Enhancing and Aligning Business Processes

Cross-Functional-Process

In a previous article titled "5 Ways Waste May Bog Down Your Business Processes," we discussed the importance of identifying waste inside of an organization. This waste is found in the form of time, money, and talent. Waste creates a murky view of the activities that take place inside your business.    

Consider this quote using nature as an example: "when a lot becomes neglected, weeds, bushes, and other plants can quickly overtake it. A large amount of plant life competing for resources makes it difficult for any of them to flourish. Clearing out dead or overgrown vegetation will help the remaining plants receive better access to water, sunlight, and other nutrients necessary to thrive."    

In this case, waste is overgrown vegetation competing for the necessary nutrients to grow properly. If there is a lot of waste in your processes, it can affect that process's actual efficiency and potential.

Value Stream Mapping

Using Value Stream Mapping, you can identify these waste areas and envision them in an ideal future state. This is a multi-step process with the end goal of creating new efficiencies in operations. Thanks to automation, that value stream map can become a reality and refine what is currently in place.    

The impact automation can have on an organization is tremendous. Gartner's research validates that by displaying how automation transforms finance departments. They found that the average amount of avoidable work in the accounting field can use up around 30% of a full-time employee's working hours total. If we analyze that through a 40-hour workweek, that is 12 hours of an employee's time. Gartner continues driving the point home "This equates to savings of 25,000 hours per year at a cost of $878,000 for an organization with 40 full-time accounting staff."    

However, it doesn't stop there. Now that you have transformed your current processes, you can embark on business process alignment. In this stage of the game, these processes can be used to strengthen the business strategy and connect processes across different departments.

 

Business Process Alignment 

A business is built up of people working together to achieve a common goal. Each area of the business has its purpose in marching the company forward towards that vision. Business processes are no different and must be aligned towards the overall business strategy.        

Usually, the processes will be directed towards accomplishing the business objectives, and it stops there. Of course, this is good, but functions that might be critical to driving the organization one step further can be siloed. This is where diverse teams across the organization must come together to innovate and connect these processes. Automation can create a workflow with redundant manual tasks that have cross-departmental linkage. Now, not only are your processes aligned towards the business's goals, but they are also breaking silos and becoming even more powerful where your employees meet.        

Let's pretend an essential function in the business needs approval. The person that needs to mark the approval is in the middle of a task and does not have time for the necessary back and forth to gather the correct information and decide. If the approval were consolidated and automated to send every time it was critical, things would flow much faster. All that the approver would need is contained in one place, and a simple button click would handle the rest. 

Find Hidden Value Streams

Let's locate those hidden value streams together and connect them. Waste doesn't have to clog you up any longer; your business can unite and break free.

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