Every day new businesses doing the same thing you do are started; businesses today cannot afford to be without processes that make them the obvious choice for their target audience and customers.
Think of the last time you tried a product or service and thought, “hmm, that was pretty nice!.” Now, that experience most likely made you feel pleased enough to go back to try the product/service but what you don’t see are the processes behind the scene responsible for your smooth experience.
All of the actions from the point of production up to when it gets to you, the end user, make up a business process.
As easy as it was for you to access that product or service, the reverse could also be the case in a scenario where there is a lack of defined processes or even processes with loopholes. A properly designed business process is a step to building a profitable business that stands the test of time.
Are you Looking to execute a new process but aren’t sure how to get started? In this article, we will discuss business processes, their examples, advantages, and how to design one that works for your organization.
What is a business process?
A business process is an organized series of activities that helps a business streamline and track business operations to reach company goals and targets. They are an essential part of any business setup – and are the building blocks to an efficiently-run and profitable business.
What is a business process design?
In the absence of a well-thought-out approach to company operations, employees would adapt their preferred methods of working, which would lead to a disorganized and unprofitable outcome for the company
This is where business process design comes in.
Business process design (BPD) is the creation of new workflows from scratch to help a company scale and achieve its goals.
If you are thinking of new ways to deliver your goods and services, struggling with business processes that don't work, or need to implement an existing process, then you need a business process design.
Types & examples of business process design
Business process designs can be classified into three types, and to make this easy to understand, we will look at each type and examples that apply to most businesses anywhere in the world.
These are the activities that directly generate company revenue and income. They are a link between the company and its target users or customers because they are the activities directly responsible for creating and delivering products and services.
An example of what an operational process looks like for a trader typically involves :
- Sourcing materials depending on what they sell.
- Transporting materials to their store.
- Advertising the goods on their online or offline stores.
- Receiving customer orders.
- Processing the product for delivery.
- Bringing the product to the pickup location for collection.
They complement operational processes and make it possible for operational activities to be carried out successfully. They are implemented as backup plans if an operational process falls through.
These are the activities that go on behind the scenes to make sure a business runs as it's supposed to. While they are valuable, as their absence is very noticeable, their activities do not necessarily translate to direct monetary gains.
Let’s take a look at an example of what a supporting business process is like for a business during an employee recruitment process:
- Company identifies there’s a need to fill a role,
- HR or departmental team lead goes on to detail the specifics of that role,
- Company puts out a Job Ad,
- Interested candidates apply to the company
- Selection is made manually or automated
- Selected candidates receive follow-up emails and are given a test. Tests are assessed, and the list is streamlined to only those who pass.
- Next up is a culture fit phase to see if they fit in; some companies add a chat with the founders to this phase
- Employment offer letter to the successful candidate(s).
The management process organizes all of the other processes. Managerial processes are there to ensure that team's follow rules and observe procedures.
Although management processes, just like the supporting processes, don't generate direct income, they help to optimize income opportunities for businesses.
Examples of management processes includes:
- Scheduling regular meetings with individual teams, department heads and employees.
- Monitoring employee results and outputs.
- Assigning projects and work to appropriate teams or individuals.
One thing to observe about the flow in all cited examples is that it is repetitive and easy to document. A business process design that works must be scalable and easily replicable across all levels to avoid confusion.
These examples are just one out of many examples, some other common examples of business process designs include employee onboarding processes, business sales processes, staff performance review processes, content publishing processes, and customer onboarding processes.
You can use Scribe to automate all of this process documentation so you don't have to start again every time you need to carry out an action.
The positive impacts of using business process design
While for so many businesses, using business process designs seems like one of those things to skip because “everyone should know what to do once we tell them” or “the paperwork is just a lot.” Still, there is real-life proof of companies succeeding because they defined their business processes.
If you are reading this, you want the same for your team and company. Here are a few out of many ways designing a business process helps your business grow and why you should not think twice about doing it .
- It Creates an efficient team: A well-designed business process allows for seamless workflow creating an efficient process where things get done better and faster. By implementing business process designs, you reduce redundancy in your team processes and help employees understand their roles and tasks better. Everyone knows what they should do and that allows you to quickly find out If something goes wrong and see what process is not giving results.
- For Consistency and Continuity: Let’s say you run a bakery that has gained a reputation for having a distinct taste. For continuity and consistency reasons, when you hire new bakers, there needs to be a well-documented recipe or process for making the pastries, or else employees can come up with their recipes. In no time, you will be just like any other bakery in the market. It also helps that when employees leave, you are not stranded, having to recreate a new process from scratch.
- It helps you cut out unnecessary expenses: There's always a need to spend money in an organization, some of these would convert to direct income, others wouldn't. Implementing business processes can help you save costs on activities that run the business into negatives. You will be able to identify loopholes and immediately find ways to address them.
- Better customer experience — How you serve your customers is reflective of the workflows you implement, and when you are optimizing for success, it's hard to create workflows that make your users/customers struggle with your products or services. Effective and efficient business processes produce exceptional outcomes that delight your customers.
- Better life for your employees– employees can create a balanced work-life approach once they know how your organization is structured. The case in view for an organization where they figure it out as they go is one where things come up a lot at impromptu. This can create resentment or even a lazy approach to work for employees. If an employee knows they have to deliver monthly marketing reports for example, they work towards that and can plan other life activities away from delaying that deliverable. With streamlined processes, employees can enjoy life with no guilt.
How to document your business process design?
High-performing organizations are a result of high-performing employees but to have a system where everyone knows the role they play in achieving company goals, there is a need for business process documentation.
Let’s assume you have no process documentation in your current organization and are starting with a fresh slate, here are the steps you need to document a business process for all teams.
1. Identify the problem that needs a new process
This defines the reason you need a new process. This process follows research to understand what needs to change and how. An example could be an observed flaw in the current employee onboarding system, a need to introduce a new product to the market or even designing a new way to process company finances.
2. Define your goals
Whatever reason you’ve discovered you need a process for, it’s important to define what success would look like. Determine its purpose and scope and how the process would benefit the organization. It could be paying for new software, hiring new employees, or letting some go. Here you have a clear picture of your goal and what the end result should be
3. Map out the process
This shows the steps or procedures you will use to achieve a new business process design and involves identifying the resources you will need to implement a new process.
Mapping out can either be done in written format or visualized using flow charts.
You can also easily create a process map with a pen and paper or simply automate it with Scribe where you outline the steps you need to take to get a new business workflow and send it to stakeholders or just store it.
4. Assign roles & responsibilities
In this stage, you determine roles and responsibilities, Put each task or activity in the order that they will occur and who would be at the point of each activity to ensure it’s swiftly carried on to the next point.
5. Implement the process and test it for results
Now that you’ve mapped out your process, it’s time to test its efficiency to see if it will work. You can conduct test runs with a few customers, collect feedback from team members and users during the process in order to be able to identify ineffectiveness or loopholes in the process.
The questions to ask here would be if it were successful.
6. Document & repeat
If you got your desired results, next would be to document the process for easy replication in future processes and to repeat it consistently.
Documenting your business process is a step to ensuring easy adoption by employees and it can be made more efficient by using tools like Scribe that let you capture a whole process in a matter of minutes. It’s also reusable, editable, and can be easily shared. You can create many processes using pages in one Scribe.
Capture and share any process with automatic step-by-step guides. It’s fast, easy & totally FREE with Scribe.
Now that you know how to design your business processes, start implementing!