Effective systems can save you and your team time, money
and frustration. A system means things are done consistently,
regardless of who does it. Strive to systemize about 80%
of all the processes you have in business… efficiency and
profitability with improve as a result.
Systems run your business… People run your systems… You lead your people…
There are four basic steps to systemization:
- Flowchart your processes.
– This will show you how it all fits together.
- Document how it gets done.
– Get the team member who is doing the job to write down every step in performing a task.
- Measure results using key performance indicators (KPIs).
– Typically, these will be the top five measures showing system performance. Get these from the person doing the job (in sales # of leads, conversion rate, for ex.)
- Allow the system to change/grow as your business changes and grows.
– Ensure that the system is self-correcting and that your team continuously improves the process to allow it to evolve as your business evolves.
- Employees who do the work should do the mapping
- Get clear definition of process start and end activities
- Establish process inputs / outputs and overall objectives
Make diagrams for all of the activities that show:
- The results that you want
- The amount of workflow
- The people who are accountable
- Identify the Requirements of Customers and Suppliers
Next, each team needs to work out who the suppliers and customers of the process are. This step is critical as it identifies who the team needs to work with collaboratively to maximize business results.
- Identify a Process Owner for each process
For each process, specify one Process Owner. Identifying one person who is responsible for the process end to end is critical to ensuring process efficiency.
- Keep the level of detail appropriate for the exercise
The magic of process maps lay in their seemingly simple visual presentation of complex ideas. One picture can tell a thousand words. Each process map should take up no more than one page, with its definition taking up just one other.
- Use mapping conventions that are common or standardized
Standardize on mapping conventions and formatting of the maps. Mapping symbols, flow direction, page layout, fonts, titling and so on, should be the same from one map to another.
- Get agreement on the process
The most beautifully documented process will mean nothing if there is little commitment from the main participants to follow them. Get formal sign-off from the process-mapping team leader, the Process Owner and the managers of the interfacing processes (both supplier and customer).
- Document the process
The most important thing that team leaders can do after the team agrees on the process definition and steps is to write it down.
- Articulate management commitment and train your teams
- Use the mapping process as a basis for further improvement
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