Following on from our recent blog post about using December downtime to clean-up emails and files, to upgrade systems and get your business in shape for the new year we thought it would be a good time to discuss the importance of system and process reviews.
Systems and processes are the building blocks of any business. They’re the tasks that take place dozens of times every day, i.e. generating reports and invoices, engaging new clients, resolving customer complaints or designing and manufacturing new products. As with so many things in life, familiarity breeds contempt, so it’s very easy to just accept the way things are done without questioning or examining them.
Why is this important? It’s highly likely that you’ve experienced the results of inefficient systems and processes throughout the course of your professional life. Stressed and exhausted colleagues, dissatisfied customers, missed deadlines, increased costs and decreased profitability – lots of it can be traced back to problems in the way key tasks are designed and carried out.
How is it done? Well, the good news is that it’s not rocket science! There are a number of well-defined and easy-to-follow steps that can help you improve your systems & processes and help your business to become a more efficient, better performing machine.
- Map It – Document each step thoroughly using a Flowchart or Swim Lane Diagram;
- Analyze It – Use this information to identify and investigate problems with the process. Where do staff and customers get frustrated? Which steps create bottlenecks, drive up costs or cause delays?
- Redesign It – Redesign the process to eliminate the problems identified. Work with people who are directly involved to get them engaged and come up with innovative, effective solutions;
- Acquire Resources – Coming up with a plan of action is pointless unless you have the resources to make it a reality. This might be funding, guidance from senior management or assistance from departments such as IT and HR;
- Implement and Communicate Change – Ensuring that everyone is on board and understands the changes is absolutely vital to ensuring success. Plan and manage the rollout carefully to make sure this happens;
- Review It – Theory is often very different from practice and few things work perfectly from the start, so it’s important to monitor how things progress to ensure the new system or process is performing to expectations.
Want to learn about how a system and process review can help take your business to the next level? Just get in touch with us here to find our more.