Operational efficiency is more than just a theory; it is an achievable goal for a financial practice. But, there is more to reaching that goal than taking a piecemeal approach to it. For many financial practitioners, opportunities for new software, new systems, and new techniques lend to a tendency to use a piecemeal approach. However, in the long run, you could be doing more harm than good for your firm. Software, for instance, if chosen in a vacuum, without consideration for how well it may interact with other software already in use, could prove to be detrimental to operational efficiency by adding more work for staff to deal with the lack of interaction. New systems if introduced without proper planning and training could face a firewall of pushback from employees wedded to the old ways to doing things. And decisions on procedures, workflow, and policies, if not tied to technological systems could be counter-productive to the operations of an office.

Therefore, a holistic approach makes the most sense. The Profit-Driven Architecture, referenced in the introduction, is a visual way to approach a holistic solution for operational efficiency (see Figure A.1). It is not realistic to assume that you can introduce new pieces of the operations to a practice without it affecting the other parts. And it is not rational to assume that by doing things the same way over and over again, you will achieve different results. In fact, that is one definition of insanity. Albert Einstein ...

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