How to Measure Business Process Improvement
It can be hard to truly see the effect your changes are having on your business until a lot later.
You might be cutting costs on what you discover is the wrong thing, or you might be overspending on a tool that is not truly worth it, even if it seems like it is.
The best way to tell if your changes are having any effect? Numbers.
To truly arrive at business process improvement, you need to pay attention to the numbers and measure it constantly.
Let’s dig into how.
What Is Business Process Improvement?
Firstly, let’s understand what is meant by business process improvement.
We’ve written about business process optimisation in the past, a practice focused on efficiency and cutting costs above all.
Business process improvement is similar, except the end goal is to arrive at overall success. Cutting costs is more of a side effect than a final goal of the re-engineering process that takes place.
The concept of continuous process improvement has become the norm that most companies strive for.
Essentially, you are continuously studying and analysing your process to make them as efficient and successful as possible. Everything a client is paying you should be reflected in the various steps of your process for it to be worth it.
Anything extraneous to this can be studied and improved upon, such as wait times, resourcing locations, certain tasks, or documentation.
Everyone involved in your business, from top to bottom, should be aware of how the work they do impacts your business goals. By involving them directly, you can ensure that you have folks constantly thinking about how they might do their job better.
While at first, this may seem simple enough, it is trickier than you might think. A business process map to help you visualise how your business is working thanks to software such as Skore is just the tip of the iceberg.
Importance of Analytics for Business Process Improvement
It should go without saying that analytics and numbers are incredibly important for business process improvement.
But what type of analytics might you use for improvement purposes? Here are some examples:
Firstly, you can use analytics to improve employee productivity and engagement. By studying your workers workflows and patterns, and engaging with them, you can learn how to best serve both them and yourself. You can boost morale and productivity as well.
Secondly, streamlining operations becomes easier than ever. Without certain KPIs or results to study, it is difficult to truly and conclusively find spots in the process where you feel confident a change will lead to positive results. It’s one thing to have everything mapped out for visualisation purposes, it’s another to also have the corresponding necessary data available to make a decision.
Thirdly, you can track consumer behaviour and improve their customer experience. There is a breadth of data and analytics available regarding consumers that businesses can use to improve customer-facing processes, by personalising their experience, and therefore improving customer satisfaction.
Fourth, based on this same data, and by additionally monitoring changes in the market or industry, businesses can now launch a new product or service confidently. By studying their data, they will know what will appeal to their existing target base and potentially be appealing to a new one. If they’re already changed their existing processes accordingly, they can replicate them and utilise them in this process as well.
Fifth and finally, you can ensure your decision-making is data-driven, which is key for getting stakeholders on board. Sign off is significantly longer from stakeholders if you cannot provide them with explicit, numerical evidence for why you are making those changes. Your processes and improvements would no longer stallwhen it’s time to make the big decisions.
Evidently, then, analytics is quite an important aspect of business process improvement, and a useful one for measuring how you are doing.
But how can you obtain those necessary numbers?
Introducing Skore’s Quantify
The good thing about Skore is that, besides providing you with an easy-to-use, collaborative business process mapping platform, it also has Quantify to help you have those numbers ready a lot faster.
Both for current analysis and for hypothetical changes, Quantify will provide you with the data you need based on your inputs into the tool.
- Identify hidden costs and bottlenecks in your process: based on your process maps, Quantify will discover any step that may be costing you time and money. Notably, these tend to be moments such as wait times during approval steps, but no stone goes unturned with the analysis of the information you have inputted. You will have conversations regarding how long certain steps are taking with your workers, and you will be continuously surprised at how many of these opportunities you might have.
- Understand the impact of changes: finding these hidden costs and bottlenecks will result in coming up with changes to overcome them. Quantify will help you map out what those changes could be, and how they could impact the process as a whole, so that you are aiming for the best solution.
- Create a business case for change: as mentioned previously, analytics are a great way to convince stakeholders to agree to making those changes a lot quicker. Quantify will serve this purpose by providing you with the data and information you need to present to your relevant stakeholders in order to make that change happen.
- Calculate the cost of a service: if you are working with a client that is continuously asking for more or asking for something specifically, Quantify can help you quickly calculate how much that service should cost and how much you should charge the client for it.
- Understand your capacity: you may be looking to expand, or to make significant changes to your process. To do it successfully, you have to have an idea of what resources you have available. Quantify will help you understand your capacity and not exceed it, and adjust your changes according to it.
- Explore different potential scenarios: this allows you to replicate your process for months or years at a time, so that you can see how that change would affect your potential ROI. If there is a wait time at any step, it may look smaller up close, but once expanded to a year, how much are you actually losing out on? Quantify allows you to see that instantly and thus make a more informed decision when it comes to improvements. And it allows you to see how it would change as well.
How Does Skore Quantify Work?
Utilising Quantify with Skore is extremely easy. It can be narrowed down to four key steps:
First, you want to map all of your processes in Skore. You can do this online, independently, or in real-time workshops. As Skore is a collaborative platform, everyone can contribute in their own time or in real-time.
Thanks to its base being UPN, all of Skore’s notation is fully standardised, avoiding any misunderstandings which may arise by using other mapping software. This means everyone can contribute without the need for additional knowledge.
Once you have all of your processes mapped in your process library, you can begin to add numerical information such as durations, direct costs, delays and people costs. With Skore, you can add as much information as is necessary to fully provide a realistic picture of what your processes look like. And it does not clutter your map one bit.
With the information added, Skore will begin running its initial analysis. You will find dashboards with all of the data you provided instantly and readily visible, showing the durations of your processes and potential bottlenecks. This will also help you understand costs and how successful you are at matching process activities to revenue.
Finally, you can begin to explore and consider your options. Understand the impact your changes will have by exploring different scenarios. Once you’ve settled on the best one based on your current understanding of your capacity, you can create a business case to present to your shareholders.
If you’ve already mapped all of your processes and have been using Skore for a while, you can also utilise Quantify to continuously improve on your existing processes. Set up a process review to remind you to constantly check your analytics to study how your improvements are going, and to find new steps to improve as well.
Business process improvement is measured most easily numerically. And the way to access those numbers?
Have your analytics reflect your processes.
Skore is unique in its offer of Quantify, which can speedily help you stay on top of the data on a continuous basis, a key component to achieve business process improvement.
Get in touch with our team to find out more!