How can we do it better ?
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
The fancy term is "Business Process Re-engineering" but the key to making positive changes in any business is knowing where to start, what to work on, what tools to use to make improvements stick and how to add value in your organisation.
You can stare at a cost sheet or profit and loss report for an hour and it will still be the same at the end of that hour. The only real way to improvements and reduce costs is to DOCUMENT, UNDERSTAND, REVIEW and IMPROVE key business processes.
Sometimes you will discover Eureka moments ("why have we always done this when it adds little or no value" ?)
Sometimes you will realise a small improvement in controlling a process enables you to manage the inputs and outputs for much greater efficiency
Sometimes understanding the dependencies surrounding processes will cause you to look at critical elements which haven't previously been considered quite as important
More realistically, you will spot lots of small improvements which, collectively, have the potential to make a much bigger combined impact
Three simple tools can be used to Document, Review and Improve your processes:-
Process mapping - documenting a process from start to finish
Brainstorming - getting together with others to review the scope for improvements
Mind-mapping - brain-dumping your thoughts, organising them into groups to make sense of them and see the wood for the trees
Cheap / Free but very effective Tools you may find useful:-
Process mapping - "Flow Diagrams" app in the IOS app store
Brainstorming - pens, paper and flipcharts
Mind-mapping - "Simple Mind" app in the IOS app store (multiple platforms / multiple license packs options)
Once you get into this sort of activity you will realise it is not too complicated after all. However, as a catalyst, you might benefit from an initial process review using an outside facilitator to understand how best to use the tools, determine which processes to tackle and how to make the potential improvements stick for the long term.