The increasing competitiveness of businesses today means every start-up company has to cope in order to survive. It is no longer enough to offer a good product or service, every company also has to ensure that effective processes are being followed to produce these products and services. Consumers are also becoming more discriminating especially with the quality and efficiency of service.
Small businesses can benefit greatly from business process improvement. Some of the challenges experienced by start-up companies include not being able to organise tasks effectively. There are redundant jobs that are assigned to multiple employees resulting in inefficient management of time and resources. Improving these business processes is the key to success.
How do you Start Improving Business Processes?
Business process mapping is an excellent first step in improving key functionalities within an organisation. A small business should begin by identifying what is the most important goal of the business and what is the value it provides to customers. Mapping the steps leading up to the result is an excellent way to analyse and identify problems encountered along the way. It is crucial to map the process exactly as it is presently executed. While mapping the process, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is responsible for each step of the process?
- What are the decision points?
- What is the starting point and end point of the process?
- Are there redundant steps that can be eliminated?
- Is everyone involved in the current process necessary?
Once you have identified the bottlenecks and areas for improvement, you can proceed with mapping out the process as it should be. It is important to run the new process and execute the improvements in a consistent manner.
Should you Stick with Traditional Methods of Mapping Business Processes?
Another consideration when employing business process improvements is whether it is necessary to use business process mapping tools and software. There are many on offer out there, but is it worth it to invest in one? Let’s take for example process mapping software offered by weareleanandagile.com and specify some of the unique benefits of their products:
- You are able to create process models and not just maps. With traditional tools such as Microsoft Visio, you can create visual maps of the processes but there are some details that will not be included. With a business process mapping tool, you can get complete process analysis including the cost.
- You can build live workshops where stakeholders can share and get feedback digitally.
- You can use Brainstorm Application where you can engage stakeholders to submit their ideas via smartphone or browser applications in real time.
Improving business processes is integral to any start-up business. Whether you choose to employ traditional methods or use process mapping software, what’s important is the overall outcome and implementation of the process.