3 steps to drastically simplify your company processes
A lot of well-established companies have processes that are far too complex. Over time, these processes can become a tangled web, persisting even when they are no longer effective or relevant. One factor that can cause internal processes to become complex is the historical characteristic of the procedure. In most cases, companies adjust and accumulate a variety of processes while adapting to changing circumstances. This usually happens during the response to challenges or while seizing opportunities.
Here are three tips to optimize processes on a company scale:
- Implement an all-in-one platform: with an all-in-one platform, you can easily make your company processes flexible to change. An all-in-one system can centralize and streamline your business process, reduce manual data entry, and foster an increase in team collaboration. With such a platform, data accuracy is secured, visibility is ensured, and also, the work process becomes more productive.
- Adopt an asynchronous work model: the asynchronous working model aids process simplification and increases productivity. Also, it removes the need for physical, stress, and time-wasting meetings. The key is to set up a project management and collaboration tool that supports asynchronous communication and document sharing. With this, your employees can work independently while meeting deadlines.
- Streamline and automate workflows: big companies usually have repetitive occurrences, especially with redundant tasks. Trying to curate a new response each time (especially if it’s the same) can complicate matters and cost you time. By automating workflows, you can simplify work and save yourself time while ensuring accuracy.
Company executives are facing a universal truth: running a business is inherently challenging. Add outdated and complex internal processes to the mix, and you've got a recipe for inefficiency and frustration.
Unfortunately, many large organizations are burdened by legacy systems and procedures that have no added value or don't even make sense anymore. Those processes became stressful and made tasks less efficient.
This article aims to shed light on the critical importance of regularly updating and streamlining internal operations. Additionally, it will offer some specific strategies for process simplification at the corporate level.
Why internal processes within companies can reach such a high level of complexity?
One reason internal processes can become complex is the historical characteristic of the procedure. If it exists, why not keep using it despite the changes of context, since everyone is used to work like this now?
In most cases, companies adjust and accumulate a variety of processes and procedures while adapting to changing circumstances. This usually happens during the response to challenges or while seizing opportunities.
Though these processes are developed with specific objectives in mind such as increased efficiency or regulation compliance, it ultimately becomes ineffective and complex.
Since the processes are added as a response to an external stimulation, with time there can be a lack of coordination, which results in process overlap, conflict, or inefficiencies. Also, given that the procedure is usually created to cater to several teams within the organization, different departments could establish their unique set of rules, leading to even more ambiguity and complexity.
Redundancy is a common challenge with these processes, not to mention that they may be stuffed with both old and latest technological strategies, which can also lead to confusion.
However, don’t misunderstand. These processes may have worked in the past but there is a need to keep up with technological advancements; it's about optimizing your workflow to ensure long-term success and agility.
Why sticking to "business as usual" could be holding you back?
Process simplification is crucial as it is satisfying. By simplifying your work processes, you not only alleviate employee stress and anxiety but also significantly boost your company's bottom line.
There are five compelling reasons why clinging to outdated and complex internal processes can hinder your work and business in the long run:
It is obsolete and inefficient
Indeed, work processes need to be updated. The market is changing every day and so are technology and business strategies. Clinging to outdated methods may feel more comfortable. But ultimately, it will lead to inefficiency both among your teams and in your company's output.
It’ll get more complex than it is
The complexity of the initial process often stems from procedural accumulation. With the changing business environment, there’s a huge possibility that you’ll accumulate even more procedures to your workflow—hence, making it more challenging to understand and follow through. Your best bet is to optimize processes so that you can erase confusion, inefficiency, and a lack of agility in responding to new challenges.
Complex processes waste resources
In today's competitive landscape, maximizing your company resources is important. Complex procedures not only consume time and money but also divert valuable assets that could have been allocated elsewhere. Ultimately, this will hinder your company from growth and will cause decreased productivity.
It could be legally risky
It’s not just the business environment and the market that changes over time. Even legal requirements and regulations also develop in a dynamic manner. Operating with outdated processes can leave your company vulnerable to compliance risks, as laws and policies may have changed since those processes were first implemented. Failing to adapt to these changes can result in legal issues and financial penalties, which are costly and risky for your company’s reputation.
You’ll be at a competitive disadvantage
Clinging to outdated processes means missing out on innovation. The world is changing and so are companies. Other large companies are adopting new strategies and are simplifying their work processes. If you don't adapt, you'll be exposed to more agile and efficient competitors, jeopardizing your market position and long-term profitability.
So, how can you simplify the process of your business?
3 tips to simplify processes on a company scale
By following these tips, you can imminently uncomplicate your processes for easier and more productive work. The tips are as follows:
Implement an all-in-one platform
With an all-in-one platform, you can make your processes flexible to changes over time. An all-in-one system can centralize and streamline your business process to make it less clumsy and more organized. It can also help you to reduce manual data entry, which is usually susceptible to inaccuracy and time wastage.
Additionally, when workflow is standardized, your employees have all their processes categorized based on their individual departments. More importantly, it fosters an increase in team collaboration and reduces process times. In general, with an all-in-one platform, data accuracy is secured, visibility is ensured, and the work process becomes more productive.
How can you implement an all-in-one platform?
The following are the steps CEOs take to implement an all-in-one platform:
Prepare a blueprint
The first step is to draft out a plan that consists of your goals, objectives, business plan, schedule, cost estimates, and so much more. The idea is to pour down everything you’ll need to get started so that you can see it all at a glance. While the list for these elements is endless, the most important criteria needed include a plan of the all-in-one platform you wish to adopt, a realistic deadline for when you’d like the implementation to be completed, a budget you are comfortable working with, and requirements that are needed based on the plan you have set.
Analyze your draft
After you have created the draft, recheck it to see if it works with your existing process. Conduct sessions with your employees and hear their thoughts. Finally, engage your colleagues to help align your plan before you bring it forth to stakeholders.
Engage your stakeholders
The next step is to advance your company's initiatives by involving your stakeholders, who are as integral to your company's operations as you are. Instead of contacting each stakeholder individually - which is often impractical for large organizations - consider organizing a dedicated meeting (which doesn’t have to be on-site, though) to clarify your upcoming projects. To maximize impact, present your ideas in a well-organized document, ideally incorporating visual aids for better understanding.
Move on to select the technology
There are tons of technology available to executives when implementing an all-in-one platform. All you need to do is to host an all-in-one system on your local server or the cloud and all your employees can be connected and their data centralized.
Get your team on board
Whether this involves training your team or recruitment, this would be the right time to have your employees adopt the technology skillfully.
Test and Deploy
You might need to run the software for a while and track it to see if it meets any of your success parameters. Therefore, after a successful test, don’t hesitate to deploy it at scale, among several teams.
Support and Maintain
Finally, monitor the software every once in a while or preferably, put someone in charge of support and maintenance. Nonetheless, remember to request consistent reports.
Now that you know how to implement an all-in-one platform for process simplification, let’s see the next tip.
Adopt an asynchronous work model
Most big companies have adopted this work model but it doesn’t mean everyone has yet to fully utilize it. The asynchronous working model simplifies the work process in a breeze, hence increasing productivity. Also, it removes the need for physical, stress, and time-wasting meetings.
In this work model, your employees work at their convenience time and at different time slots. No one needs to be physically anywhere and no one needs to coordinate in real-time with another person. Meeting dependencies become reduced and most of all, worker flexibility is improved.
But how is this a way to simplify your work process?
Conventional workflows are often divided between departments, forcing employees to rely heavily on each other to complete their tasks. This approach not only causes stress, it also slows down overall productivity.
The key is to set up a collaboration tool that supports asynchronous communication and document sharing. With this, your employees can work independently while meeting deadlines. You’ll also foster a culture of accountability and trust, where your employees are empowered to take ownership of their tasks.
Key things to note when adopting an asynchronous work model
The following are the things you need to take note of about implementing an asynchronous work model:
- Take inventory of your employee performance. Doing this will help you understand your employee strengths, time spent on a task, and the overall productivity of your workers.
- Set clear deadlines. Deadlines aid communication and productivity, especially with remote work.
- Refrain from sending ambiguous and long messages on all platforms. Since the goal is to make things simple, send clearer and precise messages to pass information across.
- Craft detailed responses for cases of questions and inquiries. Note that these responses are not for a single worker, but for everyone. Therefore, ensure that all these responses are centralized in one place all the teams can access.
- Refrain from setting too many meetings. Meetings can consume a significant amount of time and sometimes lead to inefficiency. To optimize processes, reduce the number of meetings and focus on making the ones that remain more effective.
Streamline and automate workflows
As our final tip, large organizations are often faced with recurring challenges, particularly when it comes to redundant tasks. Developing a single solution for each identical problem not only complicates the situation but also wastes valuable time. By automating workflows, you can simplify the work process and save yourself time while ensuring accuracy.
How to automate work processes?
There are four steps to automating and streamlining your company’s processes:
- Analyze your current process and identify which tasks are redundant, important, and unnecessary.
- Remove unnecessary steps from your process and create responses to redundant tasks. Set these responses to be detailed and accurate regardless of the situation.
- Find and integrate an automation tool that can handle repetitive and manual tasks. Input your response and test with different scenarios.
- Establish clear guidelines and best practices to ensure consistency in workflows. Remember to train your employees on the automation tool and you should be good to go.