Many businesses know they have procedures and processes that can be improved. In fact, I recently challenged a room full of business owners to hand on heart state that they didn’t have a single process they wanted to improve in their business. Not one could think of something that either their customers, or staff didn’t see some room for improvement in. It is of no surpise then, that poor process can be costing businesses between 20-30% of revenue per year. Given this, more and more companies are seeking to review outdated processes through business process reengineering consultancy.
Business process reengineering seeks to review current business processes to ensure they are still fit for purpose. Over time, many business processes can become misaligned to customer or business needs. Business process reengieering focuses on ensuring the right outcomes for today are met.
Process redesign doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, simplicity should be the focus when engaging with a process redesign consultant. One of the major hurdles with change management is ensuring team members engaged and enthused to make a positive, lasting change. By doing this it ensures all barriers to resistance are removed, keeping the project accessible and showing the impact the team are having on making a better customer, and staff experience.
A good process redesign consultant will split a project into around four stages. This will help the project in two ways. Firstly, it gives easily achievable goals and feedback points for the team to work towards. Making the project feel much more manageable. Secondly, it allows senior management an opportunity to sign off each stage of the project. By doing this, it ensures that there is no scope creep. This will also give an opportunity to understand the overall direction and outcomes of the project.
By creating across functional team, the project will have a much greater chance of success. Such a team will include a mix of subject matter experts and those who can deliver an outside perspective.
The team will then take the opportunity to define the scope of the project. What elements should be looked at, and what elements are off the table. Finally, using a set of S.M.A.R.T targets, the team and the project sponsor will set the expectation of what success for the project looks like.
The second stage of process redesign is known as “mapping the process”. This portion of the project will provide a front to back look at each step in the current process.
Working through this stage will involve a number of methods. For example, time in motion studies, data gathering and manipulation. By the end of this stage, a full process document will be reviewed and signed off by the project team, as well as staff members involved in delivering the process on a daily basis.
It is in the idea generation stage that the creativity can begin. The project team can begin to scrutinise the existing process, asking what steps add, or do not add value. Above all, reviewing whether or not these steps are really needed. By simply removing non-value added steps, a process can be improved significantly.
Smaller simplification options are proposed for sign-off, before being moved into fast prototyping and implementation. Should system investment be required, an initial CAPEX can be created.
The new suggested process elements are stress tested against achieving the S.M.A.R.T goals set out for the project.
The newly documented process is run side by side to the existing process to test its efficiency. The project team will implement small scale changes and benchmark feedback. Highly effective, low cost of implementaion opportunities are deployed first.
For each opportunity, staff training occurs and a feedback loop addresses any elements that may need refining. Once sign-off from both managers and staff is completed, the new, improved, efficient element of the process can be implemented.
Through this process, once all elements within scope are completed, a final signoff against the S.M.A.R.T objectives is agreed.
Fast prototyping makes it possible to quickly assess the system and process changes that we are looking to implement. In other words, we look to emulate the desired process change quickly, to find what the time in motion payback would be. Fast prototyping may not have all the great user experience (UX), or look and feel of expensive software. Above all. it delivers a great sense of the size of opportunity with process redesign. Therefore, a great way to think of fast prototyping, is as the physical embodiment of “What If…?”