How To Improve Process Management
The Idea Trader is dedicated to spreading interesting ideas and current news to readers and interested parties. This blog contains opinions and insights for ideas and investment opportunities and is not intended as advice for investing.
Changing how you manage your processes can help you achieve your organizational goals, but it takes time to see results. It is not quick or easy to improve these areas of your work life. However, there are some simple things that you can do to get started.
This article will talk about some ways to improve process management in your organization. We will look at this as an exercise for yourself or someone who works with you. These concepts can be applied at any level within an organization- from the very top down (CEO) to the very bottom up (office staff).
Improvement does not happen overnight so we will give you strategies and tips to apply here. But before moving onto other topics, take some time to think about what areas in your workplace could use an improvement.
Think about it – why did you choose to be promoted over another candidate? What made your colleagues put their trust in you? Why did you receive a praise letter after doing something important?
These examples show that your coworkers and superiors appreciate your work. So why don’t you do more of it? Starting today, try giving more one-and-a-half hour presentations every week. Or ask a colleague if they would like you to do them once a month instead of twice a year.
By improving your own performance, you will begin to inspire others around you. People will notice the changes in you and want to follow your lead.
Make plans and then execute them
One of the biggest issues that leadership teams face is how to prioritize tasks. You can’t do anything until you know what needs to be done, but people often don’t agree on the best way to address those priorities.
In these cases, nothing really gets done because nobody knows who will take the next action. This creates more and more delays as everyone waits for someone else to start working on their project or task!
When this happens over and over again it becomes impossible to achieve your goals.
It’s like trying to drive down a highway with cars coming in every direction without knowing which one will get onto the road first. You could sit there waiting forever!
A good process manager learns how to make decisions quickly so that things get done efficiently. They also learn when to ask others to help them out by offering incentives or rewards instead of orders.
If you want to improve your own process management skills, consider looking into some of the following concepts.
Make sure processes are well-documented
Even if you have done this process several times before, it is important to document how you do your business and what steps you take in detail. This way, you can refer back to those documents when needed and someone else can learn from you more easily.
As mentioned earlier, having adequate resources and staff can help make sure that deadlines are met and things run smoothly. But even with these, people will still need proper documentation of their job roles so they know what tasks they are supposed to be doing next.
This also helps keep track of who does what and makes it easy for anyone involved in the project to see what has been completed and what remains.
Ensure there are backup plans in case something goes wrong
A process is nothing but a way of doing things, or more accurately, a series of actions that get done in a certain order for a specific goal.
A process can be improved by adding additional steps or changing an existing step. However, too much change at once may create chaos instead of improvement, so it should be done slowly and with research.
Backup processes exist because even though everything has been planned out thoroughly, life gets in the way and things don’t always go according to plan.
By having back-ups, you have given yourself a second chance to succeed when things go wrong. You also have the opportunity to switch out what was working before and find new ways to do business.
Review processes periodically
The first step in improving process management is to review your current process, determine what needs changing, and then implement those changes. This can be done regularly or even once per year depending on how urgent need of change you have.
By doing this every few months, it creates an ongoing revision of the process that keeps things fresh. You will also see results much faster than if you were to do it less frequently.
It’s important to note that while reviewing your process, there are two very different types of reviews. One is internal and one is external.
Internal reviews look at aspects of your job function that may be working well but could be improved. These are usually focused on perfectionism and efficiency.
External reviews look at whether your procedures and strategies meet professional standards, as well as your effectiveness in delivering on commitments. They can be looking for ways to improve or fix something, or seeking feedback about you as a person.
In both cases, remember that no one else has the same responsibilities as you and thus no one else’s opinion matters more than yours. What works for someone else may not work for you and your colleagues, nor should it.
Correct any problems with current processes
Sometimes, even after you've made changes to the process, things still go wrong. This can be due to one of two reasons: either someone deliberately breaks the rules or something happens that was not anticipated.
In the first case, it may be time to look for new people in the department. In the second, people need to know how to do their jobs better. Either way, your best option is to find replacements and train them until they're up to speed.
Alternatively, you could keep the employee and hope that the situation doesn't occur again, but this will take more effort than just replacing them.
Use team members as a resource for process improvement
As mentioned before, your staff is already spending lots of time supporting you and your department so why not use them as resources for continuous process improvements?
Ask around yourself or ask someone in leadership position if there are any processes that can be improved. Or even better, take an hour outside of work to look for opportunities to make changes.
By bringing awareness to poor processes, you may find willing participants who would like to help develop new ones.
Survey your colleagues about what processes they feel are inefficient or ineffective and see whether anyone has ideas on how to fix them.
Participate in these process re-designs to show others that you are engaged in improving our workplace culture and efficiency.
Focus on process management, not process improvement
There is an assumption that improving your process means doing things better or smarter. This assumption is wrong! Changing what you do does not make sense unless you are actually trying to do something different.
By this logic, people who strive to improve their car engines are working to make them run more efficiently. However, someone whose engine breaks down every time they drive is really just seeking attention by putting out lots of smoke and noise.
Similarly, individuals who aim to increase their income work hard to find ways to maximize how much money they bring in. But what if everyone was paid the same amount? Then what would motivate anyone to keep up the effort to earn more?
Improving the efficiency of your production processes will not yield meaningful results unless you are aware of why you were having performance issues in the first place.
Take responsibility for process management
A lot of people try to manage processes by telling other people what they should be doing, creating additional layers of bureaucracy that only make things more difficult in the long run.
If you are in charge of a process, get out of the way! Create open communication channels so that anyone can come to you with questions or comments about the process.
Do not hide your work behind closed doors or use jargon that most people do not understand. Use simple language and examples that apply to everyone else’s situation.
Once you have built up enough trust, let people take over some parts of the process so that they feel comfortable taking ownership. This will help keep morale high and prevent people from avoiding responsibilities because they do not want to be involved.
Also never assume that someone else is going to handle their job responsibly unless it has been proven through repeated bad behavior. It may take just one mistake to destroy all hope, so always remain alert and aware.