18 Mar The Second Pillar of Scaling – Process
The Second Pillar of Scaling - Process.
Last week I introduced the topic of creating execution capability for businesses what want to scale. I talked about how people are one of the 3 critical ingredients needed to scale a business and I introduced some ideas about developing roles and responsibilities, effective recruiting of employees, and leadership and management styles that work. This week, I will be talking about building effective processes in your business.
Process is all about defining and refining how tasks are carried out in your business. Frequently, processes simply evolve over time and you may hear people claim they carry out a task in a particular way, simply because they always did it that way. This is not good enough if you want to scale your business.
From a purely practical point of view, how does one define and refine business processes? Well the place to start might involve making it someone’s responsibility in each functional area of your business to document every process in that function. So if you have a traditional company structure with, functions for Human Resources, Finance, Operations, Sales, Marketing, Administration – then you should have a defined lists of processes that reflect every activity in each of these areas.
For example, in the HR function, you will probably identify processes for the following activities:
- Sick Leave
- Performance Management
- Disciplinary Action
This is just a sample and there may be many more processes in your own HR function. Continue this documenting of processes in each of the other functional areas of your business until you are sure you have captured every task carried out right across your business. If there is nobody in your business who can do this for you, you can always get outside help from a business consultant.
Different organizations favor different ways of capturing their processes. My own preference is to use a visual workflow format. A simple way to start documenting processes in workflow maps is to use Microsoft Visio, which allows you to easily capture existing processes in a visual way, where each step in every process can be quickly examined, discussed, revised and refined.