Business process improvement (BPI) is aimed at identifying in-house operations or skills that could be altered in order to improve company efficiency. Not only can this help with training, customer experience and productivity, it can also be a contributing factor to overall business success.
Sometimes known as functional process improvement, BPI is aimed at allowing you to better meet company goals and provide an improved service for customers. It does this by allowing you to implement large-scale changes that can make a huge difference in terms of performance by dealing with the basis of a perceived problem rather than taking small steps to alter it over time.
As BPI is based on big alterations to create a better working environment and service, and to improve employee skills, having a strategy in place is vital to ensuring it is carried out correctly and in a way that fits with your company, suggests Tech Target. This can ensure your department becomes as streamlined as possible while minimizing disruption and reducing productivity.
With this in mind, there are a few things to consider when it comes to creating and implementing a BPI strategy. Here, we will explore what process you should use in order to see the best results:
Highlight the problem areas
To start with, you need to look at what problems your department is currently facing in order to understand what needs to be addressed. What processes are slow, have too many steps or don't deliver results? Knowing this will show you a clear example of what needs to be addressed.
From this, LinkedIn suggests creating a goal that relates to your problem. For example, this can mean improving delivery time, communication or overall output. The goal should be related to overall efficiency as this is one of the most important aspects when it comes to cutting costs and improving profits.
Having a clear understanding of what is wrong and what you want to achieve from improving it will allow you to better plan your new processes and strategy.
Map the current process
Once you know what process needs to be improved, you need to analyze what about it isn't working. To do this, it is important to fully map the full process so as to understand each part of it and all the departments and staff members involved. This will reveal each step of that process, from the decision points to and sub-process, giving you a thorough idea of where the issues might be and how you can better design the process.
Upsize Mag suggests creating a flow map of the process to give you a visual representation of it that better allows you to assess where errors are most likely to happen, if there are any parts that tend to elicit customer complaints and what sections of the process have the highest cost. This mapping can allow you to look at what parts of the process can be skipped or reduced in order to get the best results.
Make changes and monitor
When you have identified what parts of your process can be altered in order to improve efficiency, you can start to redesign the process as a whole. This requires management sign off and buy-in from all departments that are going to be affected, which means ensuring you communicate the changes you are planning and support the proposal with evidence.
Getting everyone on the same page is vital when it comes to getting the best results and making sure each person involved is aware of what they need to do and when they need to do it. You can do this by:
- Offering training
- Ensuring there is a chain of command in place to address any issues
- Listening to any concerns
Following on from this, you will need to monitor the results to assess whether you are reaching your goals and whether the process is more efficient. It will also ensure you can make revisions to the new process in response to issues that may arise.
Once you get it right, BPI can lead to higher levels of efficiency, productivity and turnover, which can help you better achieve overall business goals.