Improving work processes sounds like a great goal, but how do you actually achieve it?

Better Processes:

  • Enable organizations to achieve their goals and objectives
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Enhance the quality of their goods or services

Work process improvement is a conventional aspect of organizational development in modern management practice.

It requires businesses to identify, analyze, and improve their existing processes. Such companywide undertakings promote efficiency, helping to increase profits and bottom line performance.    

Business process improvement (BPI) is vital for brand success and longevity, particularly in today's competitive economy.

Organizations can use formal or informal BPI approaches to keep pace with their competitors. 

Small businesses prefer to adopt informal methods of job improvement. While medium and large businesses lean towards standard BPI techniques. With that in mind, here are some useful tips for enhancing work efficiency using both.

Start Making Improvements from the Top

The decisions and plans to improve processes in an organization should ideally start from the top.

Process owners, business leaders, and managers are responsible for formulating the strategic approaches.

At the informal level, this might simply involve:

  • Adopting fresh ways of market research
  • Automating the way customers place orders
  • Using new procedures for receiving invoices from debtors

However, at the corporate level, it requires adopting standard acceptable models, and implementing them across the board.       

Organizations such as IBM are trailblazers in the use of BPI to increasing workplace performance. Tech giant Microsoft also requires its top management to follow the Six Sigma approach.

Train Workers about Strategic Workplace Improvement

Knowledge is a key element of business process improvement.

Organizations should communicate their process improvement goals to workers, and then train them on how to contribute.

For small companies, training can simply entail a one-day workshop or seminar. A survey before the training can establish the current levels of workers engagement and efficiency. 

In most cases, major companies can afford specialized training for their employees in light of the BPI approach they intend to implement.

Wal-Mart, FedEx, and McDonald's have training programs for their staff. These regular training activities ensure that workers learn ways to improve their performance. 

Engineer Job Improvement Activities

Any approach taken for improving work processes should have a means of measuring results.

Internal or external benchmarks are necessary in organizational BPI activities. They assess impact against established standards and expected outcomes.

Managers in small establishments can use internal workplace surveys, questionnaires, and reports. These tools give you an idea of the impact of workplace improvement activities.

External approaches to workplace improvement such as Six Sigma, Helix Methodology, and Process-Oriented Architecture, usually come with predetermined ways of assessing implementation and measuring results. 

These include complex workflow charts, formula, indices, surveys, and reports, to gauge the effects of the activity empirically. 

In summary, business process improvement is today widely accepted as a means of helping organizations to realize their goals and objectives.

Companies can adopt either formal or informal techniques of improving work processes, to cement their position in the market.

Such initiatives should ideally start from the top management, and trickle down to smaller departments of the organization.

Workers should receive training as part of the strategic plan to improve company performance. Decision makers should analyze and measure BPI results with a view to making the process continuous in their respective organizations.