If you either have a vague idea that things are not running smoothly or you know of a specific issue that keeps cropping up, you probably have a process problem. Processes are basically what you do and the ultimate way in which strategy can be implemented within an organisation. They are the activities that are carried out and the steps that are taken. Whether a process is written down as a formal procedure or held within someone’s head, it is still a process and can make or break your organisation.
Thinking through your processes, especially critical for problem processes, is an essential part of understanding and improving your organisation. There are process improvement experts who can finesse your process to an astounding level of perfection – and the benefits of this are clearly visible in mass production (e.g. car manufacturing) and hazardous (e.g. nuclear) industries.
However, often focussing on efficiency, waste and/or consistency is not enough. If you work in a service-oriented industry (e.g. retail) or in the non-profit sectors (e.g. government and NGOs), you also need a focus on customer experience and stakeholder participation. In these cases you need a more common sense approach to process improvement, an approach that can be learnt, practised and over time built into a culture of organisational improvement by the people actually working in your organisation.
In our guide, The Practical Process Workbook: A step by step guide to writing down your processes, we break down the steps you need to go through to improve your processes into 3 stages:
- Write down the process
- Improve the process
- Make the process practical
A free copy of our ebook, The Practical Process Workbook covers the first stage and can be downloaded here. The book includes templates and examples, which can be reused as many times as you need.