If you want to bring an idea to life, you have to identify the steps that will lead you to fruition. Developing a process takes discipline. Carve out time to think and document your steps. Here are five steps to help you develop a business process that works:
1. Visualize the desired end result.
To help you start developing a process, you need to know what you want the end to look like. Think about the desired end result, and then work backwards.
2. Identify the stakeholders that need to be involved in the process ideation and implementation phases.
You probably will need the support of your colleagues to achieve the result you want. Ask yourself, “Who else do I need to bring in to brainstorm or be part of the process?”
Many services or products require the support of different functions. Think about whether you need to bring in, for example, an engineer, project manager or lawyer. Involve the people who will be part of the process. Their expertise will ensure you are considering everything you might need to ensure an effective process.
3. Consider the technology you need.
A key component to effective processes is having efficiency, objectivity and consistency. Automation can achieve these goals. Think about the technology you can integrate to automate the process.
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If you don’t know what technology exists that could help with your process, ask a technologist. Share your idea with an engineer at your organization or in your network, and ask what products or systems could support the development of the process. If your business does not have a a website already, now is the time to get one.
Check for bias. Some technologies have bias, which can stem from unconscious biases of the people developing the technology. As you consider how technology could support your process, take a thoughtful approach in understanding how that technology was developed. You don’t want bias to undermine the results.
4. Anticipate the roadblocks you will need to overcome.
In addition to potential technology bias, think about other issues or challenges that might undermine the building of an effective process. Will there be changes in monetary or human resources at your organization? If you are developing an alliance with another organization, what issues might they face in the near future? If the process is global in scale, you may have to consider geopolitics and the impact on international trade. Successful professionals, processes and organizations consider the business, policy and political environment in which they operate.
5. Include assurances that the process can be improved.
A great process must have a way to be improved. Things change over time. Demands change. Resources change. Thus, the process may have to change to still be effective.
Remember, a process is a framework to produce a result. Focus on ensuring you have a quality result, and don’t get too attached or proud of the process. The process is the vehicle to achieve the result. Vehicles change.
You have the ability to ensure that the process is robust and strong over the long-term. When you have developed the process, your work has just started. Use metrics to measure success. Commit to ensuring the process maintains momentum and continues to produce a quality result.
Processes are critical to making an idea a reality. Think about what you want the end result to be, and identify the people who should be involved to make it happen. Consider the technology that will help enable the process and any possible barriers that might hinder the process. Think about what you need to ensure the process is consistent and can be improved.