How Do I Improve My Business Processes?
When is the last time you reviewed the processes in your business?
Are you continuously improving or are you still doing the process the way Jean started doing it in 1995? Do you know what you do today and, is it documented? At this point you could say ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ and maybe it isn’t broke but wouldn’t it be good to have confidence that your process is optimised?
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? Are you trying to save costs or improve customer experience? Or, maybe both? Be clear about why you are doing this. Write it down and share it with your team. For example “we are going to review our processes to explore opportunities to improve customer experience”.
Then start to review. Get the right people together in a room. Start at the beginning of the process with “why do we do that? Is it still relevant today? Does it help us achieve our purpose? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Together, you and your team can walk through the business process you have identified for review, purpose clearly defined and step by step, drawing out each activity. Once you’ve completed that maybe 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. Each time challenging what you have written and any assumptions.
Starting with a little curiosity and this simple approach will give you a good idea whether ‘Jeans’ process is still fit for purpose or whether it’s time to make some improvements.