Businesses create value to satisfy their customers in the form of goods and services. If the customers are not satisfied with the end product, or the company wants to add more value to its output, then top management comes into action. They would sit down and discuss in detail the internal business processes, and how they need redesigning to make the operations of the business organization more efficient. It may involve analyzing the business processes in detail to identify any loopholes and consider the necessary actions required.
A business process is a sequence of activities that results in a final output that has some commercial value and usage. For example, a user registration process of an online business portal contains activities such as the collection of user information, the validation of that data, and finally sending a registration confirmation to the user’s email address. The activities within a process can involve multiple people, departments and tools.
Process design is the first step of Business Process Management (BPM), a methodology used to create, execute and continuously improve the business processes of a company. In order to learn more about business process design, you should consider doing a business process design for strategic management course.
Today, we are going to share with you some crucial fundamentals of a successful business process design.
- Alignment with Company Strategy
To achieve their vision, organizations formulate strategies. The corporate strategy of a company is a comprehensive plan that is created to achieve the goals and objectives of the business. But this plan should be responsive to the ever-changing internal and external environment. If the plan does not have the correct response element, then it is just a plan, not a strategy.
For a business process to be effective, it should align with the strategy. If the policy of an Asian company is to capitalise on nationalism to promote their products, but the customer processes have English as the primary language, then it is an example of a terrible process design. Therefore, it is mandatory to create your processes according to the corporate strategy; otherwise, the entire value chain would suffer badly even if one process is out of line.
- Add Some Real Value
Nowadays, we have metrics to calculate intangible things as well, such as customer satisfaction and the overall value of user experience. The purpose of a business process is to add value to the ultimate customer experience that they receive when they utilize your product or service. If a process is not adding any real value to the final output, then that process should be eliminated or modified to improve efficiency.
Some processes are not directly related to the customers. For example, the recruitment process of a company is not visible to the customers. However, it indirectly has a significant impact on the customer experience. If the hiring process is not effective, the company would not hire the right employees, and this would eventually decrease the final output value for the customers.
Hence, the correct way to gauge the real value of any process should always be in terms of customer satisfaction and overall customer experience.
- Minimize Any Handoff Delays
A handoff delay is the time taken when an activity in a process hands over its output incorrectly to the next activity in the process. It is one of the most significant factors, which makes a process lengthy, and sometimes too problematic for the employees of the organization, as well as for the customers.
To understand this critical point, we will discuss a scenario as an example. If a person goes to a bank to open an account, a customer representative will review and collect the information. This information will then go to the verification department. Now, if the verification department does not get the data from the customer representative, they would not be able to initiate the verification process. Similarly, if the verification official takes a lot of time to verify the customer’s profile, and does not give the confirmation to the management, the approval will be delayed.
Even if the customer representative, the verification team, and the approval committee do their respective tasks promptly, but take more time than what is required to hand over the information to the next department, the account opening process will take a long time to complete.
Such handoff delays are avoidable. Even if the activities and the processes are not automated, still effective communication can play a vital role.
- Keep It Simple
You may have experienced that in some organizations, the processes are too lengthy or too complicated. It makes life difficult for the user, and also decreases the overall productivity of the business.
If a sales executive needs a new laptop, he should not need to get his requisition form signed by three different managers. The manager who is responsible for assigning tasks to that sales executive and supervising him regularly should be the one to approve and forward his request to the next stage.
Reducing the complexity, and eliminating unnecessary steps from the sequence, can significantly improve the process efficiency and user experience.
- Make A Standard
You go to a small, fast food restaurant, and order an orange juice. At the reception counter, the staff tells you to make the payment in advance, at the time of placing the order. So, you make the payment and get the juice.
After a short while, since your friend is still not here, you feel like having something to eat. You go to the counter and order a beef pepper steak. When you take out your wallet to make the payment, the staff tells you, with a smile, “Sir, you can make the payment after the meal, conveniently.”
You would feel awkward and confused; why did they accept advance payment for the orange juice if they could bill it afterwards? Just because the restaurant has different processes for drinks and food, the customers would keep guessing and remain psychologically uncomfortable.
Process standardization is essential. It creates brand recognition and familiarity for your business externally. Internally, it makes life easier for employees.
Effective business process design is necessary for the implementation of a company’s strategy. Always focus on key stakeholders when you are designing a business process. Processes that are not unnecessarily complex, and add real value to the business operations, are the key to increased productivity and enhanced customer experience.
To improve process design, organizations should complete the cycle of the Business Process Management methodology. Once the process has been planned, it should be modelled and executed with process management tools. And finally, after monitoring the performance of the process comprehensively, the process design should be optimized. It is an iterative methodology for continuous improvement which means the business processes and the results keep getting better and better.