We already went over the basic concept of process improvement, but now we’re going to get a little more practical and start giving you ideas on how to improve your business process.
To begin with, we’ll revise, revisit and introduce you to a couple of new concepts (all pretty much self-explanatory) you must have in mind when considering bringing your business processes to a new light:
- Business process improvement: the act of making internal processes better (as we pointed out in this article, it’s all a matter of refocusing on what really matters);
- Business process simplification: the act of making internal processes easier (for all those involved in it, so everyone must be involved in the simplification process);
- Business process alignment: the act of making sure your internal processes are in line with each other (aka making sure your entire business works like a well-oiled machine).
Why should you improve your business process:
People are continuously looking for ways to develop improved and simplified processes within their organizations, independent of their business. Simplifying a process means leave outside of it all sort of unnecessary information that just makes the process heavy and overcomplicated: through the use of just-in-time processes and constant workflow management you’ll make sure you’re working with processes with the right size and speed.
Your goal must be to align all your processes seamlessly, without the formation of bottlenecks or bumps on the road. A continuous business process can be achieved through process optimization, thinking lean about every aspect of work and being able to respond quickly to changes, redesigning and transforming the way you work every time the circumstances ask for it.
After that, keeping processes at a constant spotlight will improve your company’s ability to respond to events, as fast and as effectively as possible, as well as help you eliminate all forms of excess and waste by eliminating unnecessary procedures and work and through standardization of the remaining steps.
How can you engage people towards improving:
The simplest and fastest way of doing so is by showing people their input is valued and taken into consideration, not only towards processes in their own area but in the whole company. Every person in a company should feel the responsibility to optimize and improve their business processes, whether they see an opportunity of doing so within or outside of their team, it’s not really what matters.
People should be encouraged towards making decisions so they’ll be more prone to start improving. By giving people space and liberty to make suggestions without fear of reprehension, and also to work to improve their own processes, they’ll be more and more likely to want to improve continuously.
What can you do to improve your business process:
1. Focus, focus, focus!
Limit the number of improvement initiatives being considered for implementation – limiting the work in progress (learn more about how Kanban can help you do this) you’ll be able to see that the task is done from end to end, as well as make clear how important they are. Pipefy’s Templates are a great way to use Kanban in an uncomplicated way to help you manage your tasks and limit the work in progress;
2. Detailed plans:
Ensure that not a single process improvement initiative will be started without having a clear plan submitted with all the necessary details, such as due dates, deliverables, and accountability;
3. Plan properly:
Adopt a tool that best suits your needs in order to help you keep track of your improvement initiatives.
4. Don’t start a task without finishing the previous:
As told in nr.1, limit the work in progress and make sure a new improvement initiative can only be started when the previous one is finalized within the agreed-upon time and budget;
5. Automate your process:
More than simply automating email communications sent to users, BPA is an organizational transformation focused on driving efficiency, providing transparency and standardizing recurring business processes.
6. Standards and procedures:
Introduce standards and procedures to ensure the quality of the improvement initiatives. Make these topics of regular discussion together with the initiative status.
Need help keeping track of your improvement initiatives?
Pipefy’s Product Roadmap Template is a very good option if you’re looking for an easy to use, simple tool, that can be adapted to your company’s needs. This template will help you prioritize your features by following the best practices of product management.
From defining the type of improvement to the advanced measurement of impact on your goals, this is the Template you’ve been looking for.