At Riselabs, we’re all about ensuring each process we carry out is as efficient as possible. We’re always mindful of the way we’re doing things. If there’s a way we can reach our outcomes with more efficiency and better answers to our questions, then it’s something that’s addressed.
We regularly spend time with businesses, looking at their processes and assessing what can be done to improve the way they work on a daily basis. The end goal, of course, is to make things more efficient and to remove technical bottlenecks. To achieve that, the first step is measuring existing processes. So, how do you actually go about doing that?
How does the process work, exactly?
This is something that is often best mapped out into a process diagram. At this stage, it’s best to get those involved who actively perform process-related tasks, so that nothing is overlooked.
How do you manage accountability for specific tasks?
Who is performing each task within a process, and at what point is that task undertaken? Is there any overlap between the tasks that are carried out?
Here, it’s useful to see if a process slows down or comes to a standstill. This is often due to a staff member effectively waiting for their turn until somebody else gets their part completed.
Where could communication break down?
Examine where staff work alone and in conjunction with one another. Communication can often become difficult if individuals work in silos. Equally, collaboration can also cause issues if task responsibilities are not clearly defined, resulting in duplication of work. It’s important to examine if there are any instances of this within your process.
Where is the process efficient?
Perhaps the core of a process is reasonably effective and only small areas of fragmentation cause bottlenecks. A great process can often be redesigned around areas that are already working effectively.
Something to be aware of is not to rely too much on the knowledge that exists within people’s minds rather than as documentation. Without something to follow, onboarding new staff members will require greater resource from your existing employees to support with training.
What are you not so good at?
Equally, be upfront about what simply doesn’t work. This will provide the quickest route for planning a better way of doing things.
Do you know how much time your staff spend on these processes?
A crucial part of measuring your process is working out how long everything takes. An average picture needs to be built from several instances of the task being carried out, as your best and worst-case scenario times will be markedly different.
How cost-effective is this?
All of the above factors lead to working out how this process can be improved. This is where support from Riselabs and other organisations can help you to work out what’s next, which we’ll be discussing in another post.
The bottom line is, however, that understanding exactly how everything works should help you to streamline your processes, so the time saved can be used elsewhere in your business.