Every organization strives to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Organizational optimization makes a big difference. But with so many moving parts, keeping everything working optimally can be a challenge. One stumbling block in any of your business processes can slow down or even stop the entire system.
The good news is these problems can be avoided. Organizational optimization is possible by taking the correct approach to your people and processes.
Get people talking across departmental lines
Lack of communication is one of the most common reasons why businesses operate sub-optimally. Miscommunication results in slower speed, lower efficiency, lack of trust among teams, and business failures or missed opportunities, because your resources (human and otherwise) are not properly coordinated.
One way to address this is to designate members of a team to also join other teams. These people can serve as conduits who enable the flow of information and collaboration throughout your organization. These dual roles open up new lines of communication.
Hybridize your teams
You can also improve interdepartmental collaboration with hybrid teams. This means moving toward an arrangement where everyone is working across multiple departments, creating higher levels of integration, collaboration, innovation, and agility.
This approach sometimes meets resistance. People are accustomed to being siloed in their original teams, comfortable with existing arrangements, and resistant to change. They may fear being burdened with unwanted responsibilities, increased workload, or being taken out of their “comfort zone.”.
You can allay these concerns and promote hybrid team adoption by providing transparency into how teams work together to achieve common goals. This includes spreading awareness of how individual business processes fit into a bigger picture. By making new processes as simple and smooth as possible, your hybrid teams can start executing them faster and easier.
Find and fix bottlenecks
Bottlenecks are constraints in your processes that hinder your operations from running smoothly. Examples include an excessive workload of high-volume, repetitive manual tasks, or being forced to revisit your data to correct human errors.
Business management guru Eliyahu M. Goldratt introduced the theory of constraints, and how to overcome them, in his 1984 book “The Goal.” The theory includes five steps:
- Identify a constraint: Find a bottleneck within your business process that stops you from operating at the desired level.
- Decide how to exploit it: Define what’s lacking or not optimized and fix it as much as possible with existing resources.
- Subordinate everything else: Make the rest of the system support the constraint with the “slack” it has to spare.
- Alleviate the constraint: Provide what’s necessary to totally fix the bottleneck, e.g. resources, technology or training
- Go back to step one: Repeat these steps for all constraints within your process – it’s a never-ending cycle of optimization
This methodology requires rigorous analysis and documentation of your business processes — an understanding of the workflows that underpin everything you do. This may once have required a prohibitive outlay of expense and people-hours, or at the very least been a daunting task. Today, there are tools to simplify process analysis and change.
Using technology to optimize everything
Nintex offers those tools and empowers you to optimize your organization and its processes on two levels.
On a granular level, you can easily automate previously labor-intensive manual tasks, so they can be performed more quickly and precisely, no longer requiring an excessive amount of your people’s time and attention. This allows you to fix many common business bottlenecks without disproportionate spending on human resources.
The next level moves beyond individual tasks to focus more at the organization level. With Nintex, you can design entire workflows and add automated tasks to them, with an easy to use, no-code, drag-and-drop interface.
You can visualize, understand and develop your processes in a way that unlocks an abundance of value for your organization. Nintex’s built-in analytic capabilities mean you can also monitor and analyze these processes to see how well they’re performing, gaining actionable insights for improvement.
With continually optimized, automated processes streamlining and enhancing operations, you can ensure your business is operating at its full potential at all times.