Tips for resourcing your process improvement efforts.
What do processes have to do with people? Everything. Having the support of the right people can position your business process management plans for success.
But more often than not, business teams are already working at full capacity. Before approaching your leadership team for additional budget and headcount to adequately resource your ongoing improvement initiatives, consider ways to maximize the talent and skills your organization already has at its disposal.
Take people on the journey with you.
Your people execute business processes every day - they are your richest source of information.
When teams are empowered with time and resources to get the job done, they can successfully capture, review, update and share business processes that people will actually use.
Embed a culture of process improvement in your organization by involving them in the following ways:
- Carefully select who will contribute. By including the right people from across the whole business, you can be sure you’re getting accurate information from every level, making the information relevant to everyone.
- Ask experts for feedback. Encourage teams to capture the as-is state of their processes. They know their own processes best, are most passionate about them, and may very well have developed workarounds for ‘official’ procedures that don’t work.
- Share your wins. Update the organization on your progress, so it raises the profile of your process improvement initiatives, keeps everyone on the same page, and inspires more people to participate.
Let the benefits of additional resources speak for themselves.
First build an environment that understands the importance of continuous improvement, and create teams of people who are passionate about process management. When you have the support of the right people, they can help you make a strong case for additional resources.
Here are 7 things you can do to raise an awareness of the benefits a well-rounded team can bring to your process improvement efforts:
- Bide your time
Before you dive headlong into asking for additional resources, take the time to think about what you want to achieve in the long term.
Canvas support without rushing the process – plant the seed by talking to people informally. Share your vision of what the organization can achieve by building a culture of process improvement, and highlight the business benefits to those who have a vested interest in seeing them realized.
- Single out the tall trees
Selecting motivated advocates will help you secure support and fast-track your process improvement efforts. Tall trees can come from all levels of your organization, including people who fill roles like process improvement champions, CEOs, exec sponsors and senior managers.
By using their influence, this group have the power to convince your senior execs of the value of providing additional resources to achieve the end goal.
- Showcase your vision
Clear, frequent communication ensures that teams across your organization are up to date with your process improvement progress – or lack thereof. It also helps to keep your process improvement initiatives at the forefront of everyone’s minds, particularly exec sponsors and leaders who manage the purse strings and allocate budget.
Prepare the people who fill continuous improvement roles to step up and influence the way your teams think about process improvement. They are also in a position to provide sound advice on resourcing, if decision-makers ask for their recommendations.
- Highlight the gaps
Measure your progress so you can share facts and figures with the leadership team. Then keep your organization up to date with the details, involving senior execs in the delivery of your messaging.
Share the successes of those teams that are making headway. This can inspire others to follow suit, as well as make it obvious to leadership teams where additional resources are required.
- Keep an ear to the ground
Look for ongoing improvement opportunities. By reading reports, attending meetings and chatting to colleagues, you can become aware of issues or challenges where sound process management can help to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Use these incidents to illustrate exactly which business hurdles the additional resources can help to address.
- Encourage growth
When teams are struggling because they lack the resources to do their jobs well, they can become demotivated and slow to buy into the benefit of process improvement.
Encourage business teams to contribute to improvement efforts by incentivizing them. Make process improvement part of their professional development, add measures to their key performance indicators, and make them aware they’re growing their skillset by participating in improvement initiatives. Make your senior exec team aware of this uptick in engagement.
- Share the spoils
Make it obvious to people what they stand to gain when they contribute to a healthy process improvement culture. Benefits could include more satisfying work, less disruption, greater collaboration, and tangible business successes.
Demonstrate how all these things are within their reach with a few simple changes to their routine. Show them the change that can be affected by being a process champion and process expert, and how these roles can help them to progress their careers.
Work from the ground up.
Start the process improvement conversation and embed an improvement culture in your teams to fast-track your improvement efforts. When people are invested in process improvement, they take a personal interest in its outcomes, and will vouch for current business challenges and the ways in which additional resources can help them to work effectively and efficiently.
Guest blogger bio.
Kate Smith, customer success manager at Nintex Promapp, is passionate about helping organizations optimize and succeed both at a strategic and operational level.
She thrives on shaping ambiguity into processes, and finding creative solutions to overcome challenges by building long-term relationships and understanding businesses’ individual needs.