Business process reviews are intended, by the nature of the review, to improve upon specific business processes. Reasons for these reviews vary, but generally stem from a fall-off in service levels in a specific area of your business. When we engage for business process reviews and process improvement, we generally follow best practice basic guidelines that lead to a high level of success for you and your business. We begin with process mapping.
Process mapping is just what it appears to be – logically identifying each piece of an overall process and creating a ‘road-map’ of that process from beginning to end and all of its logical requirements. Over the process of this identification, various things will begin to surface relating to problems in the current environment. When these problems are identified, we can then hold group meetings to brainstorm the issues and determine an organizational response to these problems. Through a series of refinement meetings, these processes can be targeted to a high level of organizational success. We will then map processes with business process mapping tools to visualize for the group how the process flow happens. This ultimately becomes a series of living documents.
We then review the documented business processes to ensure the details accurately reflect the way the business works and that specific business requirements and goals are identified and able to be met. We identify variations of these processes to determine if processes are incorrect for the business requirement it should be solving, if personnel need additional skills, knowledge, training or experience, or if the business requirements have changed over time without the process being changed to match. This aligns the process with the business with the business user or employee, and it is critical to the overall success of this review process.
We can then determine how changes may impact current procedures, observe personnel completing tasks to validate assumptions, interview personnel and gather their input about the process issues faced by the organization. We can never assume that we know the right solution without understanding how a change can affect an organization, and any time this rule is violated, the possibility is then in place to have an incomplete or ineffective business process.
After all of these steps are completed, we then have a business process that can be modeled, refined and implemented. We can then evaluate the implementation, allowing us to measure operational activities such as customer satisfaction, product defect, costs, service level agreements, or any other scalable metric to determine if improvements generated by the review have had positive impact. We will conduct subsequent reviews and adjust processes accordingly if no improvements have been made within the expected timeframe. Through this series of process refinement, we will ultimately end up with a very strong business process, allowing our customer a level of success, a roadmap for change and process evolution going forward.