What do I do with CoPr once I have it?

This page is part of a set of pages: "Guide to the IoCP website: corepractice.org"
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Only (1) what you can afford and (2) what benefits your business.

You only have so much time and money to devote to planning and managing the business.  We think all these Practices are essential but that doesn't mean you will ever get to all of them.  Every small business is winging it in some area (so are many much larger businesses).  Hopefully by this point you have a list of Practices you ought to be looking at.  With luck we have even given you some guidance on where to start and/or what order to do them in.

Doing it "by the book", at this stage you really should do as assessment of how much CoPr you are doing already.  Consultants talk about working out the "as-is" state, then the desired "to-be" state, then doing a "gap analysis" of what needs to be done to get from here to there.  Sensible planning: if you can afford it, do it.  On the other hand, if you are a start-up you already know how much you do: none of it.  For others, you may well find that as you work through each practice it is pretty obvious whether you do it or not. 

A key point to make here is that for the majority of small businesses how much you should be doing, or where you want to get to is academic.  You won't have enough time and/or money to do it all.  So why not get on with it and get as much done as you can?  This is an appalling approach for some purists, but they don't have 14 orders to fill by Christmas.

So to summarise: yes plan as much as you feel you need to and can afford to, but since Core practice is by definition the minimum you ought to be doing, just get on and do as much of it as you can get through.

We don't often recommend you get paid consulting but this is one of those points where it could be money well spent to do one particular bit of planning: talk to an adviser about where to start and what order to attack the Practices in and how much effort you can afford to put into it.  You may be able to get some of that advice for free on our Forums or from one of our Mentors if you are willing to do plenty of self-help too.  Assuming that you won't get it all done, best to start where it will most benefit your business.

In general do all the Maturity Level 0:Beginning Practices first, then Level 1:Controlling and so on.   Within each Maturity, you might do in them in the Optimising Model order: Plan, Do, Check, Act.  And there are a few where one depends on another being done first, mostly where a tool or process needs to be put in place before you can do something else that uses it.  But we try to keep Practices as independent as we can.  When you are implementing Core Practice any order is better than not doing them at all so do what works.

Only you know how much you are able to and want to spend on this, but we have started from an assumption that you will allocate one or more hours a week to this, and that you will delegate some of the rioles to others in your business (if there are others in your bsuiness) and that they will also spend one or more hours a week.  Each CoPr Practice is designed so you can get something done in an hour, where possible.  So a bare minimum is for each person with a CoPr role to do one Practice a week.  Preferably you will be able to do more than that.

Core Practice is defined as the minimum you need to do, so at least think about every single Practice.  If you choose not to do it, learn enough so that is an informed choice and make a note for yourself as to why you made that decision - things may change in a year or two to make you rethink it.

When you run out of resources, stop.  When more Practices are not going to return a sufficient benefit to your business, stop. (We like to think they are so fundamental that they will all give a good return but there will be situations where this isn't true.  Don't break the business chasing some externally-defined ideal: that is one of the reasons for CoPr in the first place to stop that kind of thing).


This page is part of a set of pages: "Guide to the IoCP website: corepractice.org"
Turn the page: