Are you having a hard time capturing and communicating your business processes with your employees and stakeholders? Is it maybe because they are hard to find?
Effective business processes are the backbone of any successful organisation. They provide structure, consistency, and a roadmap for how tasks should be executed.
However, when these processes become hard to find, it can lead to chaos, inefficiency, and a frustrating work environment.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind why your business processes may be causing you issues, and provide insights into how to tackle this problem.
Hard to Find
Let’s start by delving deeper into how your business processes being hard to find affects your organisation. There are several aspects to consider in this regard.
1. Extended Training Times
Training new employees is a fundamental aspect of sustaining and growing your organisation. However, when your business processes are hard to find, this training process becomes more time-consuming and challenging. New hires must invest extra time and effort to grasp the intricacies of operations, often relying on shadowing colleagues or learning through trial and error. This extended training period not only hampers the productivity of new team members but also strains the resources allocated to their onboarding.
2. Costly Process Recreation
The lack of easily accessible business processes can be financially draining. When employees can’t locate essential processes, they often resort to creating their own makeshift solutions. This duplication of effort wastes both time and money. It can lead to inconsistencies in how tasks are performed and erodes the efficiency of your organisation. Moreover, recreating processes without a standardised approach can result in errors and inefficiencies, which can further amplify costs.
3. Uncertain Workflows and Planning Challenges
Predictability is crucial in business operations. When your processes are hard to find, the predictability of workflows and project timelines goes out the window. Inconsistent processes and ad-hoc solutions create a climate of unpredictability, making it challenging to plan and allocate resources effectively. This uncertainty can lead to missed deadlines, reduced project quality, and strained relationships with clients and partners.
4. Eroding Customer Confidence
Your customers are at the heart of your business, and their confidence in your work is paramount. When your business processes are hard to find, it often leads to inefficiency, errors, and a lack of consistency in the services or products you deliver. As a result, your customers may lose confidence in your ability to meet their needs reliably. This erosion of trust can result in customer dissatisfaction, complaints, and, in severe cases, the loss of valuable clients.
No Central Location
One of the primary causes of elusive business processes is the absence of a centralized location for storing and accessing these critical assets. Without a central location, your employees are often dealing with each situation blindly.
Having a central location for your processes offers several benefits:
1. Accessibility: A central repository makes it easy for employees to access processes whenever needed. It eliminates the need to search through various platforms or ask multiple people for information.
2. Consistency: When processes are stored in a central location, you can enforce consistent formatting, language, and accessibility. This consistency makes it easier for employees to understand and use the processes effectively.
3. Version Control: Maintaining a central repository allows for proper version control. When processes are updated or revised, the changes can be tracked and documented, ensuring that everyone has access to the latest information.
4. Security: Centralised storage provides a secure location for sensitive and critical processes. You can implement access controls and permissions to protect your processes from unauthorised viewing or editing.
5. Saves Time: It saves valuable time by streamlining the process of finding and accessing critical information. Employees can focus on their tasks rather than searching for the right documents.
To establish a central location for your business processes, the Skore platform enables you to easily create a process library. Your employees can revisit processes as needed and, when the time comes to study them for improvement, they are easily accessible to all relevant parties.
Another major stumbling block when it comes to finding business processes is inconsistent naming conventions. Here’s why this is a significant problem:
Inconsistent naming creates confusion within your organisation. Imagine having multiple names for a single process or similar names for entirely different processes. Employees may struggle to identify which process they need, leading to delays and errors in their work.
Difficulty in Searching
Inconsistent naming makes searching for processes a Herculean task. When your processes don’t follow a standardised naming convention, employees have to rely on trial and error or depend on tribal knowledge, further contributing to the problem of processes being hard to find.
Inconsistent naming can also lead to miscommunication. When employees refer to processes using different names, it can result in misunderstandings, disagreements, and inefficiencies in daily operations. Additionally, not knowing who is in charge of what will create constant slowdowns affecting the entire process.
To tackle this issue, it’s essential to establish and implement a clear and standardised naming convention for your processes. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Gather Input: Involve your team in the process of creating naming conventions. Gather their input to ensure that the conventions are practical and align with your organisation’s culture.
2. Simplicity: Keep the naming convention simple and easy to remember. Complicated conventions can lead to errors and resistance from employees.
3. Consistency: Ensure that the naming convention is applied consistently across all processes. Consistency is key to making processes easily identifiable.
4. Document the Convention: Once established, document the naming convention and make it accessible to all employees. This documentation should be part of the central repository where processes are stored.
5. Training: Train your employees on the naming convention and its importance. Provide examples and guidelines to help them adhere to the standards.
By standardising the process and naming conventions, you can make it much easier for employees to identify and access the right processes when they need them.
They Don’t Exist
The most critical issue that can make business processes hard to find is when they simply don’t exist in a documented form. When processes are stored in people’s heads or passed down verbally, they become elusive and can cause several problems:
When processes are not documented, your organisation becomes overly dependent on specific individuals who hold the knowledge. If these individuals leave the company or are unavailable, it can disrupt your operations and lead to costly errors.
New employees face a steep learning curve when processes aren’t documented. They must rely on shadowing others or learning through trial and error, which is inefficient and can lead to inconsistencies in how tasks are performed.
Undocumented processes can result in inefficiency and wasted time as employees struggle to figure out the best way to complete their tasks. Sometimes, employees will give up looking and do their own actions. This leads to a lack of consistency and runs the risk of tasks being done incorrectly, leading to dissatisfied customers.
The impact on customers of not knowing where business processes are can be significant and often detrimental to your business. Customers are the lifeblood of any organisation, and their experiences directly influence your reputation, customer loyalty, and ultimately, your bottom line. Anything that results in higher customer service tickets, missed deadlines or delays, or a decrease in service quality such as not knowing where your processes are will lead to unhappy customers, eventually decreasing your brand reputation and affecting your revenue directly.
Risk and Compliance
By not knowing what your processes are or where they are, you don’t know if you are following vital risk and compliance regulations. Processes are incredibly important to make sure these are followed and you are not breaking the law. You run the risk of breaking the law and landing in serious problems if you do not know where your processes are or how your business is run.
Efficiency is the linchpin of success. Your business processes serve as the roadmap, guiding your organisation towards its goals. However, as we’ve explored in this blog post, when these processes become hard to find, they can become stumbling blocks instead of stepping stones.
In a world where business landscapes are constantly evolving, having easily accessible and well-documented business processes can be a competitive advantage. It enables your organisation to adapt to changes, scale efficiently, and provide consistently high-quality services to your clients.
At Skore, we aim to provide knowledge of processes and how to fix them to everyone in our community, you can gain access to the tools and resources we offer by joining our community below.