You can’t manage your operation, and consistently produce desired outcomes, without effectively owning your processes.
And to fully control your operation, you need to embrace effective process management.
“A poorly implemented, or non-existent, process can be hugely detrimental to an organisation.
The right one can enable you to predictably generate success.”Process Management 101
Loosely defined, process management is the practice of aligning each and every process with your strategic goals.
It ensures every action, across the business, is completed with one of your key aims in mind.
In other words, process management puts every employee on the same page, ready to pull in the same direction.
But what skills are required to put you in pole position to capitalise?
What Skills Do You Need For Success?
When looking to introduce an optimal system for process management, no matter your size, there are 10 key skills and traits that will ensure you reap the maximum rewards.
Here we’ll divide the 10 into 3 subcategories.
The first 3 traits are transformational, the next 3 operational and the final 4 cover process in practice.
Let’s dive in…
Transformational Process Management Skills
When it comes to critical process management skills; there needs to be a capacity to step back.
To be able to separate yourself from the here and now and view the company through a wide lens. As a whole.
This is vital before embarking on any project.
Without an appreciation for the collective, opportunities will be missed or inappropriate solutions implemented.
1) Building The Vision
First and foremost, there needs to be an end goal in mind.
In this case, it could be your perfect customer journey. Or the ideal support interaction sequence.
“If you want to reach a goal, you must see the reaching in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.”Zig Ziglar
Without knowing what you’re aiming for, you can’t implement or assess the process you wish to introduce.
There has to be a desire to align and adhere to best practice.
If the vision isn’t shared, it’ll struggle to get off the ground.
2) Embracing Organisational Structure & Culture
In order to build the vision, you need to factor in your organisation’s unique characteristics.
Rather than introducing processes that work for a competitor, consider how such a process would work in practice.
There’s no use copying success; you need to carve out your own.
Similarly, consider whether your culture is right for any changes you wish to make.
You needn’t upset the apple cart for the sake of it.
3) Communicating The Vision
If you are unable to communicate the vision, then how can you expect your team to adhere to it?
There must be total buy in, and consistency across the board.
Only through effective communication, and the explanation of how any process change will be of benefit, can the vision be realised.
Operational Process Management Skills
The next 3 core traits explore the business as an operational entity.
Whilst transformational competencies focus on desire, operational competencies hone in on the innate ability for a company to change.
4) Process Discovery
Akin to our first transformational skill, there needs to be an ability for the business to discover precisely which processes do and don’t work.
Only then can you decipher how to double down on them.
This is particularly important for organisations operating across multiple sites, or containing multiple, contributory teams.
Consider your own processes, how many departments engage in one workflow? How do their actions vary across individuals or locations?
Individual differences are further magnified if each cluster, or store, has variations on their own theme.
As a business you need to be able to explore how processes are driven in different locations to identify those which operate most effectively.
5) Process Compliance
Once you’ve discovered your processes, and defined your best practice, the next skill is ensuring adherence.
If you can’t get everyone on the same page, albeit with room for people to lend personality to their actions, you can’t align your goals.
A lack of management means no matter how much you want a particular process to be followed, there is no guarantee it will be.
In reality, the consequence of absent compliance is that two customers’ requiring the same product will receive a different service and experience depending on who or how they engage with your team.
6) Process Review
Finally, and arguably the most crucial of these 3 competencies, is an ability for your process to be effective on a operational level.
In order to assess the impact and appropriateness of your process, you must be willing to constantly review performance.
“It’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.”Inc
Reflection enables you to identify trends with specific product lines, designers or installers to address as well as solve any issues quickly and quietly.
Change is not a one off event. It must be a part of a process of continuous improvement.
What worked once may not work universally or forever.
Through reflection, you can identify how to further improve and optimise your process workflows.
In Practice Process Management Skills
These final four process management skills relate more to individual competencies than organisational characteristics.
Through these, your process management leaders can shine; helping you to achieve the results you most desire.
7) Encouraging Alignment
There needs to be an ability to encourage alignment and cooperation.
Process and strategy must coexist in order to maximise your gains.
If your processes don’t gear each action undertaken toward your ultimate strategic goals, the endeavour is wasted.
Resources are tight and efficiency is a prerequisite for success.
Don’t hold yourself, or your business back, by allowing a conflict of interests.
8) Instigating Benchmarking
Intrinsically linked to alignment, businesses must understand what the aims are for both the long and short term process strategy and introduce benchmarks for progress.
“If you’re not benchmarking your performance, you’re just playing with yourself.”Al Paison
Breaking down larger goals into smaller milestones helps you gauge success and encourages progress as improvements can easily be seen and measured.
Without benchmarking, you have no idea if your process is working.
This creates a risk of mistakes going unrectified or successes being missed.
9) Deploying Technology
Utilise the available technologies to ensure your processes are identified, adhered to and enhanced.
You not only make your own life easier, but make it much simpler for everyone on the team to follow your bespoke, best practice workflows.
Anthill allows you to custom build your ideal process and align everyone, no matter their role or location, on the same path.
Without deploying the right technology, you are immediately, and significantly, restricting your capacity to effectively manage vital business processes.
10) Accommodating Flexibility
Analysis, and a capacity to accept alternatives is vital.
Ego cannot influence a process, even if you came up with a workflow soon to be changed.
Be prepared to evolve. To discover new options and build emerging rules in.
Only through accommodating flexibility can you account for market changes and jump on the latest trends ahead of the competition.
Alignment and consistency is essential, but too much rigidity can leave you behind.
Interested to explore how Anthill can help you enhance your process management skills? Schedule a demo today.
September 1st, 2022-