A business' infrastructure relies on its processes.
What does that mean?
It's pretty simple: how would a business run without a process to carry out tasks?
A BPM Trends report states that more than 50 percent of organizations are taking steps to improve their business processes because it’s proven that businesses perform better when their processes align with overall organizational goals.
However, with such a wide variety of businesses, it can be hard to determine what standard processes are right for your organization. Prioritizing the components of your business improvement strategy becomes much simpler once you have categorized them into different categories of business processes.
What is a business process?
A business process is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that people or equipment perform to achieve a specific outcome.
Business processes can be simple or complex, and they can be manual or automated. They can also be cross-functional, involving people from different departments or teams.
Business processes are important because they help organizations achieve their goals. Business processes allow you to identify inefficiencies, scale up your operations and generate consistent outcomes. Of course, it might be that you might need to optimize your process for better results.
8 types of business processes
There’s no standardized rule for creating processes, however, they should serve as a blueprint to complete any tasks needed for your business. As your organization grows, mapping business processes can be very challenging. You may eventually find yourself sifting through dozens of files, searching for the ideal implementation strategy.
However, how can you figure out what’s right for your business? Why don’t you have a look at the processes that already exist?
1. Core processes
Core processes or “primary processes” are related to customers' needs. They usually incorporate a CRM, SAP, or SaaS platform to generate the revenue and growth required by an organization. Sales and marketing functions fall under this since both are necessary to drive profits.
The benefits of these streamlined processes mean employees focus on core competencies. It’s even possible to generate some savings or resources through more efficient organization of the process. Integrating platforms gives an organization an overview of how your product/service is performing in the market.
When two or more functions of a business are involved, having a core process can help resolve discrepancies on time. It’s important to design your process so that responsibilities are clearly defined and workflow remains smooth.
2. Support processes
Although support processes aren’t necessary for revenue, they assist the organization in building an infrastructure to deliver the end product or service. Standard operating procedures commonly support HR, Finance or IT.
Suppose there is an issue with your CRM platform, IT will help troubleshoot the problem, so there are no bottlenecks. In the end, the team can provide the end user with a better experience.
Performing any core tasks to keep the business thriving is challenging without support processes. Moreover, they ensure the best level of service for the customer and the team members involved.
3. Customer service processes
Customer experience is vital to the success of any business, and this process ensures that. Though the process is categorized as a core or primary system, it should be prioritized separately.
According to Salesforce, 76 percent of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. 66 percent are ready to leave if they feel treated like a number instead of an individual.
Once sales are processed, it is necessary to have a team that helps pass on information to customers who require support. Effective customer service means retaining customers and possibly regaining old customers.
4. Management processes
The purpose of management processes is to ensure that the business operates efficiently. This means ensuring regulatory compliance, addressing opportunities and risks, and ensuring the continued overall success of a company. This helps us forecast future growth possibilities and enable smoother business operations.
This process comes into play when making any leadership or executive decisions. It can be introducing a new product or service, expansions, acquisitions, and so on. This can be a case when business process management comes in handy.
5. Production processes
Mostly, production processes are defined as the process by which intaking inputs can enable a business to generate revenue. The organization must consider the market demand and how to utilize the resources at hand.
In the SaaS industry, it can be how capital is invested in the development & testing of software. Identifying the input of capital in each stage of the production line and seeing where operational costs can be reduced is essential.
This gives the business an overview of what’s bringing in the higher ROI. So that they can direct their resources in that particular direction. These often help see the future risks as well.
6. Development processes
Following production, development processes are similar. However, even though this process deals with the creation of the product or service, it mainly focuses on the end-user.
The main goal of a development process is collecting and implementing customer feedback. This creates a process flow where once a product/ service is launched, each customer service representative is tasked to gather information on its performance. This can be via surveys, calls, or even a dedicated platform so that it’s documented.
Use a tool like SweetProcess or an alternative to easily manage this effort.
This helps provide value to the customer and shows how much effort the organization puts into its experience. Not only that, it enables the business to identify inefficiencies to ensure a better product or service overall.
7. Strategic processes
Marketing guru Philip Kotler says:
“Strategic planning is a management methodology to establish the direction to be followed by the organization seeking a greater degree of interaction with the environment.”
Without a proper strategy in place, a business is like a ship without a rudder. To map out this process, teams must look at what processes need more input or tasks removed to combat redundancy.
An example would be automating your replies for Gmail:
In 60 percent of jobs, one-third of the tasks required by employees could be automated. Having a strategic process in place can help decrease unnecessary actions taking place.
8. Long-tail processes
Long-tail processes are one of the more ones out of the list, created out of necessity. These are custom workflows used to build a bridge between any gaps in processes. These also operate at a cross-functional level, either department or team-wise. This means that it enables modifications in the workflow to benefit each team as necessary.
However, these are harder to track since they don’t have a set goal or outline to follow. These also vary depending on who is in charge of the workflow.
Suppose there’s a new IT equipment request from an employee, first, this has to be approved at a managerial level. HR also has to intervene from time to time to see that the process is being facilitated properly. Finally, when the department approves the budget for the request, the employee can receive the equipment.
Now you know how each process works and what teams can utilize them. However, despite the efficiency and workflow improvements, there are many complexities when documenting a business process. Having set tools and methods to facilitate the process makes it easier.
Why should you improve your business processes?
Well-constructed business processes and business process software offer several benefits to organizations.
- Reduction of risks associated with errors and bottlenecks.
- Minimization of redundant activities and resource wastage
- Improved workflow management, communication, and collaboration.
- Enhanced efficiency and increased productivity.
- Improved agility in operations and compliance with industry regulations.
- Lower expenditure and improved performance for organizations.
What are the 5 core business processes?
There are five core business processes that are essential for the functioning of any organization. These processes are crucial for achieving the organization's goals and objectives.
- Strategic management processes involve setting long-term goals and objectives, and developing
- Operational processes ensure efficient and effective delivery of products or services, including production, procurement, inventory management, quality control, and customer service.
- Financial processes involve managing financial resources to ensure financial goals are met and risks are managed.
- Human Resource processes ensure the right people with the right skills are in place.
- Marketing processes involve identifying and satisfying customer needs and ensuring effective marketing to target customers.
What are the 4 categories of processes?
Business processes can be categorized into four main types:
- Management processes: responsible for overall planning, coordination, and control of an organization.
- Operational processes: core activities directly contributing to the creation and delivery of products or services.
- Supporting processes: provide necessary infrastructure and resources for the smooth functioning of the organization.
- Developmental processes: responsible for driving innovation and improvement within the organization.
Best practices for implementing processes — Scribe it!
Mapping out a process means you’ve to start from step one. That means asking yourself, what are your goals and objectives for a particular process?
Do you have the necessary resources to carry out the process, and how should they be allocated? Who takes responsibility for carrying out the process, and so on.
Documenting the process using Scribe from start to finish lets you focus on the work that matters — while building powerful documentation.
Scribe generates a step-by-step guide with text, links and annotated screenshots.
You can easily use these for onboarding processes too. Here’s a Scribe on how to onboard a team on LinkedIn sales navigator:
Process standardization is vital
Process standardization builds the foundation for a smooth sailing operation in the short and long term.
Plus, your team is clear on their roles and responsibilities. This reduces any chances of errors, which can be further minimized with the help of tools like Scribe. Now think about which business process you can implement in your organization today.