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How to Streamline Business Processes and Workflows to Improve Efficiency

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

Streamlining is the process used to simplify or eliminate unnecessary work-related tasks to improve the efficiency of processes in businesses or organizations. Streamlining processes require the usage of modernizing techniques, technology and other possible approaches to complete.

Streamlining processes and workflows may take some time and is best completed in small steps that contribute to your organization's improved efficiency goals. Businesses may streamline processes by reviewing the details of how they manage their individual challenges. Your organization needs to decide which areas to streamline. Here are 6 steps you may try to streamline processes and workflows to improve efficiency:

  1. Assess current state processes and workflows When you assess your current processes and workflows it will be easier to get an overall idea of the exact what is done before you can notice what areas could be greatly improved by streamlining. For instance, it may be helpful to list your processes and workflow in the most simplistic terms, write down what you believe the benefits of each process is and list each person involved in the process.

  2. Rank and prioritize processes It is likely surprising to find out exactly how many processes and workflows are actually carried out to complete goals or tasks. Many processes are interrelated an may not be as important. Write down a list of processes from most important to least important. This will help you to decide which process to streamline first, second, third and so on.

  3. Analyze outcomes Once you have assessed the processes and workflows, you may analyze the outcomes or results of them. This gives you a perspective on processes that are tedious, unnecessary and not budget-friendly. For example, you may note in the assessment that there are five bins of paper shredded and taken to the trach each day. When you analyze the outcome you should calculate the cost of the toner and paper, the time employees spend printing and shredding and compare what a new software could do to improve a certain process or workflow in your organization or department.

  4. Ask for feedback Colleagues, coworkers or employees may have valuable feedback about the workflow chain or process. Many of these individuals likely have their own ideas on how processes are working and how they can be improved to save time and complete tasks and goals more efficiently. There are often small details that can be improved to streamline processes and they can be easily missed unless you ask for feedback from those with whom you work with. For instance, you may want to try holding a meeting to discuss areas of improvement or you may generate a survey based on various processes and workflows and have your employees submit answers anonymously to avoid bias.

  5. Streamline and automate processes There are now many modern workflow software solutions that help with streamlining business processes and workflows. They are often referred to as business process management software. Each one has its own features and capabilities that will benefit different career fields and organizations. However, most BPMs (Business Process Management) are designed to have similar benefits such as making it east to collect data in a central location, automating steps in business workflow and generating better visibility with graphs, charts and reports. Try researching software that may work for your organization and check to see what your competitors are using to streamline their processes.

  6. Adjust and refine There is no perfect process or workflow and they will likely require continuous adjustment or refinements. You may want to change the streamlining processes based on your results. It may also take time to train employees properly on the new processes and not every employee may get the process down correctly the first time. When you refine processes and workflows, it requires you to be patient and ask for additional feedback from clients and employees.

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