Generating good results, optimizing processes, reducing costs, and increasing productivity, quality and profitability are the objectives of any organization. While this may be a challenge, the answer lies in process management. To do this, it is necessary to identify inefficient processes in your organization. Aaron Rodriguez applies his knowledge as a business optimizer to discuss how to identify problems efficiently in the workplace.
Business activities must be taken as key processes. It is a culture change and should be part of your organization’s quality policy. Process management is a methodology for continuous evaluation, analysis, and improvement of the performance of the processes that have the greatest impact on the satisfaction of customers and other interested parties, such as Senior Management and Shareholders.
“Process management seeks to align the organization’s functions with customer needs, promoting an environment conducive to change and continuous improvement, as well as organizational growth,” Rodriguez explains. “To achieve efficient process management, organizational activities need to be treated as processes and not as functions, departments or products.”
Even so, this is not always the case. You may be making mistakes that allow you to identify inefficient processes in your organization. Indications that process management is failing can be seen in a lack of planning. This prevents you from implementing strategic actions within your organization. The strategic vision must be translated into goals and performance frameworks that make oversight and monitoring possible.
Involving employees and having a work plan and a defined methodology are crucial steps in process management. Managing communication within the team is as important as any other process within your organization. Identifying its elements, the possible forms of communication, and the parties involved is the first and perhaps one of the most important steps.
If information is treated as relevant, communication will flow and knowledge will spread much more efficiently. Meetings should be regular and have a predefined guideline that makes them objective and effective.
With individual objectives and goals, areas seek to optimize their performance without considering the overall competencies and performance of the organization as a whole. When competition is observed instead of cooperation between areas and departments, a lack of synergy is evident. An example of this is when there is a lack of synchronization between the production and commercial areas, which is why the factory cannot meet customer orders.
Replacing a defective product when a customer complaint is filed, as the only corrective action to a nonconformity incident, is the best example of a lack of preventive culture. Although the change solves the customer’s dissatisfaction (sometimes only temporarily), this action does not affect the production area. It prevents taking preventive actions, such as investigating the origin of the problem, and solving it so that it does not happen again.
An organizational culture focused on blame occurs when the organization’s mentality only seeks to find the culprits, without attacking the causes and origin. This causes inefficient processes not to be identified, which makes them recurrent.
Corrective actions in these cases end up being palliative since they usually do not treat the origin but the symptoms of the problem. A clear example of this is firing an employee who has made a mistake without establishing whether the mistake was due to a lack of knowledge of corporate standards, or because the employee did not receive proper training.
“Normally, vertical structures end up being inefficient in decision making and problem-solving, since initiatives must be submitted for approval at many hierarchical levels before being implemented,” Rodriguez points out. Inefficiency is characterized by the fact that people do not have the information and authority levels to carry out activities and meet demands on time.