Processes are like the software dictating how all the moving parts of your business vehicle work together.
Good processes, in the right place, are the key to a smooth running business vehicle that is comfortable, enjoyable to drive and takes you to your destination – whatever that might be.
Processes are key to creating an enjoyable workplace, a profitable business, and a business that allows you to spend the time you want with family and friends.
Common issues I resolve in businesses due to process issues are:
- A key task is repeatedly missed or not done correctly. Despite repeated reminders.
- Profits are too low. Sales are not consistent enough.
- Customer feedback (or online rating) is dropping or not as high as it should be.
- Too much time is wasted on a task or the task isn’t completed on time.
- There are rising tensions amongst staff or growing frustrations about a particular staff member.
- There are too many mistakes happening.
I love processes because you only have to spend a bit of time initially getting them sorted and they serve you for years.
Yes, they do need updating and it is important to have the mindset that as soon as a process is no longer working, it should be dropped or modified. I can support your team in this process so the wheels don’t fall off in the implementation stage.
Sorting Out Process Issues
There are a number of ways I can help you solve your process issues.
First we identify what isn’t happening and what should happen. Quite often I can confirm straight-up what the process should be or what needs to change.
If I can’t, the second step is to use a combination of the following to identify what you need:
- Questionnaire tool I’ve developed that scores and graphs various processes in your business to help confirm weak areas.
- Discussions with the staff member responsible to understand their view on what is supposed to happen and why it isn’t happening, and what they believe should be done to resolve the issue. I’m a big fan of consulting staff on solutions however they are not always forthcoming when it is the boss asking the questions! I find they open up to me much more readily and I can then share this will you and we can work together on process solutions.
- I often watch the process whether this is an admin process in the office or process out in the factory or in the field. I can usually very quickly see the issue or what changes need to be made. A large part of my career has been process improvement and thinking outside the square on how to do things differently in order to achieve an outcome.
The third step is documenting the process in whatever shape and form it needs to be in order for it to be used. Simple is key!
For example a recent client only needed to purchase a large whiteboard and use it to chart the stages of a project and as a result eliminated the bottle neck that was limiting cashflow. Another client needed to add a range of actions to the group calendar. And sometimes technology is needed – a manufacturing client implemented bar code scanners at each station to record and track time and efficiencies.
There are many ways and means to ensure your processes ‘work’, and I can help you decide what is best.
The fourth step is implementation. This is where the rubber meets the road and it is essential to not be precious about any process.
Test the process, give it a time period to prove itself, if it doesn’t work, regroup, discuss and change it. Test it again. Repeat as required until it works. This is another step I can help support you and your team and ensure you don’t waste time.