Many of today’s careers require people to work intelligently. This means that employees must work together more, generate more and be more successful even as they are expected to work faster and smarter. Regardless of your industry, the amount of productivity that your employees can generate and their ability to work well depends on how much control they have over what they do during their work hours. These days, it’s common for business processes to be inefficient and even broken. If you see this in your company, it’s time for a change. Here are seven ways to streamline business processes.
1. Review Your Company’s Current Work Process
To streamline processes, review what’s happening now. You may need to check with every department to understand how the business has been operating to see where tasks may be getting bogged down or delayed. Discuss the company’s current workflow with your employees to see what advice they might have to make things run more smoothly. Analyze each step and take detailed notes. These steps will help you make changes to streamline how your company conducts business.
According to research, businesses don’t need to hold as many work meetings as they do. Statistics show that too many meetings result in a waste of an estimated 37 billion dollars in the United States.
Review the number of meetings that you’re scheduling to see if you’re wasting time holding them. You might be able to share information just as well through email or share more information during each meeting.
2. Break Down the Company’s Work Processes into Smaller Tasks
Once you have an outline of each work process, break each one down into smaller tasks. Try to make each step as simple as possible. A common thing that happens in many businesses is that project managers become consumed by a project’s dependencies and decision levels because of a complicated work process. Keep it simple. Break the process down into smaller steps and work toward what needs to be done.
In business, common areas of waste include overprocessing, defects, and waiting. If you can work to eliminate these wastes on your team, you’ll be more likely to increase profits and improve the happiness level of your workers. They’ll appreciate working under a system that operates efficiently. Employees often become frustrated when they have to go through steps that waste time.
As companies grow, structural changes start to happen. These changes may fluctuate from slight shifts in who is managing what department to job switches because of personal preferences. Since changes happen gradually over a long period, it’s easy to miss inefficiencies.
3. Look into Automation
To streamline processes, make sure that you’re using a quality work management software solutions program. In many businesses, the method used to send projects or tasks out to employees is often riddled with communication problems and data errors.
Be sure to install a program that will help your company and its staff communicate quickly and effectively. Today’s work management solutions software makes multifaceted business processes easier to manage.
4. Search for Unnecessary Tasks
Review the job tasks assigned to your team to identify ones that may be unnecessary. This will free people up to do other jobs. It can also help you improve business processes and allow your staff to manage their work time better.
Take a look at how other companies or industries operate. It’s easy to think that your business is unique and that methods used by other industries wouldn’t help you, but you might need to broaden your mindset.
Henry Ford decided to use an assembly line to construct his automobiles after visiting a slaughterhouse that used them to process meat. Vehicles and cows have many differences, but the technique for bringing the final product to the market works effectively in both industries.
5. Determine Pain Points
To streamline your business processes, ask your customers or clients about their pain points. Survey as many people as you can. This will help you narrow down your company’s pain points so you can start addressing them. For instance, if your customers are unhappy with the wait time for customer service, you may need to hire more people or determine ways for your current representatives to help people more quickly. This means that you might need to give your team more control over how they help your clients.
Prioritize key areas. Use the information to focus your attention on operations that will give you the best method for improving business processes.
6. Provide Detailed Explanations
After deciding what changes are needed to streamline your business processes, teach your team how to use them, do this prior to implementation. Make sure that every member of your team understands how the new process operates and how it will help them work more efficiently.
The benefits of streamlining businesses processes include better employee morale, improved team coordination, and increased employee adoption. It’s also likely that there will be fewer errors, missed project deadlines, and redundant tasks.
7. Be Open to Modifications
Once you start improving business processes for more effective operations, be open to modifications. You’ll need to take some time to see how and if the changes are streamlining operations in the way that you need or want. Be patient because changes always take time. Assess how well each new process is working and make modifications if needed. Tweak each process until you have everything working better.
Streamline Business Processes
When you make changes that make things run more efficiently, you’ll save time and money. Be patient and give the changes time to work. Contact us at the Productivity Intelligence Institute to see how we can help.