Process Improvement Ideas for Work: Accelerate Your Success

Process Improvement
Download Free Process Improvement Guide
Get advanced tips with our free guide
Get advanced tips
Get advanced tips with our free guide
Get advanced tips

You’re running countless processes a day, and if you could do something more efficiently, there’s no doubt that’s the route you’d want to take. When it comes to process improvement, there’s always something that can be done. In this article, we’re going to run through process improvement ideas for work by sharing an areas of improvement list to inspire your efforts.

We’ll also share how process and automation solutions can be a gamechanger when you are aiming to perform process improvement.

Coming Up

1. What is Process Improvement?

2. What are the Types of Process Improvement Ideas for Work?

3. What are Process Improvement Ideas for Work?

4. What are Techniques to Improve Processes?

5. What are Continuous Process Improvement Examples?

6. What are Example Goals of Process Improvement?

7. How to Make Process Improvement a Shared Goal?

8. Closing Thoughts

What is Process Improvement?

Process improvement is the procedure of analysing and mapping existing business processes so that you can find opportunities to make them faster, better, and stronger. Or, in more technical terms, more efficient and effective.

Process improvement can be small changes like making it easier for internal teams to book meeting rooms to larger scale tasks like improving the efficiency of production systems.

What are the Types of Process Improvement Ideas for Work?

There are various process improvement ideas for work, regardless of the industry that you operate in.

Here’s are process improvement initiatives worth considering:

1. Software Adoption & Process Automation

Digital transformation is happening globally as technology empowers organisations to work smarter. Businesses are rapidly adopting and deploying automation solutions, especially those in the financial industry looking to automate financial processes.

Such solutions are able to automatically improve processes by removing the need for manual work, reducing errors, and syncing data and systems.

2. Analysis & Improvement

By analysing data and metrics, you may be able to spot inefficiencies in processes. This way, you can remove any unnecessary steps and streamline your processes for better results.

3. Problem-Solving

Does your business suffer from bottlenecks or delays? If you’re operating in any business, this is a major red flag, but if you’re in a financial department, it could be adding to your compliance risk.

By finding the root cause of the problem, which is likely stemming from the process, you can resolve these issues. Implementing automation tools tend to offer the answer, too.

What are Process Improvement Ideas for Work?

To constantly grow and survive as a business, there are always ways to increase your potential and achieve the optimal outcomes. So, let’s take a look at a few process improvement ideas for work.

1. Tracking Time and Analysis

No one likes to micromanage and no one likes to be micromanaged. But, knowing how long tasks are taking is often necessary. As such, you can deploy time tracking solutions so that managers aren’t constantly needing to ask their team members what they are working on or how long it’s taking.

The non-invasive tools can provide screenshots for proof of work, time reports, and automatic timesheets.

2. Team Performance Monitoring

Piggybacking on the idea of time and the amount of work that an employee puts in, you can also use tools to track team performance in a quantifiable measure to cover employee improvement areas.

This data may be able to show you where bottlenecks exist or pinpoint the root of issues. You can also glean the times in which employees are most productive and allow for flexible work schedules that maximise their productivity.

3. Project Management Process Implementation

Oftentimes, people within businesses jump into the motions and execute tasks without really understanding the entire process or business goals.

This can lead to decreased productivity, engagement, or motivation, which ends up hurting the output. Instead, with a project management process, you’ll break down every step of the project into phases and responsible parties.

By using process automation, you can map out processes easily. This helps to remove silos and provides compliance benefits at the same time. Additionally, through mapping and automating the process, everyone knows what they need to do and why they need to do it, making teams more engaged and collaborative.

4. Communication

Many issues arise when communication channels are blocked or relevant parties are unaware of the status of processes. By removing boundaries and improving communication channels, you can optimise processes.

Communication and collaboration software is often a simple way to do this so that teams can spend less time searching for answers. This is especially the case as teams continue to work remotely.

5. Optimise and Review Continuously

There’s always opportunities to review and optimise processes on a consistent basis. That’s the whole point of improvement– it’s never done!

As you implement updates and changes within your processes, take time to monitor progress, adapt on the fly, and build momentum over time. With automation solutions, you can test new processes before rolling them out on a large scale to ensure you’ve fixed any bugs or inefficiencies.

6. Cost Savings

Finance managers and executives often seek to reduce costs to improve the bottom line. Some ideas for being able to do so include: reviewing vendor contracts often, overstaffing, using paper trails instead of electronic records.

The truth of the matter is that when you deploy automation software, you can reap the benefit of cost savings because you’ll be able to allocate human resources more wisely, save time, reduce manual errors that can be costly, and eliminate many uses of paper.

7. Increase Revenues

By focusing on increasing revenues, there are many processes you can look towards to improve. For example, it may entail repacking products or services to better meet customer needs. Or, you can expand into new markets. Additionally, review your collections processes, or once again, automate them!

8. Improve Quality

Quality defects are a time and money waster, and they can also damage your company’s reputation. To improve quality, be sure to pay attention to customer complaints, leverage control charts to track the volume of defects, calculate and understand the financial impact of such defects, and introduce process automation.

Furthermore, to ensure quality control at all times, it all begins with having access to accurate and up-to-date data. With automation solutions, you can rest assured that you have the latest and greatest data as the software can collect, cleanse, and transform data for your any need.

9. Increase Safety

Process improvement ideas that relate to safety could include adding visual indicators of hazards, offering stronger employee training, devising a process for reporting hazards, and adding more standardisation and organisation within processes.

10. Customer Service

In most cases, employees who are customer-facing often don’t get to manage or dictate processes. As a result, issues can fall through the cracks and modes of improvement could go overlooked.

Instead, by increasing communication channels, conducting regular check-ins, and deploying satisfaction surveys, you could come to see how customer support channels could be improved.

11. Efficiency

The lean approach to business is a management solution to reduce waste and improve efficiency.

A few ways to remove inefficiency include:

  • removing duplicate work (which all too often stems from manual data entry and can be resolved with automation software);
  • getting rid of unnecessary layers of approval (or streamlining approval processes with automation software),
  • and ensuring that supplies and resources are readily available and easily accessible.

What are Techniques to Improve Processes?

With your opportunities for improvement in mind, consider using the following techniques to implement process improvement:

PDSA

This acronym stands for:

  • Plan- define the problem and list possible solutions
  • Do - implement the solution
  • Study - review and measure the results of the change
  • Act - Add the change to the standard procedure if it worked well. If not, try another solution

The 5 Whys

This technique is geared towards getting to the root cause of an issue. It’s simple in theory, but can get complex in practice as you get closer and closer to the root. All you have to do is ask “Why” five times until you can understand why something is happening as it is.

What are Continuous Process Improvement Examples?

Process improvement isn’t meant to be said and done in one go. Instead, it requires constant attention and consideration to continuously improve. To do so, you can implement:

1. Think Tanks

Regular ideation sessions are a great way to bring people from different departments together to share news ideas or recurring issues. Having diverse perspectives also helps to find solutions faster.

2. Training

Ongoing training or cross-training can protect against the issues that arise  from having key person dependencies.

3. Automation

Automation software provides real-time and continuous data. So, when something goes awry or looks off, alerts can be setup so you can know immediately and be able to fix it.

What are Example Goals of Process Improvement?

What is to come from these process improvement ideas for work? When done right, you should reap one or more of these goals:

1. Better quality products and services

Through improving your processes, you can improve the customer experience. Whether it be through the reduction of waste, elimination of defects, or better customer support, your customers will notice the difference.

2. Quicker delivery cycles

Faster delivery cycles can help position companies above their competition by providing value to customers quicker.

3. Faster billing cycles

Along with quicker delivery comes faster billing cycles. Billing needs to keep up with delivery. As a result, the company’s cash flow improves.

4. Production efficiency

Production efficiency happens when waste is minimised, resources are used optimally, and businesses can accomplish more in the same amount of time.

How to Make Process Improvement a Shared Goal?

Process improvement is a procedure that often involves multiple teams and many moving parts. So, to keep everyone aligned with achieving the shared goal, there are a few best practices to make it come to fruition.

These include:

1. Communicate the Why

Be sure to communicate the purpose of the process improvement and the ultimate goal. This way, everyone understands the bigger picture and is invested in it.

2. Use a Process Improvement Strategy

Leverage a process improvement strategy to keep the steps organised.

3. Recognise it is an Ongoing Process

Understand that process improvement won’t happen overnight, nor is it meant to end once your goal is accomplished. It’s an ongoing process filled with learning and insights.

4. Have Regular and Open Communication

Ask for feedback and communicate how the process is going with employees and managers.

5. Prioritise Your Goals

The chances are high that you will have multiple processes for improvement and goals you want to achieve. Prioritise them so everyone knows what to work on first.

Closing Thoughts

There are an infinite amount of process improvement ideas for work, and it’s up to your team to make them work! By utilising process improvement strategies, you can approach process improvement in an organised manner.

In many instances, deploying an automation solution can improve processes almost immediately, whether it be to cut costs, improve service, expedite manual tasks, monitor processes, and gain deeper insights into business processes.

Share This Post