In our day-to-day working lives there are a whole series of steps we do to get our jobs done that we don’t really think about.
But have you ever looked at whether those steps are best practice, and what the actual cost to your business is?
Few organisations take the time to look at their internal processes, and even fewer will try and build ‘best practice models’.
Yet if you don't have a formal process manual available for new joiners, then you will inevitably have common tasks being carried out in a variety of ways. Workarounds will be passed on from person to person and new workarounds found with no thought about the impact on other internal requirements such as management, client or regulatory reporting. This lack of consistency will also give rise to having no accountability when things go wrong.
The benefits of mapping your key internal processes can be vast. If done properly, these benefits will far outweigh the time needed to focus on them.
Visibility across the business of the end-to-end process will help identify and break down those silos that can often be found in organisations. Processes will give accountability across all departments on what is needed to be delivered and how it impacts on other areas of the business, and ultimately clients.
In many organisations we work with we often hear the old adage: "But we’ve always done it that way." That doesn’t mean it is necessarily the best way. Map your current processes as a starting point, and then look at where things could be changed to add more value to the business. Doing this will ultimately help you become more efficient, be more consistent and make savings.
If everyone is working to their own agenda and there is no consistency in what is being done across the organisation, how do you know what the cost is to your business?
By mapping processes and being able to see the individual roles involved and the average time taken for each step, you can easily see the overall cost.
When the cost of your end-to-end advice process is greater than your client fee then clearly something is broken – but it is fixable.
Take a deep dive into what you are doing. Look at where there is no value add to either the business or the client, and look at who is carrying out a task. Is this the correct role? If information is being passed back and forth, does it need to be?
By remapping your ‘as is’ process to ‘best practice’, you will be able to see the savings that can be made in terms of both time and cost, thus leading to a more sustainable business. From our experience, when firms we work with involve their teams in process mapping and in determining what good looks like, the outcomes can be amazing.
Induction and training
What better way to run an induction for a new member of staff than to have a set of process manuals showing the company way of working that all staff adhere to? The effective ‘Chinese whispers’ that creep in when workarounds are passed on will no longer affect how everyone is working - instead you will have the company's 'one best way' available for all to use.
We've helped many businesses review and improve their existing processes to achieve a 'one best way' of operating. Firms who have gone through this process have gained a sustainable advice framework, and one which is designed to mitigate risk and provide a first-class service to all clients.
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