Successful businesses must continuously evaluate their business processes. With technology helping businesses evolve on an ongoing basis, it’s imperative to recognize that there are always new and better ways in which businesses can function as a whole.
By improving current processes, businesses can see important increases in efficiency, profitability and customer experience. But how does one build a strong enough business case to sell the value of process improvement? Well, the answer lies directly in the strategy you use to build your case and in the data you use to support your claims.
In order for any new business idea to be perceived as impactful and revolutionary, it must start by being discussed on an ongoing basis by decision makers within the organization. It is unlikely that anyone with decision making power within a business will adopt a new concept if they are not hearing about it on a daily basis.
As obvious as it sounds, it’s worth noting that process improvement, like any other concept, must be considered a part of the daily business operations. Decision-makers discuss business process priorities and goals frequently to maximize adoption.
Statistics is an essential tool to have when building your business case, as they can arm you with the knowledge you need to empirically prove the benefits of process improvement. Business owners rely on data to make many decisions, ensuring that they are mitigating risk.
In such a case, it is useful to hone in on the quantifiable specifics of how process improvement will impact the business culture, it’s overall efficiency, productivity and, of course, financial success.
For instance, a recent study found that 54% of process improvements impacted quality, staff satisfaction and customer satisfaction positively, across all businesses globally. That’s a huge impact and one that most business owners would heavily consider when deciding on implementing process improvement. Thus, there is power in numbers, especially when you’re trying to prove your case.
Once you convince business owners, employees, the clients themselves and other stakeholders on the new process, you can start building a strategy for implementation.
Keep it Structured
When a process is properly structured, it can have a direct and very positive impact on almost all departments or employees within an organization. This ensures you have a solid plan of action set out for implementation, allowing you to easily measure results of the change on an ongoing basis. Measuring the impact can be difficult, but if you’re able to align with the business’ overall objectives, it’s a lot easier to sell your case.
It’s necessary to connect the long-term objectives of the organization with the implementation of a new process. They key here is to maintain structure when building a case for it, showing how all aspects of this process will affect each and every facet of an organization.
Meeting with employees in all levels of the organization also helps with building a process that is much easier to both implement and sell internally. Understanding the needs, issues and expectations of those within an organization can prove to be impactful in building a process that positively impacts the vast majority of those involved. Often times, it’s not just about what makes sense for the business financially, but how it might enhance the company culture and improve employee satisfaction as well.
Additionally, it’s essential to hone in on how this process will impact the company’s current technology. Proving that the implementation of the new process will be a smooth transition that support existing systems, can be used as a compelling case when selling the idea.
Also, if your company is facing particular hurdles at the moment, these can be proven to be mitigated by well-structured processes, and this argument can also be positioned for the benefit of selling the concept.
Target Quick Wins Early
Getting company-wide buy-in might be the most difficult part as it’s impossible to promise business owners that they’ll see success right off the bat. The reality is that process improvement is incremental, meaning that the business will see an enhancement in its culture, productivity, efficiency and finances, in small steps, over time.
However, quick wins can be leveraged to show the immediate benefits of process improvement and demonstrate value early on, regardless of how small. Business owners, in particular, want to see tangible and quantifiable results as soon as possible.
Notwithstanding this, small, incremental wins can show immediate benefit and prove that it is important to create a culture of continuous process improvement to maximize long-term value.