What is process optimisation?

Time and money – the two most important currencies that most businesses would like more of. And the best way to generate both is through optimisation, especially around your processes, which underpin everything your organisation does on a daily, monthly and yearly basis.

Like every business, you’ll have limitations on what you’re able to do – whether it’s due to the demands placed on you, your budgets or industry regulations. That’s why driving efficiencies and working within your means, but working better and smarter, is the best way forward for almost every company we partner with.

Increasing organisational efficiency doesn’t have to be a complex task either. It’s about knowing where and how to start refining your processes that already exist or creating new ones that make better use of the resources you have.

It’s all very well having the stated aim of optimising your business processes, but without knowing what that means in practice it may be a message that’s lost on the most important part of your organisation – the people who work there.
Process optimisation can take many forms, but the basic premise is to identify inefficiencies such as duplication, waste or poor practise in order to improve performance and reduce costs.
Introducing improvements could be as simple as an automated email from HR to IT to set up a new starter within the on-boarding process or simplifying the procurement process by removing complexity.
Generally, though, it involves one or more of the following outcomes:
  • Streamlining teams or redundant functions
  • Improving access to information you hold
  • Developing better lines of communication
  • Removing workflow steps that aren’t needed
  • Predicting changes and adjusting to them
Managing everyday tasks that your workforce performs often falls into the ‘normal operations’ category, but the drive for improved performance and increased competitiveness never ceases.
Among the most common benefits our clients report are:
  • Operations that are leaner, faster, more visible and more accountable
  • Less use of resources, or better use of the resources you have
  • Greater adaptability to changes in market demands and product changes
  • Increased consistency and output from work that’s completed
  • Better quality across the business, and a happier and more productive workforce
As the foundations of your business, anything you can do to improve your processes have the potential to be profoundly effective in changing the way you operate for the better.
And while every one of our clients is different, we will invariably cover off the following steps in helping to iron out issues you have:
By looking at the processes that are already there, we can help define exactly what the processes are there to achieve, who is involved and what the deliverables are.
By zoning in on what needs to happen to achieve a particular goal, we can work back from that to see what’s being done to get there and how we might do so with fewer (or different) steps.
Agility’s mapping feature allows for processes to be created quickly, ready to be sent for validation via the automated document review feature.
Once you start to see the results of your new, refined process, it’s important to keep reviewing it at regular intervals to ensure working practise and compliance requirements are unchanged.
If your business is having issues there’s a good chance your processes are part of the problem – if not the main culprit. Take a closer look at what you’re doing and how you’re doing it and you may be surprised at how much of a difference some of the simple, small fixes can make.
And remember, we’re here to help too.