GUIDE TO PROCESS SUCCESS (8/8)
Maintain business processes improvement
This article is the final part of our Complete Process Improvement Guide, where you can find all the information you need to plan, build and iterate on simple business processes using our software.
Process improvement steps
- Introduction to process improvement
- Prepare your business collaboration tool
- Make a process hierarchy and a process blueprint
- Appoint, nominate and educate process owners
- Present process mapping to all colleagues
- Review and map processes
- Stabilise your processes
- Maintain process focus
Why you need to maintain business process improvement
Sustaining mapped, stable processes is critical. Here, the central process team must ensure regular monitoring of process health and compliance. This way, you can ensure that you maintain business process improvement over time.
Even a young Steve Jobs has given his thoughts on why companies need to invest in process improvement which you can see below:
How to sustain your continuous improvement
You will get to the operations phase of each process at different times. At this time it is important to sustain the improvements. To do this you should monitor and support your process owners regularly. Below we have listed some effective methods for business process improvement maintenance.
Regular process compliance control
Every week, or every month, the central process team (or quality manager) should monitor process compliance. This is done by using the built-in compliance dashboard and the following method:
- Filter for the most recent period.
- Identify all processes that do not meet your standard for activity level (measured as a number of changes, tasks or comments).
- Follow up with the process owner and find out if he or she needs help.
Complete unannounced audits of particularly critical processes. For example, it is a good idea to audit your “Onboard new client” process before an important new client introduction.
This is a simple audit:
- Go to the process owner and ask him/her to make an audit in relation to a specific process run.
- If the various activities have checklists and tasks then you can see online whether tasks are completed at the right time just by filtering the activity history.
- Follow up with employees who have the role that is responsible for an activity being audited and get them to explain how they perform the tasks in the activity.
Keep an eye on any processes that are not being executed. So, that you can encourage future activity in these processes.
Create a regular routine for process work
It is useful to establish a common process for process management. For example, set improvement workshops for the last week of each month. Organise these workshops with their respective process owners and editors.
Checklist to ensure that you improve over time
- You have a process for the process work, which ensures fixed times for follow-up.
- Continuously monitor processes.
- Assign new employees roles (process ownership needed).
- Repeatedly check tasks meet deadlines.
If you’ve just been doing some research into process improvement and now you feel like you’re ready to take the leap, why not check out our guide to process improvement tools? Or, if you’ve just found this guide you might want to look into the introduction and see if there is anything else you’d like to learn more about.