Business process improvement plan. Start over
To prepare a plan for improving business processes and any plan, you need to understand several cornerstones. Namely:
- The goal is where we want to go.
- Current position – where and in what state we are at the moment.
- The resources we have at our disposal.
Understanding the above points will also allow you to determine:
- Benchmarks, landmarks that will help you stay on track.
- The resources you will need.
- The answer to the question “what can go wrong and how can it be avoided?” or understanding the risks.
And only after that will it be possible to determine the tasks, interrelationships, performers, and deadlines.
Plan To Prepare a Plan? Why Haven’t I Been Told About This Before
It looks like we are about to have a Metaplan – a plan for preparing a plan. Do you think this is ridiculous? Well, ok, this is ridiculous. Are you thinking overkill? But here, it is not. Preparing a plan is not an easy task, and if you have a plan for solving this problem and the name of the plan makes you happy, you are on the right track.
Seriously though, planning the planning process increases the efficiency of the final plan by … 4 times!
A Step-By-Step Plan For Improving Business Processes
1 – Formulate What The Target Process Will Look Like
Of course, it is best if the process is described in the form of a model. It will significantly simplify further steps.If the modeling seems too complicated, then make a simple table in which the rows will indicate the steps of the process (stages, subprocesses, operations), and the columns will indicate the executors, resources, documents, information systems, and so on.Do not use a textual description of the process. It isn’t easy to work with it.
2 – Describe The Current Process
To describe the process, everything is true that concerns the description of the target process. See the previous point.
3 – Identify Gaps
A gap is a difference between an existing process and a target process. Describe how the target process will differ from the current one. Just make a list and display the targeted changes on the model if you have a business process model.Using a tabular description, make one table that describes both processes and clearly shows the differences.
4 – Roadmap
Now the tricky part begins with the road map. It is necessary to understand the anchor points of change. To do this, I suggest using two techniques: reverse planning and analysis of the necessary (or sufficient) factors.
The analysis of necessary factors is the compilation of a list of everything that is minimally necessary to complete each step of the process while maintaining the parameters of the process and the product.
A roadmap is not yet a plan for improving business processes, so there is no need to complicate it. Just make a list of tasks to be completed. It is essential that the list follows the order in which the tasks are performed, is based on a reverse scheduling method, and includes all the necessary factors. The tasks for ensuring the factors do not need to be described yet. They should be added after the risks and resources have been worked out.
5 – Assess The Risks
Determine what can go wrong as you move from the current process to the target process. Just go through each point of the roadmap and, together with the participants in the process, think about what difficulties are likely to be encountered, the likelihood of these difficulties and what needs to be done to prevent them.
In some situations, this is relatively easy to do. But sometimes, the task of identifying risks becomes a whole project that works according to different rules.
6 – Redefine The Roadmap With Risks In Mind
If you have thoroughly worked out the risks, you should have additional tasks that need to be included in the roadmap. Do this and revise the entire map.
7 – Assess Existing Resources And Performers
Determine who and what will be needed to implement the change. Remember that we are talking about improvement, so you won’t be able to use new resources. But we can talk about improving the quality of existing resources. So also evaluate the quality of the resources and determine how this quality needs to be improved.
8 – Prepare a list Of Tasks For Each Necessary Factor
At the stage of preparing the roadmap, it was necessary to draw up and consider a list of necessary factors for the implementation of the improvement. Now it is necessary to consider each factor from the point of view of implementation. Simply put, if one of the factors is, for example, “employees can work with the new reference book,” then you need to describe what tasks need to be completed so that employees learn to do what is required.
And so on for each factor. Don’t forget to add tasks to your roadmap, which already looks like a business process improvement plan.
9 – Determine The Relationship Of Tasks And Thus Set The Sequence Of Execution
At this point, you only have an impressive list of disparate tasks. But to turn the list of tasks into a plan for improving business processes, defining the relationship of tasks is necessary. What is a relationship? It’s simple – you cannot start performing task B until task A has been completed. You cannot start training personnel until the training materials have been prepared and cannot do testing until training has been completed.
Once you have identified the relationships, you will build a sequence of execution. Without consistency in execution, a business process improvement plan will not only be ineffective but completely inoperative.
10 – Determine The Resources Of Tasks, Performers, And Together With Performers, Determine The Duration Of Tasks
In principle, everything is simple here – indicate who will perform each task and who will be responsible for it. They are often different people.Specify what you need to complete each task – task resources.
Try to estimate the amount of work and duration of each task. The amount of work is how much time you need to spend on the direct execution of the task. Duration – the period during which the task. For example, the volume of work may be as little as two hours, but the task’s duration will be two days – 1 hour every day.
11 – Prepare The Final Work Plan
I think you have already guessed, but I strongly recommend using special software to prepare the plan. It can be MS Project or an analog, of which there are many at the moment on the network.
12 – Check The Plan For Apparent Errors
Perhaps the resulting plan will surprise you, and it will surprise you negatively. It may seem that “there is nothing to do here, but the plan has been stretched out for two months.” Perhaps you are right, and in this case, you need to reconsider the duration and dependencies of tasks. But if this is your first time using this approach, I advise you to adopt the resulting business process improvement plan.
In some cases, you need to lay down + 30% of the time/resources of the project. It is the reality. Over time, you will be able to plan much more accurately. But at first, a plan with an accuracy of 70-80% is a very decent result.