When should you review business processes?

Businesses should try not to avoid reviewing business processes. Businesses need both regular and impromptu reviews in order to remain fit for purpose. While reviews can take time and resource, they are needed if the busines is to be forefront of its industry and its customers’ minds.

Why review business processes?

Reviewing business processes is about ensuring those processes are the best they can be for serving the needs of your customers, internal and external, and those of your business. Changes in demand and market environment, not to mention unforeseen events, can mean you need to review your processes, not just regularly, but suddenly and unexpectedly.

Reviews are about driving change and ensuring the optimum direction and focus of your operation is maintained. But as reviews can be time-consuming, with sometimes significant implications for far-reaching, complex changes in the organisation, they are often avoided by business owners.

Reviews for ISO 9001

If you have a certified quality management system (QMS) like ISO 9001 then you will be used to the need to internally audit your processes annually, with external auditing taking place too, upon recertification, normally every three years.

Keeping in this review cycle can mean there is structure and stability to your processes, bringing all the reassurance and confidence to your customers and stakeholders of a quality service – most likely the reason you gained ISO 9001 certification in the first place.

But this regular review cycle shouldn’t stop you from innovating on an ad hoc, or as-required basis.

What can prompt a business process review

There are several instances where the need for an impromptu process review might present itself:

An unexpected event occurs

If the fire alarm goes off unexpectedly and the drill goes wrong, for instance your premises are not evacuated in time, or fully, or staff do not know where to go, then this highlights that an urgent review is needed of your fire evacuation process.

A change in customer satisfaction ratings and reviews

If your customer satisfaction ratings suddenly take a dive, particularly in a certain area, then it’s a sign you need a review, without delay, into what’s going wrong. You potentially also need a review into the process for regaining customer goodwill.

Staff and team disfunction and negativity

Resentment in teams can build for many reasons, not all of them related to your processes. However, duplication of effort, poor equipment and systems, and unclear lines of management, can cause negativity and impact on the smooth running of your business.

Will you know if you need a review?

One of the key questions an organisation needs to ask itself is whether it will have enough awareness to know when something needs to change.

Will senior management be alert to any staff negativity around not being able to use systems properly and do the best possible job? Is there the relevant escalation of threshold customer satisfaction data? Is there a culture of listening to staff and being open to continuous improvement?

Something needs to change but not sure what

If there is a general feeling that things need to change, but you’re just not sure what, or where to start figuring it all out, there is support available. Business processes can be complex, and it’s not always easy to spot the solution, particularly when you are immersed in the everyday working of the processes.

Start with the tech

Looking at processes from a tech and systems point of view can help. Certainly, from a compliance aspect, starting with the tech can be extremely useful, since compliance of IT and systems usually ensures, or demands, compliance of other areas in its wake, such as GDPR and IT security.

Cloud technology and systems can help to transform tired business processes no longer fit for purpose or not serving the top-most needs of your customers. A knowledgeable, reliable cloud provider will have the insight and business process expertise to help you work out what’s needed to run your business better, which means having the most efficient, compliant and innovative systems and processes in place, and then helping you to implement the changes.