If you want to run a capable company, you must continuously optimize your business processes.
But what is a business process? For every action taken, there are usually several steps to take. These steps are your business processes. To run your organization as efficiently as possible, you’ll want to ensure that each process has a minimal number of steps and that you continuously work to improve them.
As a business grows, it’s common for processes to become bloated and ineffective, wasting company time and resources. It can also lead to reduced motivation as employees become frustrated with the unorganized and unnecessary steps while trying to complete their own tasks.
If you want to see active growth, constant evaluation and improvement of your business processes are essential. Let’s take a look at some tools you can use right now.
1. Turning Process into Procedures
There’s a fundamental difference between a process and a procedure. If you change how one of them is perceived, your journey into optimizing your business process will be made simpler and more manageable.
A process is an informal action your employee takes, usually day-to-day stuff such as checking emails and attending meetings.
A procedure is just like a process, but it’s fully documented with specific steps in place to do it.
If you can begin to think of processes as procedures, you may find that very quickly you’ll begin to notice which tasks can be improved to increase its efficiency.
As an example, by introducing a new procedure for meetings that require an agenda to be prepared beforehand may help the productivity of the meeting. As a clear plan is formed, and there will be accountability for not completing the list or assigned tasks.
2. Automation and Discovery
How many of your organizational process could be automated? You’d be surprised once you fully understand the magic behind robotic program automation (RPA).
An RPA mimics the actions taken by the user and can be repeated indefinitely. This means that any repetitive or high-volume tasks can easily be automated, allowing your employees to focus on other critical responsibilities and duties.
RPA’s can be used to automate the processing of third party payments, handling incoming email queries, filling out and processing forms, data entry and data transfer, onboarding, compliance report and many more.
For the best automation results, it was recommended in the past to hire consultants to investigate your business processes and recommend which could be automated. But now you can save time and money by automating the process discovery.
Without getting too technical, it means that using AI software; they can observe and automatically analyze your business processes and create a report detailing which processes can be automated.
3. Standardize With Flow Charts
Ensure that all your business processes are clearly explained in one central location and easy to understand. No one wants to read through 5 pages of jargon to complete a task.
For the best results, use a flowchart wherever possible to quickly show the process, and what steps to take depending on the outcome.
The user can then easily follow which path to take if there’s an issue and can get to the end of the process without assistance. You can also clearly label who to seek aid from at each step. Maybe the IT team doesn’t need to be involved because the Office Manager can troubleshoot the issue.
4. Use Workflow & Communication Applications
Communication apps such as Slack are popular because it streamlines your business communication. It allows for easy collaboration between teams by creating a single place for everyone to share files, use tools and talk.
Workflow applications can you digitize and track your processes. This is especially useful for complicated operations that take time and involve many people and departments.
Each step can be viewed by everyone and tagged with relevant data to streamline the workflow. By attaching deadlines, centralizing project files and comments, you can easily track the progress of the project and analyze its strengths and weaknesses, such as bottlenecks to fix or how to create a more effective procedure.
No one can streamline all their business processes in one day, but it’s never too late to start. Make sure you begin to view processes as procedures, and begin to understand the current performance of your procedures.
And never, ever, stop analyzing in order to optimize and improve your efficiency.