Last Updated on February 1, 2017 by Dave Schoenbeck
Do you have some processes within your business that have become less effective as your company grows? Do you find yourself listening to complaints about the way things are done in your organization? If so, it might be time to consider business process re-engineering.
Business process re-engineering involves re-evaluating your company’s system of accomplishing any task and finding ways to improve upon that process. In the past, his usually entailed hiring a fleet of expensive consultants – something that is not financially feasible for many small- to mid-sized businesses.
Because small businesses also need a way to simplify outgrown legacy processes, it’s ideal for you to address the task with a more relevant and do-it-yourself technique. My goal with this article is to help you carry out a focused, easy-to-implement, and affordable approach on how to deconstruct and rebuild a troublesome process.
Here are my proven business process re-engineering tips:
1. Pick a process that your team or clients complain about.
It’s usually a good idea to begin by addressing the problem areas that tend to garner complaints. After all, if something isn’t working well, your staff is sure to let you know.
2. List the steps of your current broken process.
Next, you will need to write each and every step involved in your current process on a separate sticky note. During this exercise, it’s extremely important that you break down the process into as many specific steps as possible. Be sure to write down the specific person or department that currently is responsible for the step.
3. Stick your notes on a big, empty wall.
Using the biggest section of empty wall space you can find, add a bit of flair to your office by hanging your sticky-note steps up for all to see.
4. Put them in sequential order.
Be sure to organize your steps in the order they’re currently taking place. Later, you can start moving them around so they’re in the order you believe makes more sense.
5. Bring in your subject experts.
Some of your workers will be better versed in certain areas of your company processes than others. Ask your team who might offer the best insights based on current problems and potential solutions. Ask that person (or a few people) to help you work on your business process re-engineering together.
6. Look carefully for gaps.
With your process steps written out and set in front of you, and with the help of your quality control experts, you will likely find a number of gaps in your current process. Actively seek these out until you are certain you have found them all and noted the gap.
7. Be innovative with your improvement ideas.
Sometimes, the solution to a particular problem isn’t obvious. Think outside the box and consider all possibilities before deciding on the best improvement ideas. Remember to include problems that could potentially arise as a result of your new improvements. List as many new issues you can think of and how you plan to solve them.
8. Write out improved or additional steps.
Using sticky notes of a different color, write down your new and improved steps and add them to the proper places in your wall lineup.
9. More quality control.
Because it can be difficult to take a step back from your own work, those quality control experts should be brought in a second time to analyze your system and give their input and suggestions.
10. Document your work.
Of course, you don’t want to lose all that hard work. Therefore, your new, rebuilt process needs to be documented. This is called a “system of processes,” or SOP. You can create and store these in-house for free on a shared office server or through a cloud-based solution like SweetProcess.
11. Write an expanded list of priority processes.
By keeping a list of priority processes in your business, you will be able to evaluate and keep track of all your systems throughout the lifetime of your company. Be sure to look back over your SOPs a few times each year to ensure they’re up-to-date, still working properly, and still useful for your team.
Having and maintaining well-established business processes will help you continue to operate efficiently. Following these tips to re-engineer your internal systems will put you on the path to success.
Some businesses find they need a bit more help in this area. If you need assistance reworking your outdated business processes, click here to schedule a free one-hour consultation with Coach Dave.