Wednesday 19 December 2018

Team work - Improve the quality of business process

Team work

The process can be divided into two types, namely formal and non formal. Formal processes, or procedures, are generally documented and consist of standard steps.

The general procedure is the process associated with other parties, such as shipping and processing invoices , customer credit approval process, and so on. The formal process plays an important role because it is related to safety, legal or financial in steps.

The non formal process is a process that we usually create ourselves, without any written information about the steps. For example, we usually have our own way of doing weekly meeting action plans, doing market research or communicating new leads

The Importance of Having Efficient Processes

Processes may differ from each other, but they have one thing in common: they are designed to streamline the work that you and your team do.

When everyone on the team follows the previously verified steps of effectiveness, then:

  • Errors and delays will decrease in number

  • Less duplication of work

  • Staff and customers feel more satisfied.

Inefficient process will cause many problems, such as:

  • Complaints from customers due to poor product quality and service

  • Your colleague gets frustrated

  • Lots of duplication of work, and none completed

  • The cost is bloated

  • Wasteful in the use of resources

  • The more bottlenecks , it keeps you from meeting deadlines.

Improve the Quality of Business Processes

If you are experiencing the above problem, this may be a good time to review and update the process to make it more relevant. Here are some suggestions that can be used as guidance:

Step 1: Create a Process Mapping

When you have decided which process you are going to fix, create a documentation for each step of the process using a Flow chart or Swim Lane Diagram. The two tools will help you see the process visually. It's important to explore the set of phases in detail, as some processes may have sub-steps you did not previously realize.

Step 2: Perform Process Analysis

Use the Flow Chart or Swim Lane Diagram that you have created to investigate the problem in the process. Consider asking these questions:

  • The point makes a team member or customer frustrated?

  • Which steps create the bottleneck?

  • Point causes cost swelling and / or quality degradation?

  • Which steps take the most time, or cause the most delay?

  • First, use Root Cause Analysis (RCA), Cause and Effect Analysis , and 5 Whys to find the root cause. Because, if you just fix the symptom without digging deeper, the problem will continue.

  • Talk to those who are in direct contact with the process. What do they think is wrong? Do they have any suggestions for fixing it?

Then review the performance of other teams within the organization. What strategies do they use to cope with similar situations?

Step 3: Redesign the Process

At this stage, you are redesigning the process to eliminate the problems you identified in Step 2. It is advisable to work with people directly related to the process. Their ideas may be the source of new approaches, and they may also support change if involved in the early stages of the program.

First, make sure everyone understands the meaning of the process; the purpose of the process. Then do some exploration to find how to solve the problem you found in Step 2. Maybe you can brainstorm with the team. Record all the ideas of the proposed changes, regardless of cost first.

Then narrow down your list by considering possible translations of ideas into concrete actions.

Conduct Impact Analysis to understand the effects of team members' ideas. Then continue with Risk Analysis, and Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) to find the risks and fault points in the redesigned process. Perhaps you might consider using Customer Experience Mapping or Voice of Customer , depending on your organization's focus.

They are useful for understanding the consequences of each proposed idea, and helping you make the most appropriate decisions.

When you and your team have reached agreement on the process, create a new diagram to document each step.

Step 4: Gather Resources

Now you have to "secure" the resources needed to run a new process. Make a list of your needs. For example, you need guidance from senior managers or colleagues from other departments, such as HR or IT for example. Write down everything you need.

Communicate your needs to stakeholders and make sure they understand the benefits of this new process to the organization as a whole.

Step 5: Implement and Communicate Changes

Typically, the improvement of a business process will change the existing systems, teams and processes. For example, you may need new software, recruit new team members, or organize training for employees.

Running a new process may be a separate project, so make good planning and splitting. Allocate time to deal with any problems that may arise. Consider the pilot project to identify potential problems.

Remember, changes are generally not easy. Others may be against it, especially when it comes to the process they have been running for long. You can use the Change Curve tool or the 8-Step Change Models of Kotter to help deal with resistance from others.

Step 6: Review Process

Not many things go perfectly right from the start. So, once you have rolled out the new process, be sure to always monitor if everything is going well. Perform weekly and monthly reviews to ensure the process runs as expected. Monitoring the process will help you fix the problem immediately after its appearance.

Prioritize this: routinely ask those involved, whether the process is going well, and is there a problem that frustrates them often.

You can also run a continuous improvement strategy like Kaizen. Minor improvements made regularly will ensure the process remains relevant and efficient.

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