Does the Process Consultant have a process? Of course. Here it is:
Sometimes the messiest processes need an outside perspective. I work on-site with your team to quickly discover, document and improve your processes, helping you remove bottlenecks, reduce errors, and resolve confusion and conflicts among your staff. My methodology has been refined over a combined 25 years working both as an in-house and an independent consultant. I get results, and I get them fast.
Discovery - The first step in getting control of your processes.
Why start with process discovery? Why not just jump straight into process improvement? If we don't all agree on where we are now, it's nearly impossible to plan a route to where we want to go.
So, the first job is to get the process out of peoples heads and into the daylight where we can all work on it as a team.
The classic way to way to do this is to build a map of the steps with the people who use it. And it's still the best way. Getting process down in black and white, or at least on a whiteboard, reduces the chance of people talking about the same process but having a different understanding of it.
I do that by leading small groups of the actual process users through the steps on a whiteboard, a screen or a wall. Very often few people have seen the whole process, and there are always some surprises.
Documentation - Creating a process library
Wait! Didn't we just document the process in Discovery? Not quite. A whiteboard is a great tool for exposing the process but not much good for recording and communicating it to the rest of the organization. You need a means of publishing your processes in a single, easily accessible, editable place.
Imagine being able to view every one of your processes in a single online hub, with both staff and new hires able to view their individual roles and click on any individual task to pull up all associated documents and instructions.
That is what The Process Library does. I can give you access to a cloud-based, secure, central repository for all your process information. Not just the maps but written policies, examples, forms, tutorials. Learn more about it here.
Once we have captured the existing process, we can shift to process improvement projects. For this, I use a simplified mix of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies called Fast Track Process Improvement.
This is tailored for the complexity of back-office processes. No off-putting jargon or "analysis paralysis", just straight forward improvement projects with properly allocated responsibilities and accountability.
You and your staff already know all the important stuff: the exceptions, the confusion over roles, the bottlenecks, the problem areas, the inefficiencies... everything. My job is to get all the pain points and bottlenecks listed and prioritized.
Surprisingly, at least to some executives and business owners, many of the ideas come from the users themselves. Ideas that have been latent in their organizations for a while. I give people the opportunity to express them.
If you are thinking about getting some outside help, let's talk it over and find out if my expertise is a good fit. There is no hard sell. Either I can help you or I can’t, and it is pretty easy to tell. If I am not the right person, I can usually suggest someone who might be.