They say ‘slow and steady’ wins the race, and while the likes of Usain Bolt might argue the point, the idea that consistent performance supports better outcomes is undeniable. When it comes to excellence in business, that consistency is best served by a solid foundation of good process management.
When your processes are established and standardized across the organization, everyone is on the same page and teams can have confidence that they’re following best practice, regardless of what it is they’re doing.
To reach that stage requires an intentional focus on processes, capturing them, and engaging the teams responsible for executing them to ensure they are optimized for the highest-value outcomes.
The right process management platform can support this initiative and build the framework for consistent business success. Here are five ways you can leverage those practices to benefit your organization.
1. Simple, clear process maps
One of the reasons many process management projects flounder is the complexity of the processes they produce. Visio diagrams and flowcharts crowded with shapes and lines are often unnecessarily complex, and teams will often opt to simply ignore them. When those diagrams and procedures are kept in weighty procedure manuals, you have all-but-guaranteed that teams will forget they ever existed.
Process management software brings that wealth of information to your organization’s fingertips, and the best tools make it easy to both find and follow. Clear process maps that can be understood at a glance provide key information on the surface, with depths of detail to ensure everyone knows exactly what is required. As an online resource, everyone works from the same standard, with the platform providing a central source of truth for digital processes that are updated in real-time.
2. Actively engaged teams
The best people to manage your processes are the ones most familiar with them – those teams that are using and referencing your business processes on a daily basis. They’re the ones with a vested interest in making the work as efficient and effective as it can be, so it only makes sense to invite them into the conversation around continuous process improvement.
A good process management platform supports great governance and genuine accountability around your processes. Features like a personalized dashboard ensure they’re up to date with relevant changes across the company and can respond with just a few clicks.
Filtered views allow staff to see only those processes they’re responsible for, or involved in, and easily track changes. An effective search tool means they won’t struggle to find the processes they need, and a clear, intuitive interface ensures they’ll go to your process platform first when they need to know what to do.
3. Real collaboration
Finding your processes is the first step, but real team engagement goes further. In order for continuous improvement to be a reality within your business teams, there needs to be a way for them to provide feedback on the processes they’re using.
That can be as simple as a feedback function that lets users voice suggestions and ideas for process improvement. The best process platforms allow process stakeholders to respond directly, letting staff know they’ve been heard and creating a discussion around the best practices to adopt. Those conversations become part of the change record of the process, so you have a full audit trail of what has been updated and why, and visible encouragement to staff that they can make a difference.
When people realize they can have a say in how they work, they’re more likely to be enthusiastic about process management. There is a wealth of experience and skills within your teams that can benefit the entire organization if you can provide an avenue to share it.
4. Integrated risk management
Risk management and compliance are vital activities for any business. They also tie directly into your processes, so it’s a logical step to manage them alongside one another.
By integrating risk management with your processes, teams will have clear indicators of where their actions interact with known business risks. Understanding the compliance repercussions of activity steps helps staff grasp the importance of good procedures and protocols, and focuses them on accurate execution.
When processes that impact risks or compliance requirements are updated, having them linked ensures that the right risk managers are informed of the change, and can either authorize the new procedure or review their risk controls to account for it. As those risks and controls come up for review, automated notifications will let the stakeholders know what they’re responsible for, and they can check on the review status with just a few clicks.
5. Everyday excellence
Operational excellence isn’t just a catchphrase or short-term project to revitalize team engagement. In the most successful organizations, it’s part of the company’s DNA and an ongoing focus of the culture that inspires innovation and engagement at the process level.
That comes from adequate resourcing and focus at every level, from the C-suite down, and is supported by a powerful process platform that encourages building continuous improvement into everyday work cycles. With an effective tool, even time-poor teams can engage with their processes, identifying non-value activities and using lean tags to highlight waste or lags. Those tags can serve as easy visual cues on the process maps that point to improvement opportunities.
Giving teams avenues to suggest improvements also opens the door to implementing automation solutions that eliminate handover errors or needless data re-entry. As your staff recognizes opportunities to reduce repetitive manual handling, paper forms, or data routing, they can pinpoint where digital solutions can save them time to invest in value-adding activities.
Make progress consistently
Sound and effective process management is key to providing a foundation for operational excellence. It has to be part of the business at every level, and it needs a simple but powerful platform to support it.
With the right process management software in place, continuous improvement becomes everyone’s responsibility and provides an avenue for strong processes, driving better customer outcomes. Teams are engaged, compliance is maintained and the business can continue to grow with the kind of confidence that comes from consistency.
If you’d like to learn more about how Nintex Process Manager can help your organization create processes that optimize your project management initiatives for automation, schedule a personalized demo of the Nintex Process Platform today.