A process is a step-by-step outline of tasks, interactions, and layers of input that’s needed to derive an outcome.
Processes form the backbone of the modern workplace, aligning closely with the goals of business technology partners who champion the alignment of IT strategy with overarching business objectives. They help teams and organizations set specific outlines for carrying out tasks and replicating them over and again with minimal friction. The better and more streamlined your processes are, the better your business results.
But no matter how good your existing processes currently run, there’s always some room for improvement. You can optimize to make sure the work happens with greater process efficiency.
We’ll outline seven easy ideas you can adopt to improve your internal processes and get more done with less, but first let’s look at the results you can get from process improvement.
Why do you need process improvement?
Process improvement helps you chart a better course of how your processes get carried out, and as a result, how your work gets done. This helps you create changes faster, more efficiently, and with better returns on your efforts. Overall, the aim of process efficiency is to:
Process improvement helps you cut out parts of your process management whose function can be solved faster by an alternative arrangement. With such changes in place, coherently designed processes help you get your work done faster since you’re focused on the essentials only.
As you trim down on unnecessary parts of a process, and replace with tasks designed to solve relevant problems, it helps solve your target problem with minimal guesswork. Process improvement helps you design processes that solve the problems they’re designed to without minimal friction.
Once a process is trimmed down or improved to include additional steps and tasks needed to get your desired results, you can record improved ROI from the same, or even lesser effort than you’d previously invested.
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Here are the 7 easy tips to improve your processes
Analyze your processes
Before you can start fixing or improving anything, you must first know what’s working, and what’s not, and then you can chart a course, detailing where you can tweak your process for better outcomes. Once in a while, it’s important to get together with other stakeholders to take a retrospective look at your internal processes, answering questions such as:
- What kind of results have we been able to generate with these processes?
- Are there any parts of these processes we can trim down and still get the same results?
- What part of our processes can be removed without hurting efficiency?
- Should this process exist at all? Is there an alternative solution to the problem this process solves?
- What part of this process is always in danger of stagnating? Why?
Asking these questions and searching deeply within the structure of your existing processes will help you pinpoint areas where you can make changes and get better outcomes from your processes.
Break up your processes into steps and action items
When you’re looking at the bigger picture, it can be a bit difficult pinpointing issues with a process. But once you’ve gotten down into the nitty gritty, it’s easier to see where you could use improvement.
Mapping out processes into the action items that make them up shows you how different factors relate to one another so you can see what exactly to change to get better results, as well as how one or more changes will affect your process as a whole.
No matter how your processes are designed, all action items aren’t equal. Some tasks in your processes hold a significantly higher stake in the success and as a result, you must give them more priority. Getting these higher-risk targets out of the way first makes it easy to then focus on less demanding parts of your processes and get them done with less pressure.
Automate your processes
Automation is a huge part of intelligent process management. As a result, whenever you’re trying to improve how your processes run, it’s important that you take a 360-degree look to see what can be automated.
If you automate business processes without a clear goal in mind, you’ll waste a lot of time, money and resources. Start your automation journey by identifying your organization’s SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented and timely — goals
- Suresh Sambandam
Automating your processes leaves you free to focus on more creative tasks that must unfailingly be carried out manually. Find opportunities to leverage tech to power your processes. Repeatable tasks where there’s little or no need for creative input can be gotten out of the way so you focus on more demanding needs.
Test your outcomes
After any change to your processes, it’s important to test from as many angles as possible to see if your process delivers your target result. Also, testing an updated process helps in addressing process flow issues before an updated process goes into practical use again.
Manage tasks intelligently
Tasks are the action steps in your process, which must be carried out to arrive at your desired outcomes. In order to keep your processes on the bleeding edge, you must manage tasks intelligently.
Some tips for moving action items from to-do to done faster and more efficiently include ensuring there’s someone responsible for every task within the process, and using an intelligent process management tool with task management capability. This helps you create, manage, and track every single task right beside your processes,
Communication in process management is simply how the information and insights generated at each stage of a process flow to where it’s needed. As a result, it follows that in order to keep your team on the same page, you need a process management solution that:
- passes knowledge across with little friction
- helps team members reach consensus fast
- minimizes back-and-forth in your process management
Effective communication removes the guesswork from process management and makes it easy for stakeholders to do their best work at each stage the work falls to them. This is simply because at each stage, there’s enough information to make decisions, take appropriate action, and move work forward faster.
Example Scenario: Accelerating Loan Approval in Financial Services
Imagine a financial services company struggling with slow loan approval processes. By embracing low-code technology, they embark on a journey of process improvement. In the analysis phase, they identify manual data entry and multiple handoffs as pain points. Transitioning to the improvement phase, they build a low-code application that automates data collection, validation, and approval workflows. Through visual modeling, they map out the new process, highlighting the automation steps. Implementation involves configuring the low-code app and providing staff training. As loan approval times shrink and accuracy improves, the optimization phase continuously refines the app based on user feedback and performance metrics. This example illustrates how low-code empowers companies to swiftly enhance complex processes, driving efficiency in sectors like financial services.
Take the step towards improved processes
Instead of trying to remember all these tips we’ve explained above, you could use a tool that has the seven pillars of process improvement built into it. That way, you can consistently improve your processes and their outcomes on autopilot.
Kissflow low-code platform is designed around the needs of forward-thinking teams where speed and efficiency are needed to stay on the cutting edge. With Kissflow you can:
- Build transparent processes that are easy to operate with, analyze, and adjust
- Implement process automation which you can integrate with the tools you already use and get tasks done automatically
- Implement smart task management to track individual responsibilities and monitor progress effectively.
- Collaborate smoothly, keeping everyone on the same page
Kissflow's low-code platform revolutionizes your approach to process building, subtly driving enhanced results over time. The outcome? An accelerated pace, heightened efficiency, and a superior return on investment.