If you run any kind of business then you will already have a good many processes in place. In fact it is likely that you will already be using dozens of different processes each and every day. These can range from relatively simple things like producing a report, right through to manufacturing a new product or contacting a new prospective customer. The reality is that pretty much every business day is governed by a huge number of different processes.
Hopefully the majority of times things run smoothly for your organisation. However, from time to time the results of an inefficient process will come to light. These tend to be fairly easy to spot as they nearly always result in frustration and disappointment. Stressed employees, customer complaints and missed deadlines are all systematic of business processes not functioning quite as they should. If some or even all of the above rings true for your business then this blog post is definitely for you. Here we will be taking a closer look at how you will know if your business processes are working for you. Perhaps more importantly than just knowing something is wrong, we will also cover some essential tips that can help to change things around.
Not Going to Plan
The one common denominator for a business process is that it should help to streamline the way you do things. Put simply, when a business process works well it should make it easy for you to meet your business goals and objectives. However, as we already know, things don’t always go to plan. The outcome of which will almost certainly be negative for your organisation. When things don’t work as they should the results can be as follows:
- Frustrated workforce
- Customer complaints regarding product quality or service levels
- Duplication of work
- Increased business costs
- Waste of resources
As you can see, the effects that poor processes can have are pretty negative. Ultimately if they are not addressed in a timely fashion they can go on to cost the organisation vast sums of money.
Outgrowing Older Processes
One of the reasons that a business can fall fowl of its processes is that it has simply outgrown them. This is especially the case if an organisation expands quickly. Things that worked well at the outset might well need to be re-focused upon and adapted. Some might say that a business is a victim of its own success when this happens.
Informal or Formal
Processes either take the form of being formal or indeed informal. Both of which are just as susceptible as one another for developing issues. As you might expect, the formal processes are the ones that are written down and documented as part of the company’s policies and procedures. These processes tend to create the spine of how a company functions. That said, it doesn’t stop individuals from trying to shortcut the system and do things differently. The informal processes relate to procedures that you have created yourself. These tend not to be written down and as such can be open to a little more interpretation from the individual who is using them.
Making a Positive Change
Once you are aware that you have issues with some of your processes it is time to take action. Ideally you will be looking to make a positive change by adapting some of how your business operates. Often the simpler processes can be written down to better understand where the issues are. A flow chart type diagram can be an effective solution here. Take your time to try to explore each area in as much detail as possible. This will help you to get closer to the root cause of each particular issue. Of course, sometimes an organisation might need to change a large number of things that they do. If this is the case then it might be better to undertake one of the business process courses. These tend to provide additional tools to help find issues and develop effective and robust solutions.
Author Bio – Running a successful business isn’t always easy, as your author Bill Jobs knows only too well. He recommends enrolling in business process courses as a great way of making sure that your own business processes are kept up-to-date.