Skip to main content

How hard do you push your business processes?

Out of ten, how hard do you currently push your business processes? Are they well developed and delivering the results you need, or are they just a feature of your business?

Develop your business processes with
this step-by-step guide. Available from
Amazon and iTunes.
I thought I’d ask you this question to challenge you, to see if you are getting the most out of your processes. Properly developed processes can make the difference between poor performance and amazing performance. My clients have seen 500% increases in productivity, 80% reductions in lead times and tripling of sales with no extra employees through maximising the management of their business processes. It really is worth investing some of your time and effort to look into this topic.

So, let me help you out with the scoring for this by sharing with you some of the things I look for. This is part of the ‘what does good look like?’ question that can really help you and your management team to focus on driving the right change through your business.

Good to me includes:

Having clearly defined processes, with clear ownership of the various steps in each of the processes.

Metrics / KPIs that help you manage the inputs, the outputs and the process steps themselves in the most efficient and effective manner.

Feedback loops that help the processes to improve.

Engagement with both the people directly and indirectly involved with the processes to continuously look for better and more efficient ways to operate each process.

Routines that support the triggering and operating of the process’ steps.

Mechanisms to regulate the workloads and flow of activity through the processes.

Slick handovers during the individual processes that ensure delays and poor decision making is minimised.

Forums / meetings to ensure that all team members can declare their obstacles and get the support they need, in order to fulfil their roles and execute the process steps they are responsible for.

Clarity about the standards that the individuals are expected to work to and a ‘reasonable expectation’ of the outputs / results they are expected to achieve.

Well documented instructions (aka Standard Operating Procedures) for each step of the process.

Mature reporting activities, to ensure that the main steps in each process are delivering their results, the individuals are being supported and achieving their stated performance levels and that the strategic objectives of the business are on their way to being satisfied as a result of the processes being executed properly.

Are you a ten out of ten, or are you somewhere in-between?

I am sharing this list with you so that you can use it during a time out with your team, something to reflect upon and something that could help you plan the next steps in your continuous improvement efforts.

I hope that you find it to be useful,

Giles



About the author Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes. Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.

Subscribe to my email updates and receive my on time delivery and productivity improvement guide:



Popular posts from this blog

Kaizen improvements need to be specific

Do you find that your Kaizen improvements don't always go to plan? If you do, then you're with the majority! Whilst there is great deal of 'trial and error' there is a simple approach that can help. Available from Amazon Being specific about critical parts of your improvement can uplift your results. So, how do you go about doing this? The most direct route is to be clear about which parts of your improvement are critical. From here you can explain, in detail, what you want for those items. This might take some practice as many of us have become lazy in this regard. We take it for granted that our team 'get us' and will know what they need to do. If you ever feel that something basic is missing from an improvement ask this question: "What does good look like?" The answer should put you back on track. About the author: Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes and

Where to start with Kaizen, if you just aren't sure

Kaizen is a great word. It is a word that can unleash the potential of both a business and an individual. Kaizen means more than just continuous improvement. It is a word that is linked to: Confidence Growth Exploration Courage Many people I speak to, that are new to improvement projects, aren't sure if they are on the right path when it comes to embracing the spirit of Kaizen. If you are also one of these people then let me share with you a few thoughts that can help you feel at ease about starting and leading change. Start with your concerns A great place to start your improvement life is with anything that isn't right. Getting your concerns out into the open really is the first step for most of us. If you aren't happy with something, raise it. This isn't only a great place to start, but something that you shouldn't give up. Whenever a standard is not being met, or not even defined, get vocal and then do something about it. Start small The intention of Kaizen is

Stimulating Kaizen opportunities - the 'mechanical' way!

I often end up in conversations about how to stimulate Kaizen ideas and opportunities. If you have read my other posts, you will know that I split the improvement journey into two halves. For many people, the initial Kaizen focus is all around fixing things that are wrong / not working properly. Once you get past this point you need something else to focus and motivate you to generate improvement opportunities. The two halves of the Kaizen journey The discussion that I often end up in, is the one around the imagination quandary. People talk to me about not being creative, or not being inspired to come up with improvement ideas. Do you ever feel this way? It seems that there is a popular view that some people are creative and some aren't. Great Kaizen ideas are not just the product of 'creative' people. There are lots of ways that you can generate improvement ideas without having to sit on a mountain top cross legged waiting for inspiration. Finding a 'mechanical' w