Business process optimisation – why is it so important?

By Isak Bastholm – Principal, Richard Thorsen – Partner

No-one is perfect. All organisations have their problems. And many of these you can tie back to a problem with your process engineering. Unable to meet the demands of your customers? It could well be a process problem. Is your output quality inconsistent and not meeting required standards? Hmm, that’s likely to be a process issue too. And is your backlog of work perpetually increasing with no end in sight? This is almost definitely a process predicament.

Organisations will often scratch their heads wondering why the same problems arise year on year, with little being done to solve them. And if the focus is on the day job, there is little time to look at the root cause of other issues within the business. But this is extremely counterintuitive. Problems such as the ones above – and others such as costs and overheads being way too high, or projects not delivering the benefits they should – are signs your business processes are spiralling out of control and you need to do something about it. Business process optimisation is a good place to start. So what are the main components?

  • Process maturity assessment: as a first step, it’s important to evaluate if an organisation is set up for sustained optimisation by assessing its processes, capability, data and technology to find out how effective it is at achieving its objectives.
  • Delivery optimisation projects: it is often easier to deal with bite sized chunks rather than a massive plateful all in one go – focusing on quick wins, you can build momentum for process optimisation and win support from other stakeholders. This paves the way for collaborative and meaningful change.
  • Governance and controls: when running a series of improvement initiatives delivered to different timescales it is important to build in governance structures to control the scope, cost and time of projects, as well to give visibility to executives and the organisation’s board.
  • Standardisation: to ensure change is embedded for the long term and you achieve long term process optimisation, it’s useful to build in trigger points against key performance indicators, to ensure that you are also meeting your objectives.
  • Centre of excellence: to build the commitment and focus needed for long term business process optimisation, a centre of excellence is a great idea. It involves building a hub, a team of dedicated processes improvement specialists, who are managed from a central point. This drives business process excellence across the organisation, promotes best practice, educates others and ultimately ensures effective project delivery every time you embark on a project.

In a nutshell, business process optimisation can help to improve overall quality within your organisation, increase efficiency and effectiveness of operational running, reduce operational costs, remove waste and ultimately will help improve customer satisfaction. If niggles, deficiencies and shortcomings within your processes are ironed out it will have a massive impact on how effective your organisation is. What’s not to love?

Want to learn more? If you want to learn more about how to improve business processes within your organisation, please email [email protected] and we’ll be in touch right away.