Improve Business Processes

As more and more organisations look to improving their bottom line and their performance they need to know how they are doing. Organisations that adopt and use processes as the primary form of knowledge management within the organisation need to know if they can improve.

Assessing the organisational process maturity is one way to do just that.

business process maturity

So what it organisational process maturity?

This concept of organisational maturity through the lens of process usage was first adopted by the information technology sector many decades ago. The problem they were trying to solve was to do with how well they (IT) could pivot when the business required it. It turned out that if the processes were poor the time to pivot and respond to business requirements was poor (long and expensive).

This can now be applied to every aspect of a business. You can measure specific areas of a business for it’s process maturity and you can measure a business as a whole. The context for measuring business process maturity is to see if the business can respond rapidly to ever changing customer and contextual demands.

There are basically 6 levels of organisational (chosen area or whole organisation) maturity:

Level 0there are no processes evident. The owners and workers are not aware that there could be a process in place. We find this level or lack of maturity in most households, small businesses and startup businesses. Mostly people in these organisations are not even aware that they have issues that need addressing until it is too late.

Typical practices at level 0 – Processes are not even considered for tackling any tasks.

Level 1approaches are ad hoc and disorganised, driven by superhuman effort. This is where people carry specialised information in their heads, some things are written down or captured in ad hoc software. They are mostly reactive type processes that are applied on a case by case basis.

Typical practices at level 1- Largely dependent on people, Responsibility is assigned, Rely on people-based controls, Job descriptions and terms of reference exist.

Level 2Processes are repeatable but intuitive. There is no formal training on processes and responsibility for doing processes is left to the individual. Errors are not measured and changes to processes are infrequent.

Typical practices at level 2 – Policies in place. Roles and responsibilities are defined. Inherent risks are identified. Standardised procedures exist. Common practices within a business unit. Management supervision.

Level 3 Procedures are documented and standardised and communicated regularly through training. Processes are left to the individual to follow so deviations are often left undetected. Procedures themselves are not sophisticated but are the formalisation of existing practices.

Typical practices at level 3 – Effective and efficient. Well-defined processes. Enterprise -wide processes. Variations from standard still permitted.

Level 4Procedures are measured and monitored. Deviations are investigated and eliminated. Quality is monitored. There is constant improvement. Automation and tools are used to monitor outputs, outcomes and compliance.

Typical practices at level 4 – Monitor and measure quality. Process defects are corrected. Continuous improvement. Automation and tools exist / deployed.

Level 5 Processes have been refined to a state of best practice based on continuous improvement and comparisons with other market leaders. Processes are used as a competitive advantage, decision making criteria are documented and clear. The organisation is able to respond quickly to changes / demands on it based on it’s process knowledge NOT the gut feel of any individual.

Typical practices at level 5 – Processes are optimised. Competitive advantage gained. Quickly able to adapt. Agile organisation.

Process Blueprints - Click for more information
This is an additional bespoke service that we offer for companies who wish to expand in a controlled and standardised way. It is applicable to franchise operations, businesses with branches that need to adhere to standard operating procedures and businesses which have quality requirements and standards for the delivery of their products and services.

Normally this is done in conjunction with an improvement project or after processes have been improved.

Typically my involvement here is very hands on, dealing with the operational, management and owners if necessary. This project can be done remotely but if required, I am able to attend on premise consultations provided we can ensure everyone’s safety in therms of the prevailing COVID guidelines and restrictions.

The process is typically as follows:
1. We get on the phone or Zoom and chat for 30 minutes or longer if needs be;
2. If we both agree that I can be of assistance, I will send you a proposal and contract;
3. You sign the proposal, pay the deposit and we start work immediately;
4. We define and refine your strategic objective;
5. Once the strategic objective is clear we tackle your operating principles – these are the guidance you and your staff need to know how you operate;
6. Then we tackle the processes one at a time – if you have existing documented processes we look at those together and see if there are improvements that need to be made;
7. We then identify and document the remaining processes;
8. Finally, we ensure that each process group deliver the required outputs in terms of your defined measures and that together they produce the required outcome;
9. If required, we can help you design and implement a training regime that you can use to train and ‘onboard’ new staff and operational units – we recommend various online training software for this.

By the end of this project your business will have well documented processes that you will be able to roll out to your franchise or remote business units. You should also be in a position to be able to offer detailed training to any new locations that you wish to onboard.

Typical costs for this service start at £3,500 and the duration can be as short as 3 weeks but generally is about 6 weeks depending on the volume of processes. This is all covered in the initial consultation where I ensure we both agree on the scope of the project.