All businesses desire continued growth, improved profitability, and reduced costs across different industries.
Organizations must go through various business processes to achieve success in these areas. These processes focus on business improvement to ensure businesses optimally distribute resources.
This article will look at business process improvement. Keep reading to learn about this approach, its methods, and how it can help businesses.
What Is a Business Process?
A business process is a series of steps businesses perform to achieve a specific goal. Well-defined business processes help identify essential functions to larger business goals.
Besides, they improve efficiency, create better communication, and ensure accountability. Thus, using a standardized set of procedures is vital for driving business.
Business Process Management
Business process management (BPM) is a systematic way of looking at and controlling processes in a company. BMP focuses on meeting the changing needs of a business. As a result, a company can look at its operations collectively and individually.
It’s an ongoing approach to increase the performance of businesses processes. BMP is how a company creates, changes, and analyzes its core business operations.
Business Process Analysis
Business process analysis (BPA) is a subset of BPM. BPA focuses on the analysis of businesses processes. It recommends improvements based on the data. BPA leads to:
- Process improvement
- Policy development
- Organizational change
- Strategic planning
BPA helps to understand the health of different operations. As with other related businesses processes, the goal is to improve efficiency. Also, BPA identifies if current approaches are meeting their targets.
Business Process Improvement
Business process improvement (BPI) is a method businesses use to identify and check inefficiencies. The goals are to:
- Reduce process completion time
- Improve output quality
- Identify wasted efforts
- Reduce process friction
- Meet regulatory compliance
This approach redesigns existing business tasks, improves effectiveness, enhances workflows, and optimizes performance.
BPI can look at operations, complexity levels, employee skills, and more. The main idea is to align IT resources with organizational business goals. Businesses should start by classifying activities into three categories:
Operational activities are the most popular tasks that occur every day. Some examples include accounting and manufacturing.
Management activities focus on budgeting, corporate governance, and human resource development. Supporting activities are all other tasks. This may include recruiting and tech support.
Next, businesses need to put regular evaluations and reviews for each task. Only then can they identify and prevent inefficiencies.
BPI Method: Theory of Constraints
Theory of constraints (TOC) solves business inefficiency in two distinct ways. The first is by determining limitations causing bottlenecks. The second is by improving the restriction until its negative effect goes away. TOC has five founding steps.
First, identify the bottleneck. Then, cut out the constraint. Next, align all business tasks with the conditions. Then, realize other possible actions to resolve the issue and optimize results. Finally, move to a new inefficiency.
Continuous application of TOC helps remove bottlenecks in succession.
BPI Method: Six Sigma
Six Sigma is a data-driven approach to avoid mistakes and inefficiencies. This way, the system works faster with fewer errors. Motorola implemented this method in the 1980s in manufacturing.
Today, it has a generalized approach that all businesses can use with the DMAIC framework. First, define the problem. Then, measure the current metrics on the task and the metrics after improvement.
Next, analyze inconsistencies. Then, improve the inefficiencies. Finally, control and check the task to ensure effectiveness.
The Lean Thinking approach is a new change to Six Sigma. It approaches problems from the perspective of customer value. If a task doesn’t bring customer value, it gets eliminated.
BPI Method: Total Quality Management
Like Lean Thinking, total quality management (TQM) places customer value at the center of a business’s management and operations. Every department has to bring value to customers. Customer satisfaction growth is the leading company goal.
BPI Step One: Mapping
First, businesses should use mapping to identify problems. Mapping visualizes all the operations of the company. The findings from this determine the best processes to optimize.
Businesses can map out operations manually by drawing a flowchart. But, conversely, they can use workflow automation software. Business experts agree that using software will reduce human error and help get actionable insights.
BPI Step Two: Analyze
After mapping out all the tasks in a business, it’s time to analyze them. This helps acknowledge important metrics and understand the needs of a business. Then, the company can go after the functions with the most friction.
At this point, there are some essential questions to answer. For example, does the company have jobs taking longer than necessary? What factors influence inefficiencies? Why do some tasks have a higher impact on the business than others?
Asking questions like these will help businesses identify areas that need improvement.
BPI Step Three: Redesign
Once a business has identified the problems, it’s time to determine the company’s resources needed to fix them and fine-tune workflow design. Thus, the process should involve stakeholders, management, and employees.
BPI Step Four: Implement
As the business implements new designs, it should start with minor corrections. This way, it’s easier to make changes when necessary. The company should continue to track all items closely and gather data on key metrics.
During implementation, businesses need to involve extra resources in case of requirements. Then they can integrate the changes across all related tasks.
BPI Step Five: Test and Review
After full implementation, the business can check how changes affect tasks in real-time. Then, they can run further updates or other integrations if the changes aren’t working. Finally, they can identify how the changes impact other business tasks.
If a business notices new problems, they need to begin with a new BPI cycle.
Improve Your Business
Each different business process assists with increasing productivity, improving efficiency, and achieving consistent results. These outcomes are crucial for any business to stay competitive.
Contact us now if you’re ready to work with Zolicity for business process improvement. Our experienced consultants will strive to meet your ultimate business goals.