Processes can reduce stress, replace confusion with certainty and help to free up time. Who doesn’t want more time?
Often there can be some resistance to creating a process and then consistently following the process. Generally, this stems from a misunderstanding of the importance of processes and how processes help the team, the business, and your clients.
Resistance to business processes can come about because of the feeling that processes can limit creativity and flexibility. While processes do place boundaries on how tasks are completed, allowing creativity and flexibility come at a cost.
Paradoxically it is having boundaries that come from having processes that enable creativity to occur and leads to efficiency and productivity. The boundaries created by processes helps to reduce the noise of multiple options. Having reduced the noise, it becomes much easier to see opportunities for small incremental changes which can be made that further improve the performance of the process.
As a business grows processes become increasingly important. Processes allow tasks meeting a set of requirements, to be handled in a particular way without the need for additional decisions to be made. This helps reduce the number of decisions that are required. Decision fatigue is a very real thing and is often overlooked. Reducing the number of decisions that need to be made throughout the day helps ensure that when decisions are required, better decisions are made.
The greater the variety of ways tasks are handled the greater the complexity and uncertainty that can occur within the business. Leading to stress and anxiety for those that are completing a task. Each variation requires a decision to be made on how to handle the variation. If the chosen method has not been fully refined, it may result in issues occurring that need to be resolved. Increasing the stress, time, and cost required to complete tasks.
When tasks are handled in one-off ways it makes it difficult to increase business efficiency and much more costly to try and scale the business
Standardising how tasks are completed with business processes, results in producing known and reproducible outcomes. Allocation of resources becomes easier with standardised processes. It enables measuring the time and amount of effort required to complete tasks to be more reliably determined.
Reliably knowing the time and amount of effort required to complete tasks makes the allocation and management of resources easier and more accurate. The flow of work through the business is able to be better regulated to help reduce large spikes in workload for team members.
Completing tasks in the same repeatable way over time leads to less time being required to complete tasks. Business efficiency improves which helps to improve business profitability and scaling of the business becomes easier if this is a goal
Tasks which are completed in a standardised way help make specialisation within roles easier to achieve and the transfer work within the team easier. A team member can complete one section of a body of work and pass it on to another person in the team to complete the next section. The person receiving the work knows what to do because of the standardised way the previous section was completed. They don’t need to waste time investigating how it has been completed to determine how to complete their section.
When onboarding new team members or training an existing team member to assist when someone is on leave less time is required. As there are repeatable processes that can be easily learned, that once learnt can be followed producing the same consistent results. Reproducible consistency of completed work leads to happier clients who are more likely to remain as clients.
Making regular small incremental improvements over time creates a snowball effect. Much like how compounding interest over time mounts up. The benefits of incremental improvements in processes also mount up to create a significant and ongoing business transformation. Incremental improvement is the foundation of Lean Manufacturing. Which is how small Japanese car manufacturers have been able to grow and become some of the leading car manufacturers globally.
Because processes are being repeated, time can be invested into finding solutions to mitigate or eliminate issues. Incremental process improvement is something any business can do whatever the size. Each small improvement can help the business to stay relevant and viable. Markets are constantly changing so each business needs to also be constantly changing.
Would you love to transform your business and are not quite sure where to start?
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