Why are clear processes important and what can they do for you?

If you look at the evolution of business process digitization over the last 15 years, the topic of process documentation has often been looked over. Process documentation provides the foundation for every clear, articulate business process that sets your organization up for success.

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When I was involved in digitization in 2006, many companies did not see this technical solution as a pressing need, but rather as something that was relevant only to corporate groups or banks. This is a major fallacy.

Only two years later, the whole approach to business changed. Medium- to large-sized companies began to see the value of converting their ineffective, manual processes into streamlined, digital ones.

However, digital data is often stored and processed in Word documents, Excel sheets, or Visio processes, making iteration and change management difficult to document. When processes are updated, the corresponding documentation isn’t always attached or updated accordingly.

It is crucial to break this habit, as manual change management is a time-consuming task that takes up valuable resources that a company could use more effectively elsewhere.

Documenting your processes clearly

Over a decade later, having outdated documentation for processes remains an issue for many organizations.

This can be attributed to the often incorrect idea that having clear and current documentation requires a dedicated process specialist. When in fact, with the right process management technology, a specialist is often not required to maintain clear, mapped out processes.

For many employees, process maps are viewed as complex and unmanageable. With many legacy process software tools, line of business owners do not understand the language behind the process, nor have they had the training to learn how it is laid out.

It is crucial that processes are understood by every employee. By providing easy to use tools, individuals can better understand their processes and find ways to interact with them to improve efficiency.

Implementing clear processes in your organization

With Nintex Promapp®, you can empower your employees to manage their processes without technical barriers. Any line of business worker can easily document their work, create visual and intuitive process maps, and collaborate with coworkers to continuously optimize their processes.

Create a culture of continuous improvement

If you are aiming to continuously optimize your business processes, chances are you’ll come across the terms ‘Lean Management’ and ‘Six Sigma’. While these topics might seem daunting at first, if you internalize the key points, the application of these methodologies is simple.

For example, you can begin laying down the foundation for optimal process management if you follow the ten steps from the Six Sigma cycle ‘DMAIC.’

  • Define
  • Measure
  • Analyze
  • Improve
  • Control

What do these steps mean and how you can start incorporating them within your organization? Essentially, the DMAIC methodology means that you should:

  1. Establish process optimization as a corporate culture
  2. Define responsibilities
  3. Identify and prioritize core processes
  4. Document and record the core processes
  5. Visualize how you can improve your processes
  6. Train your employees on your processes
  7. Continuously maintain your processes and keep them up to date

Applying Six Sigma strategies to your processes

Another step by step approach within the Six Sigma methodology is ‘PDCA’ – plan, do, check, and act.

  • Plan: What are the goals for these processes?
  • Do: What needs to be done to achieve the goals and how are they achieved?
  • Check: Did you manage to get the results that you were hoping for?
  • Act: What needs to be done further?

Both DMAIC and PDCA seek to do the same thing – continuous process improvement. One approach is not necessarily superior to the other, but your team should choose one method and stick to it.

Start optimizing your processes

Tools like Nintex Promapp® make it easy not only to manage your processes but also to document them so that all your employees understand what is happening within your organization.

Above, you can see a process map that has utilized Six-Sigma strategies to optimize the efficiency of a finance process. Notice how the visual map is clear, intuitive, and easy to understand for all parties involved.

With Nintex Promapp, you can not only display process maps but also combine process with the associated documentation for each individual process step. This combination of simple process maps and documentation makes it possible for every employee to track processes and continuously change and optimize them as needed.

 

 

To experience the ease and power of the Nintex Process Platform to help you manage your processes, request a personalized demo here.

 

 

Marcus Küppers

Markus is a Senior Solution Engineer for Nintex based in Düsseldorf, Germany. He specializes in using Lean Six Sigma methodology to transform process mapping technologies to achieve process excellence.

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