Process improvement

All organisations have processes. Most will do the job as people will find a way, but are they reliable and efficient?

Norms and approaches for getting things done will be created, but not always by design. Maybe the process for booking people on a training course, inducting new staff or managing donations. When volumes are small formalising processes may not be necessary, but over time processes can become outdated, cumbersome or overly complex. People can be very resourceful and will fix problems, but are they 'fixed' for everyone? Also, people can be very resourceful and may find shortcuts and ways to circumvent the process.

A efficient process involves least people, least steps and no duplication of effort. It minimises the flow of information back and forth, but those who need it receive it in a timely and appropriate way. Effective processes have good decision making criteria and devolved responsibility, removing unnecessary blockages caused by waiting for sign off.

If a process involves a key user - beneficiary, client, donor, etc - then ideally it would be designed to be seamless and as simple as possible from their perspective - even if that adds to the complexity for the organisation.

Consider: Do your processes involve excessive reporting or duplication? Are multiple people involved in simple tasks? Is trust between teams low? Are your processes seamless for people outside the organisation?