A process is a set of defined tasks required to complete a given business activity, including who is responsible for completing each step, when and how they do so, and how long it takes to complete.
If you think of the number of repeated tasks required throughout your day, refined processes can amount to huge benefits. Processes clearly define how things are done, then provide the focus for making them better. How they are done determines how successful the outcomes will be.
Processes make your business competitive
With defined processes, you are better able to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and identify opportunities for improvement. For customers, processes produce consistency, increasing the quality of products and services delivered, resulting in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Processes also enable you to better cope with the unknown.
Processes enable growth
Once your processes are established, new products and services are delivered more efficiently. They give new employees a blueprint to learn their new role. Identifying the right skills required for the business gives you a better result when hiring new staff.
Processes drive profitability
Efficient processes will identify duplication of efforts, and spot areas being overlooked. Your business can find opportunities to improve efficiency without sacrificing quality and consistency. Processes will maximise the value of everything you do by ensuring you can use the saved time and money elsewhere.
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”
– W. Edwards Deming
So take a closer look into your processes. Start with something that often frustrates you, or something that seems to take up too much time. Just a couple of weeks of monitoring and improving in many cases will make a big difference to your day-to-day operations.