There are so many processes we perform when running a business. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them all, and relying on our memory is not an effective way to run a business.
Process mapping is a tool that can be used to visualise all the steps in a sequential order that are required to complete a process.
You can look at mapping out the process by the department, for example: – Administration – Sales – Marketing – Finance – Human Resource – Customer Service – Design – Production – Distribution – Installation
From there you can then break that down further by the activities completed in those departments.
For example, the process of collection of money, ordering stock, onboarding new clients or customers, induction, handling enquiries, starting up machinery or equipment, maintenance work on machinery, receiving enquiries and giving a quote.
When mapping out a process, get all those who perform the steps to provide input. Through these discussions and a visual that make things clearer, it allows for better communication, an appreciation for other people’s contribution to the process and collaboration in improving the process.
This week the mapping out of processes was an activity I performed for a client which they found beneficial for several reasons:
- Better visualisation of the process
- It made it clear as to who was doing what as part of the process
- What tasks needed to be completed and by when – Why each activity had to be completed within a particular timeframe
- What equipment, software, material and people needed to be resourced (whether internal or external to the business)
- Identifying areas that are a root cause to a problem (avoid band-aid fix and look to eliminating the problem)
- Identifying areas of opportunity for improvement (to save time and money and increase quality)
- Collaboration and input by those involved in the process (increases the acceptance of changes)
- Creating a standard operating procedure on that process (increases standardisation and ability to cross-train people)
The process maps and standard operating procedures can continue to be updated as required.
There are many tools available to create process flow diagrams. Some provide a free trial, so use that time to navigate through the software to see which best suits you before committing to one.
P.S. When you are ready, reach out and we can discuss the processes within your business to increase your efficiency and turnaround time.
EmpowerBeyond – Business Performance Solutions, focusing on people, process, products and services and improving productivity and cash flow www.empowerbeyond.com.au