12 Jun How To Simplify Business Processes
GET RID OF THEM!!
An easy starting point for simplification is to get rid of stupid rules and low-value activities, time-wasters that exist in abundance in most organizations. If you can shed a few simple tasks, you will create bandwidth to focus on more substantial simplification opportunities.
SEE YOURSELF AS YOUR CUSTOMER
A key step in the process is to proactively clarify what your customers (internal or external) really want and what you can do to make them more successful. One manager, for example, took her team to visit a customer plant so that people could see how their product was used, which gave them ideas about how to improve it.
One of the keys to simplification is to figure out what’s important (and what’s not), and continually reassess the priority list as new things are added.
REMOVE UNNECESSARY PROCESSES
Once it’s clear that you are working on the right things, root out the extra steps in core processes. Make sure to remove the extraneous loops, redundancies, to make your processes as lean as possible.
One of the patterns that cause complexity is the tendency to not speak up about poor practices. To counter this trend, use constructive feedback and conflict to keep your colleagues (and yourself) honest about personal behaviors that might cause complexity.
REMOVE BOTTLE NECKS
Another source of complexity is the tendency to add layers of management, which leads to managers supervising just one or two people. When that happens, managers feel compelled to add value by questioning everything that their subordinates are doing, which adds work and reduces morale. Take a periodic look at the organization’s structure and find ways to reduce levels and management.
LEARN YOUR LESSONS
Finally, remember that complexity is like a weed in the garden that can always creep back in. Whenever you feel like you’ve gotten it wrong, do steps 1 through 5 over again.