Business processes: tools for improvement
- Studying of existing processes
In order to structure business processes, you need to define them. The following methods can be used:
- Documentation analysis. Studying of all department regulations, duty regulations, orders and contracts with customers and suppliers.
- Description of job positions by employees. In order to understand how actually company works, it is necessary to know about all actual activities of employees.
- Full picture of a working day. You are able to make the full picture of a working day observing the work of a company. You will need a week for it. Or, if you have a time tracking system installed the program will give it to you automatically.
- The chief manager and heads of departments offer improvements which can help the company to become more effective and to optimize the business processes.
- Creating of a functional business model
Having got quite a big number of working tasks implemented by employees, it becomes possible to create a functional business model which includes all business processes of a company. In order to structure business processes, you can divide them into following groups:
- Basic profitable business processes which provide a customer with a value (sales, services, production);
- Supporting business processes providing the work of the infrastructure and serve basic processes (IT, legal services, maintenance of equipment, etc.);
- Management processes which have an impact on implementation of basic processes (financial planning, quality management, etc.).
Then, you need to describe all business processes of your company. It is better to start with basic business processes. It is very important to abstract from functional thinking, in other words, to forget about existing departments and services. Don’t distribute tasks between them, describe business processes as they should proceed. This will help you to optimize business processes.
- Distribution of responsibility
Having created a business model including described and optimized business processes, you distribute responsibilities for certain business processes to heads of departments.
- Creating of job position descriptions
The next thing you should do is description of responsibilities of divisions. Having optimized business processes you will have the transparency of business and it won’t take long to distribute responsibilities for certain business processes correctly and to describe job positions of the company.
- Business process standardizing
You can achieve business transparency only in case of business processes standardization. All regulations should be based on functional business model of your company.