You can’t truly manage your operation, and consistently produce your desired outcomes, without effectively owning your processes.
And in order 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.
Whereas 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 company process with your organisation’s strategic goals.
It ensures every action taken 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?
Process Management Skills For Success
When looking to introduce an optimal system for process management across your organisation, 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 6 traits relate primarily toward the business as a unit, and the latter 4 toward individual competencies and abilities.
Let’s dive in…
3 Transformational Competencies
As far as critical process management skills go; there needs to be a capacity to step back.
To be able to separate yourself and view the company through a wide lens and as a whole.
This is vital before embarking on any project.
Without an appreciation for the collective entity, alongside individual intricacies, opportunities will be missed or inappropriate solutions implemented.
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
Either way, without knowing what you’re aiming for, you can’t implement, or assess, the process you wish to introduce.
Likewise, 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.
Embracing Organisational Structure & Culture
In order to accurately build the vision in the first place, you need to factor in your organisation’s unique characteristics.
Rather than introducing processes that work for another, 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 don’t always want to upset the apple cart for the sake of it.
Communicating The Vision
Finally, if you are unable to communicate the vision i.e. your best practice, bespoke process, 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 it will benefit all affected, can the vision be realised.
3 Operational Competencies
The next 3 core traits take into account 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.
Akin to our first transformational competency, 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 customer processes… how many departments engage in one workflow, and how do their actions vary across individuals or locations?
Individuals will act in certain ways and these differences are only 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.
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 absentee adherence 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.
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 both impact and relative appropriateness of your process, you must be willing to constantly review performance.
Likewise, reflection enables you to identify trends with specific product lines, designers or installers to address and improve issues both quickly, and at the root cause.
“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
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.
4 “In Practice” Process Management Skills
Accepting the notion that process management guides a businesses activities to help them improve, you need to be adept in the following four practice areas to be truly successful.
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.
Particularly for a leader of process management, there needs to be an ability to encourage alignment and cooperation.
Process and strategy must coexist in order to maximise your gains.
In other words, 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.
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
Not only does having smaller goals help you gauge success, it also encourages progress as improvements can actually 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 and not capitalised upon.
Utilise the available technologies to ensure your processes are identified, adhered to and enhanced.
By harnessing these resources, 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.
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 align and enhance your process management skills and operations? Schedule a demo today.
Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.
October 7th, 2021-