Reviewing your business processes is a great way to solve particular problems or get a helicopter view of your organisation as a whole. It’s invaluable when your business is growing or adapting to change.
Mapping and analysing processes in a structured way lets you see how you’re actually working, understand what’s working well and what’s not, and develop more efficient ways of doing things.
I think of it in terms of six key steps:
- Capture how you’re actually working
- Visualise so you can see what’s happening
- Analyse to identify gaps, double-ups, bottlenecks and opportunities
- Redesign to suit what you need now and in the future
- Document & share your new processes
- Monitor & manage your processes over time
Sometimes you need quick insights to help make decisions and set priorities.
A process review can be incredibly helpful in understanding what needs to happen first, and which of your projects need to happen in step with each other.
But you don’t need to spend a huge amount of time and money on it. You can learn a lot in a week using a process like this:
- Spend 1-2 days interviewing a cross-section of staff about how they work
- Get an overview of the software and systems in use
- Map your main processes in diagrammatic form so you can see and understand them
- Document obvious gaps, issues and opportunities
- Identify areas for further investigation
- Summarise in a brief report
From there you can easily make decisions and prioritise improvements and projects.
Every so often you need to really pull things apart and understand what’s happening at the coalface.
Like when you’re trying to change your strategic direction and culture but have legacy software, systems, and mindsets holding you back.
Or when you’re scoping and implementing a new content or client management system, moving premises, restructuring, or undergoing some other significant change.
In these cases, getting clarity about how you’re actually working and accurately defining your new needs is critical. Getting it right saves a lot of pain, time and money.
Pulling it together
Get in touch if you’re looking for insights into your own business or want some help pulling a significant project or change programme together.Contact Julie