Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – and probably again and again and again: the only constant in life is change. The problem with change, however, is that it can be negative; we must take care to ensure that we change in the right “direction” – that is, change should propel us forward rather than backward.
This is true in business as well. Change will happen, and you need to focus on having it push you forward, not backward. How? One way is to make sure your businesses processes are always working for you. Are they relevant? Are they efficient? Do they make people’s jobs easier? Do they contribute to keeping your customers happy?
If you can’t answer “yes” to those questions, it’s time to evaluate your business processes – an endeavor that requires a step-by-step, consistent, and systematic approach.
Start with these steps for continuous business improvement:
- Review and understand yourself, your vision, and your goals.
- Review your business and understand its vision and goals.
- Interview your employees to understand their vision and goals.
- Listen, analyze, and understand your current situation and business processes.
- Review existing barriers and roadblocks that need to be eliminated, and then begin to remove them
- Analyze best management practices that meet your processing requirements.
- Analyze new business automation solutions that meet your processing requirements.
- Prioritize issues and problems.
- Develop custom processing requirements listings.
- Design and flowchart the new processes.
- Create a clear map and flowchart the steps required.
- Listen, understand, and solidify the benefits to be achieved with each improvement step.
- Recommend and implement the new processes and management systems.
- Focus on assisting with the change and the transition.
- Start again – take a systematic approach to continuous improvement.
Revisit these 15 steps again and again – improvement is a continuous process and, for businesses, being stagnant is death. It may seem daunting at times, but don’t give up. Your only hope for long-term success is making sure that change improves you.
Feeling overwhelmed about examining and updating your processes? Contact Asyma Solutions for help.