Business Process Improvement is an exercise that is carried out by the leaders of an organization to define and identify various areas of improvement using several methodologies. This process involves redesigning and reworking on the processes after reviewing their effectiveness and efficiency.
These areas are often the various operations of an organization or certain employee skills that could be upgraded and align with the goals of the enterprise for growth. Sometimes, this entire process is also referred to as functional process improvement as it works on making the workflow seamless and efficient.
This process is often undertaken by the leaders to ensure compliance with certain rules and regulations. This step by the management helps to improve customer services and thus, their experience and satisfaction. It can also help an organization to meet the demands of the customers and ultimately their organizational goals.
Here is a comprehensive step-by-step guide to business process improvement.
- Step 1: Mapping
The first step of every business process improvement initiative is to analyze the efficiency of these processes. It is the most important step in the business process improvement as the following steps are dependent on it. Mapping helps you understand your work operations and figure out any gaps that may lead to inefficiency.
Traditionally, this process could have been carried out using just a pen, paper, and flowcharts. However, with less time on hands nowadays, people have started adopting various software that makes this process easier. Workflow application software are turning out to be popular tools to allow you to track your process more efficiently.
- Step 2: Analysis
Once you have your model mapped out, it is time to analyze every nook and cranny. There are several questions that need to be answered when analyzing your business processes in order for them to get redesigned in an effective manner. Check for the steps that are taking longer than needed, see if there are any deadlines that were missed, or how you can improve the quality of your product, and more.
- Step 3: Redesign
After you have analyzed your process, defined the problem issues, identified the steps that are leading to inefficiency, it is time to make the changes to the processes. This step is known as redesigning. There is no one-size fit all approach to redesigning as every solution will depend on what needs to be changed and how. A few common practices that should be kept in mind include:
- Compare the old and new processes to scout for the gaps and inefficiencies.
- Take suggestions from employees that have been working on the field as they will have the first-hand experience with the same.
- Figure out your scope of changes, the impact your redesign will have and the risks that are involved.
- Check for the cost-efficiency for both long-term and short-term.
- Step 4: Implementation
After you have reworked on your processes and made the changes, next comes the implementation of these redesigned processes. It is one of the most crucial steps of business process improvement. It is best to start on a small scale to mitigate risk. When you are implementing the improved processes, make sure you have acquired the necessary resources and all your steps have been defined.
It is best to make use of an LMS when your BPI is focused on the skills of your employees. It is a great tool for training purposes when implementing your plan of action. Modern-day LMS such as MindFlash LMS features various tools that will make implementation easier and smooth.
- Step 5: Reflection And Benchmarking
After implementation comes tracking and measuring the consequences that the processes are facing. It is important to monitor everything in order to ensure that everything is going as planned. In case of any issues, you can always pause the process and make the changes in the course of action as and when needed. Thus, it is very crucial to reflect and track the performance.
Business process improvement or BPI brings several benefits with itself that helps you achieve your business goals. These steps mentioned above just form the basis of the procedure that leaders follow. More steps are often added or a few steps are omitted, depending upon the nature of the enterprise.