Creating business processes can often be a daunting task. You might think your business is running fine and dandy and maybe it is, however there may be some hidden opportunities to improve your team’s efficiency and productivity, or you might even find out that there are massive gaps to be filled. The key is to find out and improve the current situation either way. Not having business processes means you also run the risk of not understanding who does what in your business, creating silos of knowledge as employees keep all there processes to themselves. This may work in the short term, but unfortunately you have to prepare for the fact that those employees may not be with your business forever.
By definition a business process is a collection of linked tasks, which at their end, accomplish some sort of goal or service within an organisation. The first step towards creating efficiencies in your business is to actually define your current processes, to see what can then be improved. If we think of your business as a well oiled machine then, we all understand that everyone within the business plays a part to keeping that machine running. If one of these parts breaks, then we have to stop. We can eventually get a replacement part however; it takes time to actually figure out what that part does, how often it performs the action etc. But this is significantly decreased when we have this in a well defined business process.
So where is the best place to start when defining your business’ processes? Here are some tips:
- Make sure you get everyone involved – It may seem like a strenuous task, but getting your entire team involved is a great first step in not only understanding your current processes, but then simplifying and enhancing them. You will often find there are things that your team is doing you didn’t even think about, or weren’t expecting. Getting everyone on the same page with the same goal, is a great start and will help with change management if you need to change the way you are currently doing things.
- Look at your current functions objectively – You might think you have the best way of doing things, but do you really? An important part of this activity is for you to put your black hat on and really look at your current methods in a critical light. Are you doing things unnecessarily? Are the tasks taking too long? Do you really need that extra step, or can you streamline it further? Trust us; there will usually be something you can change to make your process more effective.
- Keep it simple – In our experience, efficiency often lies in simplicity. So keep this is in the forefront of your mind when you are mapping your processes out. You don’t need to add complex tasks to make a good process or make it different to anybody else’s, you just need to complete your tasks in the most effective way possible. Also keep the way you actually define your processes simple, write it down on a whiteboard or use post it notes, and work your way up from there to further define it.
- Remember to be flexible – Processes aren’t set in stone. Even if you do write them down in a pretty document, you have to be prepared to change them in order to get the best results from them. Sometimes your changes will work, sometimes they might not. Be comfortable with being able to change your processes at any point, and this plays a big role in why it is important to also track your improvements you are making or may not be making.
Defining your process at the start may seem like more hassle than it is worth, but in reality it is one of the best things you can do to prepare your business for change, streamline its processes and create a more effective and productive team.
At Enzumo we can help you define those processes, and then take it even further by implementing and automating them into XPLAN, taking your whole business process exercise to another level. If you are curious to see how it works, reach out to us on 1300 720 276 or firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you!