Think back to the time you learned to drive a car. No one could expect you to jump in the driver’s seat and take a leisurely drive into the countryside, and you can’t expect someone to jump into a workplace role without guidance, and making the odd mistake, either.
Remember mirror, signal, maneuver? This was the beginning of a step by step guide to safely driving a car. And in just the same way, business processes are step by step guides to driving your business.
Business processes uncover weak spots
Created in a systemised way, a solid process can uncover areas of your business that require further development. They may reveal times during your customer journey where communication and relationship development could be improved, or perhaps the creation of a process will highlight weaknesses in staff management or team building.
Returning to the learner driver analogy for a moment, most of us would have noticed a weakness in certain maneuvers that our instructor made us repeat more frequently.
Business processes reduce unnecessary interruptions
Going back to my article on distractions, interruptions by staff or colleagues asking how something is done, or what to do in response to a certain event can be eliminated with a clearly defined process. Ideally the process is written down and filed where everyone has easy access to it.
TIP: New processes to be written up: Consider when you can verbally share your process and ask the recipient to write up the system. This saves you time but also enables you to check their understanding.
Business processes give insight
As the business owner, do you know everything everyone does? If you started as a sole trader and grew your business to a small team, you may well know everything, but it will become onerous to keep on top of how people work, when they take responsive action and when a new idea improves a process. If you’re managing more than one team, or serve on the board at C-level, familiarising yourself with the processes is like finding a short-cut to better understand everyone’s roles.
Business processes take time to develop
A person executing a task repeatedly and brilliantly can show and demonstrate to others how it’s done equally well. However, did you watch your driving instructor reverse around a corner and get it right the first time yourself? Possibly not. It takes time to get something just right, and sometimes someone comes along with a better way of doing it. That’s when a malleable business process is most valuable.
TIP: Allow your teams to put forward adaptations for consideration. They may be implementing their own version of the process without feeling they can share it with others for fear of going against protocol. This isn’t healthy for the staff member, the culture of the business or the development of the process.
As always, I hope this article has been thought provoking, if I can help in any particular way, then let’s have a conversation.
In the meantime, for help implementing those all important business processes take a look at my article, ‘Three Steps to Implementing Systemised Business Processes’.