Process consulting helps you address a fundamental business management area of process improvement. Due to constant changes in the global business environment, every business needs to constantly evaluate operations and improve business process management to sharpen its competitive edge and stay relevant.
Keep in mind that you will need to improve most processes at some point. As your business evolves and competition grows, effective business processes of today may become ineffective and outdated tomorrow. So if you don’t have a strategy for business process improvement, your company may face problems in the long run and you even may lose everything you have worked for.
The definition of business process improvement is rather simple. It means redesigning the existing business operations and getting rid of non-value adding costs and activities to achieve significant improvement in productivity, quality, and response time of the business process. In simple words, you need to take a look at your organization and figure out how you can do things better. If you want to learn more about process improvement and its tools, you can read a detailed article on our blog.
Want to improve processes in your organization to bring efficiency to your business and need advice on how to do it right? Read on to learn how to manage a process improvement project. We will also discuss the pros and cons of process consulting and give you some recommendations on how to choose business process consulting services.
Process Improvement Consulting – What Are The Pros And Cons?
The success of your business largely depends on the effectiveness of its processes. If the processes are ineffective they lead to a waste of resources. Besides, there is always room for improvement.
Process improvement can help you drastically improve efficiency in your company and free your company’s staff to focus on really important things that bring value, more strategic projects or innovation. But what if you don’t have time or know-how to analyze your current business process and find existing operational gaps that you need to attack first? There is a simple solution – you can hire a business process consultant.
Many top-performing businesses often turn to business process management consulting firms to get help with their process improvement projects and for a good reason. An experienced consulting firm can help you in performing a wide variety of tasks and you will be able to reap all the benefits without spending tons of your precious time on assessing your business and talking to all employees involved in the process. Wondering what experienced process consultants can do to help you? Let me explain. For example, they can:
- Document your workflows and current processes accurately
- Create a precise picture of all your operations that highlights all gaps
- Identify opportunities for improvement and prioritize them
- Find tasks that can be automated with advanced software
- Identify redundant processes that should be eliminated
- Develop and implement business process improvement solutions
- Make your business processes more efficient
Still, hiring external process improvement consultants has both good and bad sides. To help you make an informed decision about whether you need process consulting for your organization, we will discuss the pros and cons of hiring external consultants in the next sections.
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Benefits Of Process Improvement Consulting
- Expertise from multiple projects in various markets. Typically, consultants have practical experience in running process improvement projects across a wide variety of industries. They are experts in advanced tools and best-practice methodologies.
- Avoiding common mistakes. Chances are that process consultant have experience in your exact field and have seen a similar situation before in their past projects. They will be able to develop the best solution for your specific situation.
- Knowledge transfer. To ensure the success of your project, consultants will teach you and your employees how to use tools and develop a sustainable process improvement system.
Disadvantages Of Working With Process Consulting Firms
- You need to pay for consulting services. It’s important to select the right consultant so that you don’t waste money.
- A decrease of motivation in the team. You’ll need to explain to your employees why you are hiring an external consultant. Make sure all your relevant team members have the role in the project to feel involved in the decision-making process.
Process Consulting Makes The Projects Run Seamlessly
In businesses, things go wrong practically all the time. We often blame people for inefficiency and ineffective work but the truth is that the vast majority of problems are caused by following poor processes. The only way to change things for the better is to have a system of process improvement. You have to identify the right process, make changes to improve it, and take necessary measures to have those alterations stick. Sounds challenging, right?
But if you have an idea to improve your business process, you should act and make it a reality. To help you get started, I will explain the key steps in the process improvement cycle.
1. Identify the need to change
Conduct a process audit to find current issues or determine potential risks for your business. Review what impact each process has on your company. Prioritize areas for future improvement and select the process to improve.
2. Map out the process
Find out how your process is carried out. Map the process to visualize the current steps and see the process as a whole. You should consult the members of the team who use the process regularly to ensure that you don’t miss something important. Explore each step in detail because some processes may include sub-steps invisible at the first glance.
3. Analyze the current process
Analyze what is happening and find out what’s causing the problem. Take a closer look at every step and identify problem areas where you spend too much money, use a lot of resources or where delays typically occur. You need to discover the root of the problem to understand how you can fix it. To do that, you can use such methods as Six Sigma process mapping or the root cause analysis.
4. Design the improvement process
This step should be completed with your team. First, you can do some research to learn how your competitors are solving similar problems. Then, brainstorm the ideas with your team members and analyze each of them, by conducting an Impact Analysis. To spot potential risks, you should carry out Risks Analysis. Think about how long it will take to carry out each idea. Choose the best solution to eliminate the problem.
5. Assign resources
List everything that you will need to get the project done. You might need to talk with colleagues from other departments who will be also impacted by the changes to determine what to include in the list. Explain the new process and its benefits for your organization. Use process maps as a reference.
6. Develop a plan for the process improvement implementation
Make your plan as detailed as possible. You need to list specific tasks for all the resources. Create a timeline to show when each task will begin and when it will finish.
7. Make the change
Communicate the plan to your team to reduce the chance that they will resist the new process. Start making improvements and follow the plan. It’s likely that you may need to organize training for your employees, purchase new software or hire a new team member.
You should consider running a test before you deploy the improvements to see what you have missed and to discover potential problems and bottlenecks. Then, you’ll need to suggest new improvements to fix them.
Keep in mind that your staff members can be resistant to the change, especially if they have been using the process for some time. There are some tools you can use to overcome that resistance such as Change Curve.
8. Monitor and optimize
Don’t expect that everything will go smoothly from the start. Process improvement is a continuous effort. Monitor how things are going to ensure that your employees follow the process and that everything is proceeding just as it was planned. Ask your team members how the process is working and fix all problems as they occur.
Adopt continuous improvement strategies to ensure that your process stays efficient and relevant as your business grows. Remember that the process improvement can only be effective if you use appropriate methodologies to execute it. If you need additional information and want to learn more about how to use standardized project management methodologies and techniques, you can read this article.
We have discussed a basic model which is the easiest to follow. But you may want to tailor your process improvement method to suit your specific business model. It’s important to choose the process improvement methodology that is best for your business because every situation is unique.
Well, I am not saying that managing a process improvement project is easy. Of course, process improvement has a lot of pitfalls but it’s the only way to prevent disasters, boost efficiency, and scale your business. Besides, you can always hire an experienced process consultant who can help avoid possible mistakes.
Finding the Best Process Consulting Services
The idea of process consulting is that it will lead to change and improvement. That’s why it is critical to find a firm that offers a full range of process consulting services and can help you make your business be the best version of itself. Here are some tips on how to choose a business process consulting firm you can rely on.
1. Consider their previous experience
First, you have to verify their competency so you should review their track record. Find out how successful they have been with their previous projects and how satisfied their clients were. You may be inclined to choose a process consultant with direct experience in your industry but it isn’t the most important factor. Your team members are experienced in your niche and they will be able to convey the basic principles if necessary. And the primary task of your consultant is to help your employees learn how to fix the existing processes and constantly improve them.
2. Verify their communication style
Teamwork is very important so you should choose consultants with strong communication skills. Remember: good communication is the key to the success of your project. Your consultant should be able to convince your team that the things need to be changed. Besides, good consultants are skilled listeners and can ask the right questions.
3. Check how flexible they are
Choose consultants who know how to adapt to your company’s culture. They need to be flexible and be able to recommend the best solution for your specific situation. You can’t use the one-size-fits-all model for improving processes.
4. Think about ROI
Remember: you get what you pay for. Choosing a process improvement consultant with the lowest rate is not the best idea. It can be a mistake you’ll pay for long-term. You need experts and they cost money. Improving your process can’t be done in a few hours so don’t expect that it will be cheap. You’d better think about whether the price of process consulting can bring a worthwhile investment.
Have a project in mind? Let’s discuss it!
Business Process Consulting At Quandary
Quandary team can help you with your process improvement project, just share your objectives with us. We will be happy to start when you need it at any stage and work remotely or at your location. Here is what you can expect:
- Our team will use advanced analytics tools to identify the major cause of your business issues.
- We will listen and ask a lot of questions.
- We will map the processes and analyze them to find gaps and inefficiencies.
- We will use state-of-the-art technology to suggest the best solutions that fit your needs and implement them quickly and effectively.
- We will provide long-term support to ensure that the solution is relevant to the changing business environment and brings positive results.
Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with a business process improvement specialist!