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Strategies for Business Process Improvement
Tilak Ramaprakash
Introduction
A business process covers the steps performed by an individual, group, business, or
organization to achieve a defined or desired goal. Each step is typically assigned to a
specific employee or team to carry out. After all the process steps are completed, the
initiative or task is considered done. Processes are critical for business success and
ensure mission-critical tasks are regularly, efficiently, and dependably carried out.
Business process improvement (BPI) involves a systematic initiative to boost how
business processes are implemented. Convoluted or outdated processes waste money
and time and thus need to be improved. Each process improvement effort should start
with clear business objectives; otherwise, you may end up implementing random
improvements that add no significant business value in the long term. It is critical to
identify your organizational or business pains and then identify the specific processes
that need improvement within that context.
Too many redundant processes can lead to errors that adversely impact your
company’s revenue and bottom line. The goal of BPI is to reduce costs by enhancing
overall operational effectiveness. Eliminate inefficiencies and waste by reducing
uneconomical processes that add no real value to your business.
An excellent strategy is to develop a fine-tuned workflow that acts as a useful blueprint,
mapping out daily tasks for each team member and removing redundancies. A
workflow makes it easy to define the weak links in the organization’s operations.
Communication lapses in an organization may result in workers inadvertently working
on duplicate items or skipping others, assuming they have been completed. BPI should
help employees avoid such errors by systematically monitoring the work being done. In
addition, regular workflow analysis should be undertaken to uncover errors and
document processes.
Improving collaboration and communication may require eliminating boundaries to
enable team members to share ideas and feedback more easily. Ideally, the
improvement should also reduce back-and-forth communications.
Adoption of good technology should provide useful insight into superior business
processes. For example, electronic management allows business workflows to be
regularly reviewed and changed consistently without unduly affecting operations. The
most important thing to consider before adopting technology is understanding how it
will help improve your business processes. Does it, for example, improve workflow
mapping?
Identify the critical chokepoints or bottlenecks in your organization’s processes,
particularly those chokepoints where delays find their way into operations. This can be
done by observing the business process in action, interviewing process participants, or
simulating processes to identify the points where you can make improvements. For
example, chokepoints could occur due to unnecessary approvals.
Often overlooked yet central to BPI is the customer’s perspective. When, for example,
through online reviews and feedback, customers insist on getting more competitive
product pricing, the BPI team should look at the current processes for areas where cost
reduction might be implemented. Such an action could enhance customer retention and
business profitability.
Over time, business processes often become unwieldy. And when that happens, your
processes start creating delays that not only become expensive but also affect your
return on investment. For this reason, every business should undertake BPI regularly.

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Strategies for Business Process Improvement

  • 1. Strategies for Business Process Improvement Tilak Ramaprakash
  • 2. Introduction A business process covers the steps performed by an individual, group, business, or organization to achieve a defined or desired goal. Each step is typically assigned to a specific employee or team to carry out. After all the process steps are completed, the initiative or task is considered done. Processes are critical for business success and ensure mission-critical tasks are regularly, efficiently, and dependably carried out.
  • 3. Business process improvement (BPI) involves a systematic initiative to boost how business processes are implemented. Convoluted or outdated processes waste money and time and thus need to be improved. Each process improvement effort should start with clear business objectives; otherwise, you may end up implementing random improvements that add no significant business value in the long term. It is critical to identify your organizational or business pains and then identify the specific processes that need improvement within that context.
  • 4. Too many redundant processes can lead to errors that adversely impact your company’s revenue and bottom line. The goal of BPI is to reduce costs by enhancing overall operational effectiveness. Eliminate inefficiencies and waste by reducing uneconomical processes that add no real value to your business.
  • 5. An excellent strategy is to develop a fine-tuned workflow that acts as a useful blueprint, mapping out daily tasks for each team member and removing redundancies. A workflow makes it easy to define the weak links in the organization’s operations.
  • 6. Communication lapses in an organization may result in workers inadvertently working on duplicate items or skipping others, assuming they have been completed. BPI should help employees avoid such errors by systematically monitoring the work being done. In addition, regular workflow analysis should be undertaken to uncover errors and document processes.
  • 7. Improving collaboration and communication may require eliminating boundaries to enable team members to share ideas and feedback more easily. Ideally, the improvement should also reduce back-and-forth communications.
  • 8. Adoption of good technology should provide useful insight into superior business processes. For example, electronic management allows business workflows to be regularly reviewed and changed consistently without unduly affecting operations. The most important thing to consider before adopting technology is understanding how it will help improve your business processes. Does it, for example, improve workflow mapping?
  • 9. Identify the critical chokepoints or bottlenecks in your organization’s processes, particularly those chokepoints where delays find their way into operations. This can be done by observing the business process in action, interviewing process participants, or simulating processes to identify the points where you can make improvements. For example, chokepoints could occur due to unnecessary approvals.
  • 10. Often overlooked yet central to BPI is the customer’s perspective. When, for example, through online reviews and feedback, customers insist on getting more competitive product pricing, the BPI team should look at the current processes for areas where cost reduction might be implemented. Such an action could enhance customer retention and business profitability.
  • 11. Over time, business processes often become unwieldy. And when that happens, your processes start creating delays that not only become expensive but also affect your return on investment. For this reason, every business should undertake BPI regularly.