Have you Prioritized Your Processes?

Does your company have a road map to success?

Just as the choices we make day-to-day determine our course as individuals, the processes you follow as a company determine your organization’s success. And the efficiency and effectiveness of your processes will determine the direction of your business. Without a clearly defined road map, it’s difficult, if not impossible, for your employees and your business to realize their full potential.

Most companies have identified a set of processes and procedures that run their day-to-day operations, but what if your team is struggling to follow the process map that you’ve set before them? Ineffective or cumbersome processes can result in unhappy, stressed employees, disgruntled customers, missed deadlines and increased costs across your company.

If an employee encounters a situation without a clearly defined process, most of the time they’ll improvise or “wing it.” Over time, this improvisation can actually become their process. But this method can compound issues and cause confusion among your staff and clients alike. That’s why it’s important to define and develop business processes that work for you and toward your company’s goals.

With an ever-growing to-do list and clients knocking on your door with deadlines and quotas to meet, it’s understandable that defining and perfecting your processes takes a back seat. You’ll get to it when you have some extra time, however, there never seems to be extra time. And that is exactly why you need processes in place.

The benefits of well-defined processes are clear:
 
Good processes keep you consistent and competitive.
Why gamble with your client’s satisfaction? Clearly defined processes allow your employees to work effectively and consistently, producing the kind of high quality work that your customers expect.

Good processes keep your company agile.
Having clearly defined processes allows your company to shift with market changes. Being able to easily identify what needs to change or how to address process issues as the market shifts gives you the advantage of quickly adapting future projects.

Good processes provide a firm foundation.
With the right processes in place, you don’t have to worry about employee turn-over or business interruptions. Processes provide a core framework that minimize those interruptions and allow for easier transitions for new hires or team changes.

Defining your processes may seem like a daunting task. It’s easier to do what you’ve always done and hope it works, but as the saying goes, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. And that doesn’t leave much room for growth. But there are steps you can take to begin defining processes that will help you realize your company’s full potential.

Step 1: Inventory your current business workflow. 
How do you do what you do? What procedures are currently in place, who uses them, and what are the goals of each?
 
Step 2: Rank the processes you currently use.
In order to determine the best workflow for your company, you need to know what’s most important to your end goals. Then prioritize your processes accordingly.

Step 3: Break your processes down into individual steps.
Once you know what the process is, it’s important to know the individual steps involved in that process. Are your employees duplicating efforts? Are they following outdated practices? This step will help you determine what should stay, what should go, and what needs improvement.

Step 4: Talk to your team.
Before you start changing processes entirely, it’s important to understand why your team works as it does. Is there a process in place that doesn’t fit? Are your team members using work-arounds that you know nothing about? Get this input now, and save yourself a lot of hassle implementing your processes down the road.

Step 5: Automate your workflow.
It’s not enough to have processes in place, it’s vital to ensure that your whole team is using the same process in their daily workflow. The best way to do this is to automate that workflow. By developing automated systems, you can streamline your systems and reduce human error.

Step 6: Refine.
Once your processes are in place and your team is working through your automated workflow, it’s important to continue to refine the processes based on what’s working. With an automated workflow you can also implement easy reporting features to show you what works, what needs improvement, and what should be eliminated.

We understand that the idea of defining and automating your processes can be overwhelming. But you don’t have to do it alone. At Spud Software we’ve spent 20 years helping our clients define their processes and design solutions that work for them. We’ve seen how clearly defined processes and automated workflows can exponentially increase a company’s efficiency and their overall profits. And we’d love the opportunity to help you build a road map to success.

Contact Spud Software for a free 1-hour exploratory meeting about how we can help you define, design, develop and deliver processes that help your company realize your full potential.