How to improve business processes

There is the current way and then there is a better way

Curiosity of finding better ways of doing things in life is what lead to not only evolutions, but also revolutions throughout time from the days of Noah’s Arc to the modern world of BMW, Netflix, Amazon and millions of other innovations. Humans have been the most innovative species on the planet, our ancestors’ lives were completely different to our lives (for the better in most part, but I agree it is a debatable subject). Despite being innovators over millions of years, the speed at which innovation is travelling at these days is phenomenal and unprecedented. Most organisations are well aware of this fact and utilizing this trend to grow their organisations by either innovating themselves or utilising these new innovations for their organisations or both.
So, the question is how can organisations embrace these changes? Well first of all remember that famous proverb “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast”. Setting a strategy is a crucial stepping stone, however strategy needs to be built around the culture to ensure everyone in the organization is in line with this strategy and avoid a clash with its culture. The organization needs to ensure everyone strongly believes that there is their current way and then there is a better way. Employees will not only need to be educated to think of better, creative and innovative ways of doing things, but they also need to be encouraged and empowered to make turn those change initiatives into reality.
There are many methodologies and frameworks which can be used to initiate better ways of doing things, including:
Lean Systems Thinking is a customer centric methodology with a pure focus on delivering value to the customer and anything that doesn’t add value for the customer, it is simply considered waste. We can agree that some waste is like necessary evil, however it needs to be identified, evaluated and eliminated if possible, otherwise streamlined. Lean encourages continuous improvement cycles as a program rather than a project with a deadline. It should be embedded as part of the organizational culture.
Business Process Reengineering is a management strategy which focuses on reengineering business processes to optimize it for maximum efficiency and removing any bottlenecks. There are four steps in a never-ending loop:
• Identify current processes
• Review, update and analyse current processes as they are
• Design a future ‘to-be’ scenario
• Test and Implement the ‘to-be’ scenario