How to Detect Business Process Improvement Mistakes


Sometimes, even with the best intentions, mistakes and failures still occur to anyone or any business for that matter. Yes, failure knows no boundaries even if these efforts are viewed vital at improving business processes by cutting costs, time or both by streamlining tasks such as business process improvement strategies.

From generating a report to resolving a complaint from customer, and more of the likes, it’s very likely you’ve already encountered an instance when the results turned out bad because of the inefficient processes applied. Some example outcomes are missed deadlines, redundant expenses, stressed workforce, and frustrated customers.

Use this article then as a guide in detecting early signs or symptoms of business process improvement failure and find out what your business can do about it.


What Business Processes Is

There are plenty of processes that you have surely used or come across by now in your business. But they can be divided into formal and informal. The former means procedures that are documented and have well-established steps. The processes involved in receiving and submitting invoiced is just one example. Safety-related, legal or financial rationales are considered factors that determine whether or not formality in enacting processes is necessary.

On the other hand, informal processes do not follow any formal deliberations or complicated procedures. Often, these are created by yourself and mostly unwritten rules. Examples of informal processes are taking down meeting actions, market research approaches or communicating with prospective customers.


Importance of Efficient Processes

The common denominator that all these different kinds or types of processes share is their purpose: to improve the way you and your team do business by streamlining processes or tasks. A well-organized, systematic step-by-step approach in handling processes can mean less delays, as well as fewer mistakes or errors, less redundancies or duplication. Efficient processes result in satisfied customers and staff.

Which is why this has been a motivation among managers and corporate leaders to elevate their departments to the level of ‘business enabler’ or ‘business multiplier’. With the rights and privileges attached therein, managers earn respect from peers and partners in business. Business process improvement efforts are undertaken to bring more efficiency to the business. Efforts such as this can have the managers of certain department take the lead.

Still, mistakes do and can still occur when business process improvement commitments are executed. A listing of ways to detect mistakes and how to avoid this from happening follows.


Lack of Support from Top-Level Management

Plans to initiate significant business process improvement must gain the approval of top management. Minus these support, it’s more than likely to fail or outcomes not reaching everything planned out. Support from the top can create the impression that the project is important, deserving of full time and support to ensure success.

In its true sense, business process improvement initiatives can be very difficult to execute so it is important that reinforcement from top-level management are ensured. Support and appreciation from them can serve as motivation for its success.

In order to get the support of top management, the project must first obtain public support for the process improvement effort. The commitment must be firm and established from all major stakeholders before starting the project.


Organization is Not Ready, Culturally

Organizational culture plays a vital role in ensuring business success. But it is this same factor that can impede or cause interruption to any business process improvement initiatives. One sign that an organizational culture poses a challenge is when employees refuse to take part, showing their angst when process improvements are being undertaken.

So before you start with your initiative, take a calculated, slowed-down approach to ensure that the leadership is first squarely on board. The time will allow you to observe and see for yourself if the importance of the business process improvement effort trickles across the organization. Getting the commitment of all in writing, because this helps get the idea who are committed.


Team Members are Uncooperative

Or maybe, the problem lies not from your organization’s culture but from workers who are hostile or antagonistic about the overall business process improvement process. When every staff member is expected to give their full support and involvement, it should play out well if they are cooperative. Undetected and uncorrected, your business process improvement project will suffer miserably. Solving this entails careful research to find out what’s behind the antagonistic mood.


Failing to Get Representatives from Project Teams

Business process improvements are good thing but if you want to see its untimely demise right in front of your eyes, consider to overhaul the whole process by not inviting key personnel whose stakes in the process need their consent. All small or big stakeholders need to be represented before, during and after the implementation of the effort. Insights and experience of all these stakeholders must be collected and understood in order to improve the process.


Wrapping Up

Keep in mind that failures do happen but there are steps that can be taken to avoid a worst-case scenario in undertaking a business process improvement initiative. The process may not be perfect the first time you execute but there are key continuous improvement strategies that you can adopt to ensure that your process improvement frameworks stay up-to-date, efficient and relevant.