as a surprise. Teleconvergence is admittedly a different kind of firm, and it is the our Approach that differentiates us.

Since Teleconvergence normally performs PSM along with our other functions, incremental cost is minimized, and we're under no obligation to keep digging and digging until something is discovered. There's far less functional disruption and staff resentment as a result, since if nothing procedurally redundant or superfluous turns up during our fact-finding and interviews, we quickly move on.

Moreover, management will be far more willing to take steps to correct deficiencies when newly-determined procedural efficiencies and insights can be implemented either in conjunction with a new system, or by modifying existing systems and procedures to eliminate unnecessary workarounds.

This is how Teleconvergence can identify unique client needs that, if satisfied, result in optimal system or software selection and how we determine the requirements for the platform upon which much of an organization's future productivity can be predicated.

In most cases, there is neither the corporate will nor a driving need for a major shakeup. PSM makes sense for most organizations because most organizations do not consider themselves either completely broken and in need of re-creation (Reengineering) or even in need of major restructuring (Business Process Review).