There are many challenges involved in running a successful business, but few are more important than having the tools in place to review the way you operate.
Conducting regular business reviews helps to make sure that your business is operating most effectively and efficiently in pursuit of your goals. Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your business process reviews.
Build your team
To make sure that your business process review is as effective as possible, you need to put together a team made up of people working at all levels of the relevant business departments. Don’t make the mistake of just including a couple of high-level managers. You need people who work in the frontline, to ensure that you have the best chance of spotting problems, devising possible improvements and putting together the right solutions.
Map out the processes
The starting point in any business process review is to lay out the essential business processes involved in making your products or services. It is the ideal time to discuss any problems with the existing processes, including delays in supplies or issues with the quality of supplies. One useful starting point is to hold a range of brainstorming meetings for your team to thrash out ideas about what the problems may be and potential resolutions.
Take time to observe the relevant business processes to ensure that the details you’ve recorded match the reality. It is an opportunity to see whether employees are following procedures, giving you the chance to note any deviations and whether employees need more training or knowledge to carry out their tasks efficiently and correctly.
At this point, you can focus in more detail on the potential changes to your business procedures, speak to your employees directly to get their thoughts on any problems that your business faces. There are many ways to do this: surveys, face to face interviews or focus groups. This step will ensure that you don’t rush into changes, such as choosing your new ERP software or making dramatic changes to production planning, without a full understanding of how the changes could affect the business and the people who work in it.
Construct the new process
The most important principle to remember is that all redesign of business processes should contribute to the organisation’s overall goals. As you design the new process(es), conduct regular reviews with the affected teams to ensure that nothing is missed and it is an improvement to the previous. An additional step is to encourage engagement, collating all of the recommended changes that come out of the process review team and publish them for all employees to read, in an email or regular newsletter.
Evaluate the new process
Once the new process has been implemented you will need to monitor its effectiveness. Measuring factors include customer satisfaction, product costs or defects or whatever measures you feel will give you the most insight. Using these measures will help you to ensure that you can identify how successful the changes have been and help to inform the next round of business process reviews.
In the rapidly changing modern business environment, it is more important than ever to develop strategies for evaluating your effectiveness. Regularly reviewing your business processes can be a vital part of this approach, helping your business to maximise productivity and efficiency.