How to describe business processes?
Before you start a business process optimization, you need to provide a profound analysis of your business.
- Find out what everyday activities help your business to stay up
- Classify all business processes to basic (everything which is connected with the production of a value), supporting (everything which does not influence on the production of a value but helps a business to exist) and management business processes (everything which helps to control the implementation of basic business processes).
- Use the principle of decomposing in order to detect a process which needs to be improved. Divide key processes into big blocks (“Shipping”, “Payments”, etc). Then move to more specific processes (“Shipping to regions”, “Online payments”). This action will help you to provide a business process optimization and to avoid unnecessary improvements which can lead to difficulties in the future.
“7 ± 2” rule
Each block of business processes should not include too long sequences.
It is quite optimal when the number of activities in one chain is limited by a number from 5 to 9 (“7 ± 2”). This helps you to resist a wish of excessive specification and to see the whole situation in your company in general.
Decomposing of business processes of an online shop
All processes of online shops can be divided to two blocks: front-end and back-end.
Front-end processes include everything that makes customers choose your offer. For example, lead generation is a key component of the structure. In its turn it consists of leads, by means of which customers find your shop.
Back-end processes of an online shop are activities which are not seen to customers. They do not influence on decision making directly, but their effectiveness plays a significant role in everything.
Rules of correct detecting of business processes
- Set an objective
The main objective of each business company is a profit. That’s why each of basic business processes should be directed to creating of a value.
- Set a performer and a responsible
There should be those who perform a business process. However, without a person responsible for the process it cannot be performed well.
- Find entries and exits
Each process should have something which makes it start and certain results or products at the end of a process.
- Record activities and results of them
Process algorithms will help you to avoid unnecessary activities.
- Define process triggers
Define what makes a process go.
- Define assessment of the performance quality
Each process has quality and quantity indexes. It is hardly possible to analyze a process without setting certain standards.
Business process optimization is a complicated process. However, most online shops need it in order to be more profitable and to work more effectively.