This article is part of our Process 101 guide.
When you started your business, you focused on getting the job done by any means necessary.
Thinking about business process management isn’t a priority when you’re busy getting your new idea or service off of the ground! However, as your business grows, this way of working simply isn’t scalable.
What is business process?
Business process is defined as a set of steps and activities that achieve an organisational goal. As your business transitions from a small- to medium-sized enterprise, you reach a tipping point where this lack of process becomes apparent. Things start to get uncomfortable. You may find yourself wearing various ‘hats’ or feeling that everyone is stretched too thin. This is when you need to implement the structure and processes to help your organisation through the transition. It is this structure, through business processes, that supports your business and allows it to grow.
The importance of process
If you haven’t thought about business processes before it can seem daunting. Where do you start? What’s your priority? How can you find the time to identify the processes if you’re so busy running your business?
The reality is you perform hundreds of processes everyday without realising it. You already know the answers; you just need to create the system to allow your business to become more efficient. This can all seem overwhelming as you start to approach it, so we’ve put together our top eight tips to help get you started.
1. List what you do when you do it
It may seems obvious but just write a list what you do next time you do it. That is your process and it doesn’t have to be perfect, you can change it once you have it and start referring to it.
2. Make the process a checklist
A process doesn’t have to be a complex workflow. Sometimes it’s better if it’s not! Checklists are useful as a simple way to consume and act on information for you and your employees.
3. Keep it simple
The longer the process is, the less likely it will be followed. If you complicate matters your employees may get disheartened, distracted or frustrated. Define your priorities to ensure that you focus on the necessary steps.
4. Get the whole team involved
You know that you’ve employed the best, so allow these clever people to put their knowledge to the test. You can empower them to help you, themselves and the business. Motivate and engage them by communicating about the business process from the very beginning.
5. Highlight the essential steps
Less is more when it comes to process – make clear what things really matter.
6. Include resources
Add extra information wherever you can to help people. Resources such as template documents, links to websites, glossaries, explanations, referrals to other processes and more will make the processes indispensable.
7. Don’t tell me what I know
Don’t include the obvious. People will ignore the checklist if you fill it with unnecessary information. People will do the obvious things anyway.
8. You don’t need a process for everything
Give people too many processes to follow and you’ll end up burdening them. Start with the ones that really matter.
How can you get started?
So now you have a process, how can it help your business? As well as giving you that all-important structure, it will also put in place the drive you need to constantly improve.
The continuous monitoring and improvement that committing to a process brings allows you to react better to changes in your industry, the outside world, staffing and more. It can also help you identify risk, leaving your business better prepared for the future. As you and your employees follow the processes, it will give more structure and definition to your business, making it more scalable and more successful!
How more efficient and productive could you be if you and your staff were following these processes?