The number one goal every company has in common is to save money. Optimizing business procedures can save a company time and money.
According to Appian.com, Process Improvement is the proactive task of identifying, analyzing and improving upon existing business processes within an organization for optimization and to meet new quotas or standards of quality.
1. Understand the process you want to improve
Understanding the process you want to improve is the first key step in process improvement. Knowing the what, why, and how of the current process in question is the best way to know how to improve it.
Talking to the people involved in the project is crucial. There’s no one better to tell you exactly where the difficulties lie than those who work day-to-day with the process, according to Heflo.com.
2. Find out improvements for the process
Heflo.com recommends asking these questions to better find out how to improve a process:
- What is the purpose of this process, workflow or activity?
- Is there any redundancy?
- What are the problems, quality and compliance issues, and why are they occurring?
- Why is this task necessary?
- Where should it be done?
- Who is the best qualified person to do it?
- Is it properly supported by automation?
- What are its major problems?
- How can the problems be eliminated?
- How can we remove wastes?
- Are there standards that must be achieved?
- How can we monitor the activity and ensure that performance targets are hit?
3. Execute the improvements
Effectively put into action what was discussed and get all resources available to ensure the success of the process improvement.
4. Track the improvements
Once the improvements have been implemented, it is important to track progress and completion according to set timelines. This will allow you to know whether you are on track with the project or not.
Process Improvement Strategies
Below are some strategies that can drive improvement and deliver results.
1. Define business processes
“By defining and deploying strong business processes, an organization engages its employees in a valuable way, distributing responsibility and accountability closer to the work itself.” According to Business Enterprise Mapping.
2. Improve customer experience
All process improvement initiatives must have the customer in mind, why else would you improve a process if not to improve the customer experience? By improving the customer experience, you will also end up improving sales, customer loyalty, and drive ROI.
3. Do activities that add value
Some organizations fall into the trap of coming up with so many process improvement projects but not taking a look at whether these activities add value by either reducing costs, improving process efficiency, or improving resource productivity.
4. Process Standardization
“When designing process improvements, it’s important to standardize them, wherever possible, into reusable components, bringing management agility into the company, in addition to facilitating the integration of processes,” Heflo recommends.
To summarize, Process Improvement involves analyzing current processes, redesigning the processes of activities that do not add value or that bring great risks by eliminating them, or simplifying these processes, constantly seeking to make easy business rule implementation with the creation of reusable standards.
The aim of all process improvement should be to add value to the product or service and create an improved customer experience.