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  • Writer's pictureCEO Tools

Map Out and Improve Your Processes

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

One of the most essential components of creating an autonomous organization is being able to create an autonomous business model and taking into account the seven basic processes.

Once your company has created an autonomous organization with sustainable systems and processes in place. You should continue to make improvements to the processes to deliver long-term vision while being responsive to immediate events successfully.

Process Improvement

Your company probably has established many processes for tasks such as generating a report, resolving a customer complaint, contacting a new client, or manufacturing a product. However, if the processes are ineffective or inefficient, then it can cause a number of issues and problems.

If your company has ineffective processes, they can negatively impact all aspects of your business ranging from dissatisfied customers, missed deadlines, increased costs, and overall organizational stress. Make sure you take the time to find and address any dysfunctional processes.

Map it Out

To work to improve your processes, start by documenting your current processes. This is known as mapping a process. The goal of mapping a process is to understand how your current process works from beginning to end. Methods for mapping your process can vary from simple flow charts to more complex diagrams and models. A favorite is a very visual diagram created by Kaoru Ishakawa in the late 1960s and known as a fishbone diagram.

The fishbone diagram is a helpful tool because it displays a timeline that extends from the beginning of the process. It also shows customers' activities in chronological sequence and to the bottom of the timeline to indicate the company's activities along the timeline. The movement of actions going back and forth is how the diagram gets a pattern resembling a fishbone.

The 5 Whys

After you finished mapping out your steps then you can examine the whole process and ask a series of questions, the 5 Whys:

  • Where is our process strongest?

  • Where is the process weakest, causing us to lose customers?

  • Where do we need to add new resources?

  • What parts no longer add value and can be eliminated or reduced?

  • How can we improve the desired outcome by changing the process?

Once a problem area is identified, then you can utilize the 5 Whys to make improvements. When you can use the 5 Whys to identify the root cause of the problem. Then, you can revamp the whole process to work more efficiently and add more value to your company.

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