By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
With all the uncertainty many businesses are facing in today’s post-pandemic world, organizations are looking at ways to improve their bottom lines, especially if they can do it themselves.
One great way to do that is to streamline business processes; however, many of these same organizations don’t know what tools to use for going about this, outside of hiring a consultant.
If that’s you, then check this out the following list of 10 DIY steps for streamlining how your team accomplishes work.
1. Choose the Process Improvement (PI) Project
Decide where you want to start. Tackling a smaller project at first is a good idea, particularly if your staff doesn’t have the bandwidth or PI experience. Otherwise, you can choose a more challenging project.
2. Define & Document Project Scope
Determine the plan for improving the process and the timeframe you want to accomplish it in. Define it in as much detail as possible to prevent scope creep.
3. Map the Process
Bring together your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to document the workflow based on the “Current State” of the process. It’s important to have someone facilitate this activity who is experienced in process mapping; otherwise, the basis of your whole project could be built on a faulty foundation.
4. Estimate Process & Cycle Times
Estimate time frames and costs associated with the steps in the process. This is done to highlight areas where inefficiencies exist and unnecessary resources are being utilized.
5. Review the Process Map
Do this to ensure accuracy and completeness of the map, making sure that the process matches reality. The end goal is to get buy-in from your SMEs.
6. Improve the Process
Look at each section of the map to identify problems. The team needs to brainstorm and determine the most efficient way to perform the process that results in the most ideal outcomes for the customer. It’s also good to look at whether another person or team can more efficiently perform certain steps.
7. Develop Metrics, Controls & Tools
Determine areas you want to measure and create metrics around those areas. Develop tools and documentation to support the process, and develop a plan to control/prevent process deviations.
8. Test & Revise the Process
“Try Storm” the process. Take a mock run through to see if it functions as intended. If it doesn’t, make adjustments so the work will flow as intended.
9. Prep for Process Roll-Out
Do these three things to ensure a successful roll-out and better process adoption:
10. Drive an Organizational Continuous Improvement Mindset
Create an expectation in the organization that you’ll continue to improve processes on a regular basis. It’s definitely not a one-time event, and driving CI starts at the top!
For those of you who would like to download an infographic of these same steps, click here.
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How many of you, after reading this list, are thinking that there’s no way you can undertake this on your own, without outside help?
Perhaps there are some of you who might be a bit mind-blown like Aston Kutcher in this video, when you think about trying to do this on your own.
Then consider this--as a process improvement expert, that’s right up my alley! I’d love to hear all about your challenges and help you brainstorm solutions.
If that sounds good, click the button below to schedule a chat!