Three steps to a streamlined office

The other week I was quizzed about ‘what are your top three tips to streamline an office process?’

It’s a good question.

First, I said, was to create a top level map of the process. Knowing the major steps in the process and the interfaces between the steps is vital to improve the flow of the process.

Secondly, establish meaningful performance measures throughout the process. Are key steps starting on time? What is the lead time of the bottleneck operation? Some measures can be yes and no measures, some may be more quantifiable. Know how you process is performing so that the results don’t come as a shock.

Thirdly, design a routine that supports points one and two. Discipline and routine can make the designed benefits of a process come to life. Each and every day certain activities need to take place. Make sure they do!

I’m sure that you can think of additional activities that you could undertake, but these are my top three. I could think of more complete answers with five or seven steps / approaches. But this can be the problem, too much choice. When we have too many routes to choose procrastination can kick in. Pick something that feels right and looks right and make that a success.

Make progress, learn and then go again.

Giles Johnston
Author, Consultant and Chartered Engineer