Your companies doing fine… right? So why bother with Business Process Improvement (BPI)?
Because there is always room for improvement!
BPI wasn’t designed to confuse people. Quite the opposite, its goal is actually to make everything clearer, making organisations perform more efficiently. A BPI program is very helpful to organisations to evolve and change their internal business processes with an aim to increase the business operations effectiveness.
A BPI Program should deliver concrete results in terms of improving the existing business operations and, if implemented correctly, the impact will be visible and measurable.
The face of business is changing. Regardless of the type of business you’re in, to be competitive and to ensure future growth and survival, embracing new methods and efficient processes is pivotal. Implementing a BPI program is an active way for companies to make that leap to the next level and build a competitive edge. Applying a BPI program gives the company several direct benefits, indirect benefits and advantages, such as:
Identifying redundant or flawed processes
Reduce dependence on individual people
Where to start?
BPI success depends upon several factors. But first and foremost, a BPI program can only be highly effective when it is owned and sponsored by the management team and driven successfully. The first step of any BPI program is to determine who will drive the program: overseeing and chairing the meetings as well as by ensuring that the barriers, road blocks and obstacles that arise during the implementation are effectively removed.
Building a BPI Program
Once the team has been formed, coached on BPI and their role and responsibilities, the next step is to draw up a BPI model.
Essentially the BPI Model is a roadmap that outlines the scope of the program, including the departments/areas and processes covered, the methodology to be used, implementation timelines and the costs and budgets involved with the entire program. A BPI program should always be built with specific objectives that are deliverable and measurable in terms of the overall achievable targets set for the company.
There are many different business process improvement methodologies such as Lean and Six Sigma, but the general idea is the same – looking at old processes and finding ways to improve them. The basic steps in any BPI program remain the same:
Step #1: Mapping (AS IS)
If you don’t know what your processes are, how can you analyse their efficiency and improve them?
The first step is to map out the current processes to get a birds-eye view of the business. Business process mapping is a good way to understand how your business works and identify anything that is weak or inefficient.
Step #2: Analysis
Once you have your existing process mapped out, you can start analysing them to determine areas of redundancy. Typical questions that should be asked include: Are there any steps in the process that are taking longer than they should? What are the steps that have the highest impact on productivity, and is there any way to make them more efficient?
Step #3: Innovation and redesign (TO BE)
Innovation means doing something new, different, or better that results in a positive difference for your organisation. Once you’ve identified the redundancies and inefficiencies in your old processes, you’ll need to figure out how to improve them and develop a program implementation plan for those changes. Points to consider include: selecting the right metrics for comparison, you’d want to compare your new process to the old one in terms of efficiency, so you can empirically know whether it’s better or not; and performing risk analysis.
Step #4: Implementation, Reflection & Benchmarking
Implementation is a very critical step for the success of a business process improvement program, if something goes wrong, you might end up losing more than whatever the inefficient process was costing you. Consider implement the changes at a small scale to mitigate risk, before rolling out the changes throughout the entire company, you’re better off testing it at a small scale and benchmarking it to the original process.
Richard Branson tells us that “To stand still today is to go backwards...and quickly...!”. An effective, well implemented BPI program propels a company forward, delivering overall benefits in all areas and functions of a company. BPI supports robust business processes that can withstand growth, high volumes and pressures as well as changes in the market and environment. Effectively implemented BPI reduce costs and improve the bottom line. More importantly BPI helps identify what and where a company needs to focus, which areas to concentrate on, where to maximize investments as well as build leaner structures that are highly competitive and flexible.
Are you looking improve productivity and your businesses bottom line? Performance Drivers have a large team of subject matter experts with proven records and experience delivering measurable and sustainable outcomes. We start with a conversation that focuses on understanding your business and what you need to achieve, then we find the right member or members of our team to work with you to make that a reality.
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