“Both start-ups and well-established enterprises should improvise their business processes at regular interims to stay ahead of the curve.”
In the business realm, processes are highly dynamic due to the varying demands of the customer, technological advancements, and the introduction of new business regulations. Hence, organizations must strive for continuous business process improvement in order to stay aligned with these factors.
No business processes are perfect. They are either redundant or just good enough. However, the measurement of a good or bad business process is highly subjective. It varies depending on the type of projects being handled, types of industry the company is a part of, and the type of business outcomes one is expecting post value creation for their customers.
Processes do not become inefficient overnight. Some obvious outcomes of a business process crisis are:
In such a case, how does one detect the need for implementing business process management strategies to improve processes?
1. Poorly Defined Business Processes
The best way to perform a business process analysis is by asking two people to define it. Two situations may follow subsequently. Their definitions may be exactly alike or vary vastly. If the latter happens, there may be several reasons behind the same as follows:
In order to cope with such a crisis, a proper business process flow must be laid out. In this flow, each step must be clearly identified. For the expected outputs from a particular function, each input must be clearly pre-defined. Everybody should have a unified understanding of the process as well as its flow.
2. Process Execution Through Spreadsheets
If too many employees in your organization execute and track the functions with the help of a spreadsheet, it is a definitive sight that you are suffering a process crisis. Spreadsheets are redundant, and people may lose a sense of control where the steps involved in the process are particularly vast.
This is the reasons many organizations have switched over to Enterprise Resource Software (ERP) when it comes to process execution and tracking. These business process automation tools, besides establishing process transparency, also ensure that each function is carried out step-by-step.
3. Improper Channeling Of Information/ Silos
Silos are one of the key reasons as to why most business processes fail. These occur when there is improper channeling of information. This may happen due to conflicts between departments, hierarchies, or even during task oscillations. Hence, there is a need that a horizontal organizational structure should be established where each department has full visibility and authority to control and monitor projects. As far as task oscillations are concerned, every task should be passed on to the next person-in-charge with proper information of budget, timeline, resource and other factors that might be crucial for the successful execution of the project.
4. Lack Of Process Optimization
A process can be defined as fully optimized only when minimal resources are being utilized to derive the maximum output with the least amount of material wastage. You can analyze your processes for any inefficiency by performing business process mapping steps. These steps may involve asking specific questions such as:
After proper speculation, you will come across several other questions that will lead you towards process-optimization
5. Zero Process Sustainability
No processes are long-term. However, it is crucial to ensure that they sustain at least over the time period for which they are defined. Any occurrence otherwise might have numerous reasons that are discussed as follows:
All the above factors demand the need to implement process improvement strategies for a business.
In order to fight against these process inefficiencies, organizations can also make use of predictive analytics software. These software help in generating analytics with the help of which businesses can foresee when a failure is most likely to occur. Subsequently, they can work towards the prevention of the same. As afore-mentioned, process inefficiencies are not an overnight thing. Likewise, business process improvement also demands time. Hence, it is required to scrutinize each of the factors with patience that might have led to process redundancy.