One of the most popular answers to the question “From what to start business process optimization?” is that you should start from the most important processes. But what processes are the most important? It seems that basic ones as they make a product valuable. Of course, it is correct. But the importance of a process or its participation in creation of the value doesn’t mean that it is the first to be optimized. It is sensible to start business process optimization from those processes which are limiting other processes. They are a weak point.
Everything is easy: the chain is as powerful as its weak point is
It is a weak point which needs to be optimized. However, it is not that easy to find this weak point.
Business process optimization: what is a weak point?
Weakness is in limitation. The point is a process or a procedure. There is usually only one weak point at a moment in time. Moreover, it always exists. One of the processes always has a limitation and the whole business is conformed to it. The same can be told about procedures within a process.
How to define a weak point
Business process optimization should be started from defining of a weak point. There are quite a lot of methods starting from quantity methods of mathematic and statistic analysis and finishing with quality methods. Quantity methods help to define a problem process or a concrete limitation at the level of all possible elements assessment.
- The easiest way is to define the weakest process according to the lowest or the highest indexes.
- Also you can see processes from the point of view of correlation between production and sales: if you see that you cannot produce as much as you can sell, this means that you certainly should optimize your production.
- A weak point is usually lies in policies, procedures, and rules of companies. Pay attention to them.
- Very often limitations are in the sphere of processes of decision making or coordination. This can be unseen, but it plays a fatal role for the system.
- The speed and quality of information exchange is often a reason of most weak points.
The aim of business process optimization is to eliminate the limitation and to balance basic indexes of processes.
As soon as limitation is eliminated the next thing appears. The process of elimination is endless and it is called the process of continuous improvement.
Elimination of limitations and business process optimization is not only increasing of some indexes of business processes. It is also lowering of expenses by means of elimination of excessive energies.