Optimise your systems and procedures to deliver operational effectiveness and efficiency
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” An excellent quote that summarises pithily what we believe in regarding the importance of getting your processes right.
Why are processes important
Processes and systems are the glue that holds the business together. It ensures that everyone involved knows what is expected of them which in turn releases management time from overseeing quality control to strategic direction. The outworking of systematising work is the ability to scale up and grow. They protect profits, delight customers, motivate your team and safeguard your reputation.
What is a process
A process is a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular end. It is a way of breaking down a desired outcome into a set of quantifiable, easily followed instructions. It impacts every aspect of a business. Some examples include:
1. Customer relationship management (CRM) to capture important customer information
2. Financial processes that ensure invoices and bills are paid on time and in full
3. Operational processes guarantee product or service quality is optimised reducing the number or returns or reworks
4. Health and safety processes safeguard the team and others in the workplace
5. Human resources systems underpin morale and motivation
6. Customer journey from initial contact to post purchase surveys keeps customers delighted with the consistently high service levels
How do processes help
Being repeatable, it follows that it ensures consistency of outcome. Reports generated from data where the processes are well drafted are accurate and can be trusted. Management decisions become easier as they demand less effort to manipulate the data.
What is an effective management system – Working intra-dependently
Each department, each person, each process is a key part in delivering a quality offering. It follows that each process should mesh seamlessly with the others to prevent pinch points and clashes. Care should be taken in signing of individual processes before assessing their impact on others.
Make them unobtrusive
Wherever possible build the process in such a way that it flows with minimal effort. The easier it is to follow the more likely that it will be followed, which in turn boosts performance.
Communication is essential
If the processes are safely stored on a shelf or cabinet, then they are little use. Processes and systems are dynamic, changing often and in subtle ways. Communicating each process frequently and regularly will make sure they are embedded in each and every area of the business.
Reviews should be undertaken by each department and as a business frequently to capture process creep and putting the brakes on inefficient and unnecessary activities.
Follow the processes and systems
“To know and not do is not yet to know.” Having the processes and systems in place but not followed is wasting time, energy and resources. Management time needs to be spent not only on developing the systems and processes but guaranteeing that they are followed.