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Effective business processes, a guarantee of performance


Transformation from the ground or step-by-step change? When time has no more patience with the general directors, they need to choose the first option. But when management is careful about changes in the operating environment, changing step by step is the best solution.

Changes happen permanently in the eyes of decision makers. There are technologies and applications that increase efficiency, companies that build innovative business models, regulations that change the rules of the game, consumers with redefined needs. Against this backdrop, the response of the driving factors to the transformations must be synchronous with these, and the adaptations continue. The factors that help cultivate an open culture to improve processes are:

  1. Leadership support – For continuous improvement, leadership support is vital. Without top executives’ support, any initiative is suffocated from the very beginning. Leaders need to show what are the essential behaviors they expect from the team if they want those behaviors to be replicated.

Inspiring the feeling of trust that anyone can contribute to the ongoing change process matters. Designing a process to encourage improvement initiatives, including a quick analysis of their feasibility and the roadmap to the implementation decision, gives operational agility to the company. Communicating about and rewarding initiatives that have been successfully implemented adds to the success of similar future initiatives.

  1. Employee empowerment – Improving processes requires every individual, team or company time and thinking effort for that. The attention to the true cause that has generated the problem deviates to the consequences thereof. Therefore, the implementation of any change in the process should be done after identifying the root cause of the problem that has been in the way of improvement.

Asking the “why” question 5 times in a row is a good method to identify the operational malfunctions as well as the root cause and makes the employee responsible for finding a solution. Identifying the root cause is already half of the solution. It is in the power of each employee to find the solution, validate it with the other colleagues and, together, implement it.

  1. Constant purpose of improvement – Improvement must not be an activity that is suspended as soon as the problem has been resolved. It is good to be a constant concern of all the teams. The returning to old practices is very likely if the change that is generated is not practiced consistently and if the search for new solutions ceases. Far from being a management initiative, improving the processes should be an everyday exercise throughout the company.
  2. Long-term thinking – With the constant focus on yielding monthly or quarterly results, it is very difficult for managers to prioritize improvements that deliver long-term results. As a result, improvement is not only about thinking on how to achieve it but about the action that accompanies it. The management of the company should have a better insight on the need to make improvements and to allow periodic performance indicators to be set precisely in order to strengthen the long-term growth. This is the case with investments in refurbishment, human training and process rethinking.

So, if organizations want to successfully implement process improvement, leaders need to understand and support these processes, empower their employees, show continued commitment to pursuing the goal of improvement, and think about long-term improvement. That is how leaders can determine the level of support of the improvement projects, identify the parties involved, increase their acceptance, and determine the impact areas of the business improvement projects.

An organizational culture which is open to process improvement is centered on the employees. By increasing employees’ responsibility, continuous learning and professional development, by involving employees and rewarding their performance in the internal environment, a company designs itself as a reliable partner centered on customer experience in the external environment. 

Author: Alina Făniță, CEO PKF Finconta
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