Conducting In-Depth Business Process Analysis for Optimising Workflows
To conduct a process analysis of your business successfully, you need to start thinking in terms of outcomes, rather than individual tasks and procedures. This end-to-end thought process will help you to identify the fundamental processes involved in your businesses model.
Remember, every process should contribute to the ultimate goal(s) of your business.
These processes should slot neatly together, like tracks that take a train from point A to point B.
Flow charts are a good way of pinpointing and visualizing your core processes. Flow charts are an intuitive way of process mapping. They clarify how an input passes through multiple procedures. Ultimately, delivering a pre-defined output.
IMPORTANT: Flow charts should only be used for the creation of a business process map. The implementation of standard flow charts is ineffective in real-life. Effective workflows should be dynamic and interactive. Automating customised workflows in a BPMS (business process management software) ensures that the workflows you build are optimised and maintained for the long-term.
Don’t worry if the work-flow passes through different departments - we are trying to separate ourselves from department-focused thinking.
To help with your process analysis it’s best to think of your workflows as one of three different process types.
Business processes can be divided into three basic categories.
Think of your business as a trade ship, delivering cargo from point A to point B.
Operational processes are the cargo onboard the ship. This cargo must be delivered to its final destination as efficiently as possible, but there are many factors that affect the transportation of these goods.
Just like cargo on a ship, operational processes earn profit and deliver value to the customer. For most businesses, operational processes will probably fall into one of the following categories:
Production or development of a product or service
Marketing/distribution of product or service
Customer support both during and after delivery of product or service
All of these categories have a direct impact on the output of your business. Optimising these processes should be a high priority as they directly affect your primary business function.
Think of supporting processes as the sails, ropes and rudder that help deliver the cargo to its final destination.
Without these fundamental devices, the boat would fail to deliver the precious cargo!
A supporting process indirectly benefits the output of the business.They do not drive any profits themselves but are essential to the operation of the business nonetheless.
A kitchen porter in a restaurant is a great example of a supporting process. The act of onboarding washing dishes does not directly impact the production or development of the final product but remains a necessary part of the overall process map.
Without somebody to wash the dishes, how else would the restaurant continue to serve guests?
Smaller business can benefit from outsourcing supporting processes as they are not cyclable. For example, It would be illogical for a small business to pay a full-time salary for a recruiter when new hires are rarely required.
Think of management processes as the captain that guides the vessel.
Thanks to the sails, ropes and rudder, the cargo can begin making its way across the ocean. But who will ensure that boat stays on course?
Management processes do exactly that. They ensure the operational and supporting processes are well coordinated.
Just like supporting processes, management processes don’t directly contribute to the financial gain of the company. They do, however, ensure the longevity resilience of the company.
Client acquisition is a good example of a management process. Without the constant assessment of potential clients, the company would eventually fall behind its competitors.
It’s important that management processes are quantifiable. SMART goals are great for specifying, measuring and analysing the effectiveness of current business processes.
Using Business Processes for Developing Standard Operating Procedures
The ultimate goal of building your process map is to implement SOPs for repeatable tasks.
SOPs provide your team with standardised methodologies that can be tracked through your BPMS.
Some SOPs will be fixed and repeatable, such as quarterly reports, whereas some will be more dynamic. Dynamic SOPs will include key decision points where employees will need to move through the sequential steps of the workflow.
Inefficiencies found within an SOP should be amended as quickly as possible to ensure effectiveness. Reengineering existing workflows is preferable to designing new workflows as any existing progress could be lost.
Streamline and Automate Your Business Process Models
Once you’ve successfully identified your business processes, standardize and automate them with AhoyTeam.
With AhoyTeam, you can customise and automate your workflows from within Slack and Email, guaranteeing unrivalled efficiency.
If you’re having difficulties identifying your business processes, get in touch with AhoyTeam for help with setting up your very own automated process map.