What is Business Process Improvement?
A successful business process improvement depends on a structured strategy comprised of a dynamic work design intended to improve the human behavior component of the work process.
Additionally, the dynamic work design and business process improvement practice utilize technology improvements that aid employees in their work.
Business Process Improvement Summary
- Identify your weaknesses
- Identify how those weaknesses contribute to productivity issues
- Establish efficacy and accuracy goals
- Generate actionable solutions
- Create an action plan
- Conduct ongoing evaluations of your progress
- Analyze your solution effectiveness
Business process improvement plans come with many benefits, as well as some challenges. Some of the greatest benefits include improving the customer experience, increasing customer satisfaction, and increasing profits.
Keeping your customers satisfied and happy is a fundamental goal of all businesses. Eliminating problems with your company’s processes is a significant step towards accomplishing this goal.
Business process improvement plans also come with some unique challenges.
Resistance can lead to communication issues. Communication is so important to your business process improvement plan’s success. Involving your employees in the strategic planning phase of your problem mitigation is a great way of enhancing communication and minimizing resistance to the coming changes.
What Is Dynamic Work Design?
Dynamic work design establishes a structure of principles designed to give a face to the invisible elements of workflow, such as innovation and management.
This is important because without establishing an automated problem detection system like that offered with a dynamic work design, the mitigating response is delayed when problems arise that are not planned and prepared for.
Another old adage, “Time is Money,” holds true to this principle. Response delays cost money, decrease productivity, and cause compounding issues.
Steps Of Business Process Improvement
- Create your problem statement
- Structured problem solving
Creating Your Problem Statement
The first step in the business process improvement plan is creating your problem statement. In the same way that you identify your strengths and weaknesses in Smartsourcing, identifying weak points in your business processes illuminates how to prevent them.
Therefore, start your business process improvement with a candid assessment of the problems hindering your company’s productivity and efficacy. Your problem statement should not be held back by insecurities or bias. In other words, don’t view your weaknesses as failures; view them as opportunities to become greater at what you do.
Structured Problem Solving
Structured problem solving is a four-step process that enhances your ability to step outside the box of your business practices and make an honest evaluation of the issues and problems harming your productivity.
- Step One involves identifying the problems
- Step Two involves generating solutions
- Step Three is where you make an action plan
- Step Four is an ongoing evaluation of your progress
When combined, these four steps establish your business process improvement plan. Business process improvement plans can have tremendous benefits for your business when implemented.
Some of these benefits include:
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Greater customer experience
- Increased profits
Some of the issues that arise with business improvement plans include:
- Workforce Resistance
- Improvement Costs
- Communication challenges
Four Examples Of A Business Process Improvement Plan
Now that you have a foundational understanding of the business process improvement plan and the dynamic work design, let’s dive a little deeper into four examples of how you and your team can implement them in your business.
This is perhaps the most difficult part of the whole process. People generally dislike admitting their weaknesses, and businesses are no different. We get it; this is a difficult process to undertake, but doing so can positively impact your productivity to a degree that will surprise you.
Remember when you had a job interview, and the interviewer asked you to tell them your strengths and weaknesses. We imagine it was fairly easy for you to start naming some of your strengths. However, the entire time you are stressing about what to say about your weaknesses.
Why is this? For starters, it isn’t because you don’t know; we all do. Instead, you were probably nervous that if you admitted them, it would cost you the job. We naturally fear disclosing where we need improvement because we imagine we will be judged poorly, limited in our options moving forward, and thought of negatively.
While this example focuses on the individual practice of admitting weaknesses, the same principles are true in business. Just like the job market is fierce with competition, so too is the market. Admitting your weaknesses may make you believe that it will give your competitors an advantage, but there is no research we can find that substantiates this.
Instead, identifying your weaknesses, in our opinion, gives you a competitive advantage. This is because if you are willing to admit your shortcomings, then you are eager and prepared to correct the course.
Before you can develop actionable solutions, you have to identify weaknesses. As we just mentioned, this is why we believe this gives you a competitive advantage. Now that you have identified practices and procedures needing improvement, you can begin finding ways to mitigate them.
These solutions should be designed to create a nearly automated response to problems when they arise. To determine the potential effectiveness of your solutions, assess what their effects will be. For instance, how much time and money will the solution require? How easy will it be to implement? Will your workforce adhere to the plan? Is the plan even feasible?
Answering these questions has the effect of substantiating your solution ideas. That is why we like to call them actionable solutions and not just solutions. For example, asking yourself, “What can I do to improve” is an inadequate question. It is inadequate because there are many things you can do to improve, but whether you will do it or not is an entirely different question.
Instead, the question should be, “What will I do to improve?” In other words, having the ability to do something doesn’t necessarily coincide with a willingness to do it. To put it in business terms, your team should be asking What solutions can we implement to mitigate productivity and efficacy challenges that our existing workforce and technologies can accommodate and execute?
As you can see, solutions and actionable solutions are different in almost every way.
Solutions In Action
After you have developed actionable solutions, the next step in your business process improvement plan is setting your plan in action. This is an obvious and necessary step, yet some businesses do the work to get here and don’t go any further.
Intelligence without action is a wasted opportunity. We strongly encourage you to have the courage to take the step of implementing your problem solutions to realize the productivity and efficacy improvements you seek.
As with all things, change can often be uncomfortable. Humans naturally become comfortable and settled with routines. Implementing changes causes a disturbance in this comfort. Another way to put it is to think about growing pains.
Once new practices and policies are implemented, you will likely encounter issues with your employees and even your management team, adapting and adjusting to the new processes and changes.
This is a natural component of the dynamic work design and should be expected. However, do not fear, it will soon pass, and the discomfort will subside. The result will be an increase in your productivity, efficiency, and product development accuracy.
The final example of a business process improvement plan is the evaluation stage. An important step in this evaluation is that it must be conducted after a problem occurs and after your actionable solutions kick in. In other words, you need to wait and see what happens before you conduct your evaluation.
Evaluating the effectiveness of your problem response gives you metrics for future and further studies. If you see that certain planned solutions have had a minimal impact, you should return to that problem and the solution set to develop new action plans.
Real-World Examples Of Business Process Improvement
Technology Process Improvement
Technology process improvement changes can be costly but are often necessary. To remain competitive in the market, you must also remain technologically advanced. For instance, if you have always utilized interoffice memos to distribute updates and policy changes, it may be time to upgrade to digital systems that can give you data and accountability.
Another example may be your online presence. Social media has drastically changed how consumers shop, research, and even get their news. If your competitors are creating touchpoints through popular social media platforms and you are not, they are likely gaining ground on the market competitiveness.
Moving away from tedious processes and tasks that require manual interaction to automated systems can greatly improve your productivity. For instance, delays will be inevitable if you run an insurance company and when changes are made to policies, you have to update them through a paper process.
Your competitors, like GEICO or Progressive, have change processes that implement changes instantly through digital automation. Your company’s lack of automation will likely lead to delays in billing and even DMV mixups. The result will be a loss in market shares.
How Awesome CX Helps Implement Your Strategy
One of the benefits of implementing an effective business process improvement plan is increased customer satisfaction and enhancing the customer experience. Part of your strategy to implement these changes may include outsourcing. Outsourcing has many benefits, including cost savings, access to talent otherwise unavailable to you, and speedy improvements. However, it also comes with its drawbacks, so choosing the right outsourcing partner is essential to mitigate the risks.
This is where Awesome CX comes in. One of our core competencies is to do everything in our power to mitigate the issues inherent with outsourcing. For instance, your company has a culture, vision, and mission. The fear of having this vision obscured through outsourcing is a legitimate concern. Therefore, we make it a priority to absorb and replicate that vision and culture as your partner.
Our team wants to be an extension of your company, not just an outsourcing partner. We offer upfront pricing, available on a month-to-month agreement, and have the infrastructure, talent, and experience already in place to help you accomplish your business process improvement plan.
Contact us today to connect with our team and begin the journey of improving your productivity and eliminating your weaknesses.
What is Business Process Improvement (BPI)? | SearchCIO
What is Dynamic Work Design? | ShiftGear