Who Created the Process in Your Business?
When is the last time you reviewed the processes in our business? Are you continuously improving or are you still doing the process the way Jean started doing it in 1995? Do you know why you do what you do? How it helps the business achieve its goals? Is it documented or did Jean pass it on to her successor? Now at this point you could say ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ and maybe it isn’t broke and maybe doesn’t need fixing, but wouldn’t it be good to know that?
You don’t have to go all out six sigma black belt to find out, you can get yourself started by being curious and asking some questions.
Firstly, what are you trying to achieve? What is the purpose of the process and what is the outcome you are trying to achieve? Start with a clear outcome statement. An outcome statement is the narrative that you are going to keep coming back to. It’s like an anchor holding your purpose and objective in place for you to reference and check back against. It also will give you a frame for your questions.
Why do we do that? Is it still relevant today? Does it help us achieve our purpose? Why? Why? Why?
Together, you and your team can walk through the business process you have identified for review, with your outcome statement to hand and step by step, drawing out each activity. Keeping your outcome front of mind, walk through it again and again with different ‘hats’ on – a Customer Hat, Systems Hat, Efficiency Hat, Reporting Hat and so on and so forth.
Starting with a little curiosity and this simple approach will give you a good idea whether ‘Jean’ process is still fit for purpose or whether it’s time to make some improvements.