What is a process? Believe it or not, we get this question more often than you would expect. Most individuals make the answer to this question more complicated than it needs to be…
Simplified definition: A process is a series of steps or activities that are sequential and creates an output.
When trying to understand a process, think about something you do everyday and jot down the steps it takes to complete. Sometimes it is easier to visualize the process steps first, and then “name” the process later.
Example: Here are a series of process steps:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Place flour in a large mixing bowl
- Stir in the shortening
- Stir in the butter
- Add salt
- Add water
- Stir until dough is stiff
- Spread dough onto cooking board
- Kneed, beat, and fold dough until smooth and even
- Cut out small circles
- Place circles on baking sheet
- Bake until lightly brown
As you have probably figured out, the steps above (give or take a few variations) are the process steps related to the “Making Biscuits Process“. Once you understand and document the process, you can start measuring it using key performance indicators and making improvements. Yes this is a simplified example, but hopefully you can use it to understand how to think about your business processes and how to start making improvements.
Contact Branner Consulting, LLC to obtain more information or training on identifying and measuring your key business processes. We can help you at any stage along your journey from process documentation to implementing process improvement projects.