Organizations of all shapes and sizes depend on solid business processes to successfully manage their operations. However, many businesses fail to articulate their business processes, creating an unclear understanding of what processes are, why they are pursued, or what they aim to achieve.
The term “business process” refers to the series of steps taken to achieve a specific objective. In this article, we’ll discuss recommendations for approaching business process analysis with a building block mentality to help organizations clearly define and pursue business strategies.
- Identify your business goals
The first step in creating strong business processes is to identify your business objectives and methods for analyzing success. Outline key performance indicators (KPIs), objective and key results (OKRs), and other measurement tools to aid departments and team members to evaluate whether a business process is aligned with performance objectives.
- Analyze available data
Next, gather as much data as possible to develop a clearer understanding of how a business process functions day-to-day. Information may include documentation, interviews with employees and stakeholders, as well as hard figures. Once data is collected, analyze which processes are currently successful and which are underperforming.
- Receive feedback
Tap employees for feedback on current processes to gain a better understanding of which processes work well, and where employees can use more support. Set up one-to-one meetings to empower employees to speak freely on technology and management bottlenecks. By creating a safe environment for employees to share opinions, businesses can gain an honest understanding of where bloated processes or management practices are impacting employee productivity and performance.
- Define areas for improvement
Once businesses have identified where inefficiencies are occurring, they can begin to define areas for improvement. These areas may include automating steps within a process, adding or reducing digital tools, or eliminating redundancies. Here, it’s important to consider how processes can be simplified to enable them to flow more efficiently, rather than creating more steps or opportunities for micromanagement.
- Focus on core strengths
It’s a common mistake for businesses to expand outside their realm of expertise to either generate additional revenue streams or save costs from outsourcing services. However, this practice can drive a wedge between your business and its strengths. Instead, by enabling a laser-like focus with regard to operations, businesses can empower their employees to achieve more in areas where they excel without risk of spreading themselves too thin.
- Create a roadmap
Once you’ve determined what your strengths are, where areas for improvement exist, and what goals you want to achieve, you can begin to map out your process from start to finish. In this step, simplicity is key. Whether through visualization workflow software or simple drawings, creating a step-by-step roadmap can help organizations conceptualize processes into building blocks for success.
- Test and measure
Lastly, periodically test and measure how business processes are performing. Regular analysis of business processes can help indicate what strategies are supporting improvements and which are slow to grow. By doing this, businesses can determine where reevaluation is necessary, or where new measures need to be taken to improve performance.
Achieve more with sound business processes
Business processes are foundational to success. By equipping teams with the mechanisms to support business goals, organizations can gain a clearer vision of how operations function from top to bottom.