Brainstorming For Process Improvements
A lot of blogs will explicitly tell you ways to improve your process. While these are wonderful blogs, I find that they do not give you your own tools to ‘think’ about how to make a process improvement. As opposed to a full methodology, in the tips below, I propose some brainstorming ideas to identify your next process improvement:
- Think of Yourself – When improving business processes and work flows, a great first step is to ask yourself, “What would help me do my work better?” Chances are, if you have a bump in the road, your colleagues may experience the same challenge. The key to a process improvement is obviously not to make more work for you or others, so this cannot be a redistribution of work. That is why you have to keep your colleagues in mind.
- Map The Process – This is a common first step when you already have your idea for a process improvement. If one step has additional sub-steps that splinter, you can account and accommodate for them. Mapping your process is an effective brainstorming tool as it can help you isolate your trouble areas. Process mapping is also excellent for your company’s transparency and training so even if you do not have an immediate process improvement, you have a document that helps your new employees come up to speed or existing employees can continue to ensure they are following the most updated procedures.
- Reporting – Everybody loves metrics. Set up your own reports for your process. Know what your process aims to achieve and your metrics should reflect that. Your reports should be a guideline to show breaks in your process or if it needs tweaking.
- Rinse and Repeat – You have hypothetically come up with a perfect process, and business is running smoothly. Don’t get used to it. There are too many variables that will change over time so take a proactive approach and constantly analyze and assess your process as well as anticipate any future changes. You may even have to change how you think about assessing your process.
You can do everything correctly in your process, but the limitation is the process’ effectiveness. Process improvements should reflect a compromise between efficiency and effectiveness, all the time keeping in mind the needs of your colleagues and company. Brainstorming process improvements takes time; implementing those changes take even more time so do not be too hard on yourself!
Ursula Holden is a HR Operations Specialist For Consultants 2 Go.