All businesses have processes in place, no matter if it’s the “this is how it’s always been done” type or the “let’s try something new” variation. As a business leader, it is your goal to ensure that operations are running smoothly, are remaining cost-effective and are producing optimal results. This is where process analysis comes in.
While some processes may seem to be working, there is always room for review and potential improvement. So, we will take a look at what business process analysis means and the steps to make it happen.
Business process analysis is defined as it sounds. Namely, it is the act of reviewing and analysing business processes to measure efficiency, effectiveness, and identify possibilities for improvement that will better align operations with business goals.
Process analysis works by breaking down internal processes into small steps, understanding how they work, assessing inputs and outputs, and then making changes. The process analysis involves evaluating time, cost, quality and capacity of processes.
Additionally, an organisation should review data, technology, controls, human resources, inputs and outputs to assess a process in its entirety. This is crucial because any of these areas may offer an opportunity for improvement.
Business process analysis involves business process mapping, but it also necessitates more than that. Here’s a look at how you can implement process analysis within your organisation:
This is a definite step one; you can only analyse something if you choose what to interpret. Perhaps it is clear which processes are not working within your business, and so, it’s easy to start with those. But, if everything is seemingly going okay, then where do you begin?
One idea is to ask internal stakeholders about their pain points. If they are struggling on a micro level with any part of their process, then it could be an excellent place to begin your analysis so that you can find improvements.
Another way to identify processes is to look at these five questions individually:
At this point, you will be able to review the processes within your organisation to see if they are working towards meeting your business goals and serving your customers. If you have answered the above questions but are missing ways to optimise results based on current operations, then you can move more deeply into such processes.
Business process mapping is the act of creating your processes visually with flowcharts and diagrams. With the help of business process mapping, you can see how the process happens from start to finish, and all stakeholders can become aware of the inner workings. The help of standardised tools and symbols allow you to outline who is responsible for specific tasks within a process, as well as the flow (which can assist in locating bottlenecks).
Process mapping (diagrams and flowcharts) can be created by:
Acknowledge and assemble everyone involved in the process. These are the best people to have by your side so that they can share their intimate knowledge regarding the process and address any areas that have been causing trouble. Some ways to bring this team together to achieve results is by:
Now you have the process outlined, the team assembled, and you can get to work. To define the “as is” process, you focus on the reality of what’s happening. You pull together these pieces:
From the analysis in the above step, you can choose where you want to make improvements. Improvements can happen at various points in the process, so be sure to keep in mind the following points:
Keeping the business goals and objective at the top of mind, you can now outline how you envision the process to be. You must design the new process, receive buy-in from all necessary parties, and document the new process. The changes should be communicated across the organisation and recorded.
Since businesses are dynamic, everything changes all the time. As such, new process improvements should be consistently monitored and measured. Reporting and analytics can help to ensure that inputs and outputs are being maximised. Additionally, just because a process has been analysed and changed doesn’t mean it can be forgotten. New technologies, regulations, human resources and more can necessitate the need for a process analysis yet again.
Process analysis provides multiple benefits for businesses. As you have probably recognised from the above steps, process analysis offers transparency and insight to achieve business goals.
Process analysis also:
Any business leader rarely feels that everything is perfect. Even if this feeling hits after a huge success, it’s often fleeting. For that reason, leaders and managers who are in tune with their business environment are always looking for ways to improve operations and outputs. Therefore, business process analysis is still useful.
However, one way to know when you need to get started with BPA is if you experience any of the following:
Process analysis can help your business reach its goals. Every company has multiple daily operations that are only achieved because of the processes in place. With business process analysis, you can clearly outline the flow from input to output and analyse opportunities for improvement.
Process analysis involves techniques and process modelling that can all be aided through the help of automation tools.
Looking for ideas for process improvement? Read these process improvement examples and best-in-class tips to make your business run better.
There are many continuous improvement methods to choose from. Check out this summary of your options, and how automation solutions can help.