Picture this scenario: a new regulation has just been announced that will change how your teams work. It could be an employment law, new tax legislation or data management rules. Failure to comply could be costly and damage your company’s reputation. In this case, the benefits of updating business processes are clear: by changing how you work, you reduce the risk of punishment.
There are other benefits of regularly refreshing business processes. Let’s first look at why organizations should do this, then explore ways of doing it most efficiently.
What updating business processes involves
Every business utilizes hundreds, if not thousands, of processes to get work done. From onboarding new staff to signing legal documents, storing contracts, and destroying data, the list goes on.
Updating business processes starts with careful review to make sure they are as efficient as possible. Companies might do this either because a new regulation is forcing them to change one or more processes, or simply because someone has an idea for a better way to do something.
3 crucial benefits of updating business processes
Here are three of the most important reasons that organizations should continually improve and update their processes.
- Stay compliant with regulation
This is perhaps the most important reason to update business processes. According to Accenture, there are more regulations affecting businesses than ever, and companies of every size in every industry are being affected by them. They need to continually reassess their processes to ensure they are compliant and reduce the risk of penalties.
- Economic benefits
If you discover faster, more efficient ways of working, your teams can be more productive. So it’s useful to stay alert for ways to save time and money.
- Better for your employees
As we revealed in a recent research report, America’s Most Broken Processes, most organizations have inefficient processes that leave staff confused, frustrated and disappointed. If employers can find ways to improve these processes, then the staff will work more effectively.
How to continually update business processes
Continually updating business processes is as much about mindset as it is about practical tasks. Companies that focus on continual improvement stand to benefit enormously from constantly looking for new ways of working. Here’s how to get all those benefits of updating business processes:
Begin with mapping
A key place to start is to map your existing processes. Use a tool like Nintex Promapp® to begin mapping out your workflows, using an easy interface that allows you to build a picture of how information gets processed and tasks are distributed around the organization. This needs to be a collaborative task that involves all stakeholders in the workflow.
You can then build comprehensive workflows that follow the maps you have built and automatically send information and tasks to the right people.
Empower staff to update and improve processes
After you’ve mapped your processes and built automated workflows, there’s optimization to consider. Giving employees involved in individual processes the ability to suggest improvements is hugely empowering. With a tool like Nintex Promapp®, individuals can propose changes to a workflow to make it more efficient, logical or smooth, adding or removing steps (while requesting approval from the process’s owner).
They might choose to do this to make the process faster and more productive, or to ensure it complies with a new piece of legislation. Whatever their reason, this approach means processes can be constantly improved.
Set aside time every quarter to assess processes
It’s important that every process has an owner who takes overall responsibility for it. Once processes are up and running, this individual should set aside time at regular intervals (once per month/quarter/every six months, as appropriate) to assess and review current processes. Is the process working for the people who use it? Could it be improved? Is there any new regulation on the horizon that might, or should, affect the process?
A pragmatic approach to processes
The benefits of updating business processes are clear. Through continual improvement, your organization will become more efficient and productive while avoiding risks associated with non-compliance. Giving people the power to propose and make changes to the business processes they are involved in is also highly empowering and makes staff more engaged and motivated.
Above all, continually improving business processes is about taking a pragmatic approach to business change. Not everything has to be about enormous, grand changes to the organization—sometimes it’s about incremental change, trial and error to improve how things work, and actively taking steps to make things a little smoother, a little more efficient, every day.
To learn how you can use Nintex Promapp® and our other tools to incrementally improve your business processes, contact us for a demo. Or, read our case studies to see how organizations like yours have begun using the tool to improve their processes.