Business process management is a very important part of your business. A part that requires constant upkeep. A question I regularly ask is “How often do you manage your business processes and keep them up to date?” Often people will say, “Oh my processes? … Yeah I did that last year and they are all fine.”
When I hear this I’m thinking to myself, “Has anything changed in your business, in the way you’re running things between last year and this year?”
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” Tony Robbins
I hope so. If you’re continuing to get better and improving all the time, such change is a natural part of that process. After all the time spent developing them, an effort should be made to shape your written and video work instructions to your current needs. The best way to manage your processes is to have one central planner map out when each item needs review. It makes things so much easier to coordinate.
Business process management should be important enough for you to set aside a few hours each month. At the start of each new year, you plan this out by scheduling dates and times to complete your system maintenance. Here are four ways to get the most out of these updates.
Routine Task Review
Make a schedule for maintaining your staff’s routine tasks. I recommend doing this review of your staff processes four times a year. Your team’s work instructions might be spelt out in a document, which I call a Routine Task document. They might have their tasks organised in their Trello, Monday, or ClickUp. Check if the instructions for these tasks can be easily followed by someone else for the same result. If not, then you can assume they need to be fixed up, and it’s your team members’ responsibility to do just that.
As well as a robust schedule of reviews, you should do spot checks of your business processes about once a month. This means that you as the owner, or a delegated team leader, check up on your staff’s task routines. Ask questions like, “Does this task work? Do the links work? Are the resources still working?” Business process management constantly evolves, so these steps need to be updated. In that spot check, it’s the staff member who needs to update their work instructions when the need for fixes emerges. Remember to follow up with them or their leader to make sure it’s ticked off.
Update Business Manuals
Once a month you should also be updating your business manuals. Choose a different one each month. What this means is if you’ve got a manual for your Marketing, you jump in one month and you check it to make sure it is up to date. If not, you or your team member should make the required corrections as part of the maintenance routine. The next month you would move on and do a different one. Say your Team Care manual. Then the month after, you might do your Admin manual. This way you’ll get through each of the larger documents once each year to keep them updated.
Task Swap Days
Finally, you’ve got task swapping days. This is where you are going to ask your team members to do each other’s tasks. It might only be for half a day, it might only be four or five key tasks. What you’re doing here is giving an opportunity to follow someone else’s instructions. If they find the instructions confusing and it doesn’t lead to a great result, then they need to be updated. Look to do this four times a year. Business process management relies on clear directions, and this is integral.
So that’s how you’re going to make sure your systems are clean and clear, and your processes are updated and maintained. Business process management is the lifeblood of your business. Get it right and the sky’s the limit!