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What is Process Review and is it right for your business?

Are you considering commissioning a consultant to carry out a business process review? If so, it is essential to understand exactly what is involved, how it could help your business and most importantly whether it’s right for your organisation. In this article, I answer all your questions including giving my unbiased opinion as to when and if it can be worthwhile for a small business. 


An introduction to process review


A process review is an in-depth examination of an organisation's operations. The aim is to identify any pain points, bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and other areas for improvement. To achieve this, a JNBA consultant undertakes a four-step process as follows:



STEP 2: Process Mapping/Data Analysis


STEP 3: Process Review/Improvement


STEP 4: Control Advice


Essentially, a process review will analyse your current business processes and identify: 


  • Best practice

  • Pain points 

  • Changes that would allow you to streamline operations and increase efficiency 


The aim of conducting a process review is usually to enhance performance, increase productivity or reduce costs. Market conditions and customer expectations evolve quickly in a business environment. Therefore many large organisations will commission a process review to allow them to remain competitive, even if the leadership are unaware of any problems.


Text image: Process review. Photograph of Julie from JNBA consultancy behind the text. Julie is working at a desk with a pen and paper and a laptop is open beside her.


Benefits of Process Review


The benefits of a process review will vary by organisation. Whilst I can let you know about the positive impact a review can have in general terms, it is important to set your own KPIs for the process. That said, benefits may include: 


  • Identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies

  • Improve employee morale

  • Streamline operations and workflow

  • Increase productivity

  • Reduce costs

  • Enhance quality

  • Improve customer and stakeholder satisfaction 

  • Continuous improvement

  • Identify opportunities for automation

  • Remain competitive in constantly changing markets

  • Adapt to new technologies

  • Maintain peak performance

  • Effectively maximise resources



When is Process Review Necessary?


As mentioned above, organisations embark on process reviews for a variety of reasons. However, if you are experiencing one of the following and haven’t already been in touch with a business analyst, I would put some serious thought into commissioning a process review: 


  • Business expansion or rapid growth: A process review will ensure effective scaling. 

  • Challenges or inefficiencies have been identified: It’s time to look into areas for optimisation or improvement.

  • Experiencing a decline in customer satisfaction or overall performance: Bringing in a consultant will help you to identify those pain points that are having an impact on your results.

  • You are considering purchasing new software or equipment: Conducting a thorough analysis beforehand will ensure it is a worthy improvement that is fit for purpose. 



Considerations for Small Businesses


You may be surprised to hear that I rarely take on process reviews within small organisations. This is because large organisations will gain much more from business analysis in terms of the cost-benefit ratio. Having said that, in certain circumstances (as listed above), a process review will benefit a small business. That's why JNBA Consultancy has come up with a different way of working that will keep the costs down for you:


Cost-effective options for small businesses


  1. A JNBA Consultant can train YOUR employees in process review and continuous improvement. This will allow trusted stakeholders to carry out a review of a process or department under my guidance. It's a great way to help your business move forward without bearing the full cost of a business-wide review.

  2. If you are struggling with an individual process, we can carry out a carefully targeted review of that area of the business. For example, if you are struggling to meet customer expectations in a particular area, we will help you to identify the root cause.


If you do decide to go ahead with a process review as a small organisation, it is important to make sure all employees understand the process and the reason for the review. You will also need to take into consideration the potential for disruption to individual departments, particularly during the scoping exercise. 


A business analyst will need to spend a significant amount of time with relevant stakeholders in order to properly understand their area of work. In a small organisation, this could potentially introduce a workload backlog and even cause problems with morale. 


Likewise, small businesses will need to ensure that any recommendations made by the business analyst can be implemented without causing a strain on resources. 


Conclusion


Consistently evaluating and improving processes can allow organisations to adapt to market conditions and remain competitive within their industry. Process review and optimisation will also enable them to respond to changing customer demands, which can result in enhanced business growth and success. Regular reviews will foster a culture of continuous improvement, creativity and innovation. 


However, the most important thing before embarking on a business process review is to make sure it is the right thing for your organisation. If you are not sure and want to discuss the matter further, contact me for an honest opinion. 

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