How to Ensure Process Improvements are Documented and Tracked Effectively

Learn how to ensure that process improvements are properly documented & tracked over time with these tips & tricks.

How to Ensure Process Improvements are Documented and Tracked Effectively

Formal processes are essential when they involve employee or customer safety, legal matters, financial considerations, and other sensitive criteria. These processes, also known as procedures, are documented and have well-defined steps. For instance, a company may have established procedures for sending and receiving invoices, or for establishing relationships with new customers. To assess the effectiveness of the new process, collect and analyze the data associated with it.

Using tools such as ClearPoint can help track the start and end dates of the process and collect quantitative data around milestones. Additionally, collaborators can add qualitative data, comment on how things are going, propose new ideas if necessary, etc. It is rare to change a process with the first iteration, so be prepared to make some adjustments. Compare the performance of your new process with the objectives you set in the previous step to determine when your work is finished.

To fully commit to process improvement, companies must accept that the risk of not evolving is much greater than the risk of changing the status quo. When implemented correctly, the results of taking effective process improvement steps can be measured in improving product quality, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, increased productivity, employee skill development, efficiency and increased benefits, which translates into a higher and faster return on investment (ROI). A results-based process begins with an end in mind by identifying a single objective. Tracking data points such as time, production and ROI will help you determine if the improvements you make are effective.

To avoid overwhelming your team with too many changes at once, implement improvements one at a time. This will allow you to measure the impact of each change and give your team time to adjust to each of them. Once you have established your plan for process documentation, consider if you already have a template that you can adapt and reuse. Text-based process management methods don't translate well into process improvement because they don't connect the dots between the work being done and the way it's completed. You can gather information by following employees, interviewing them or asking them to write down how they complete a process as they do so.

Analyzing them can be a good start when you're working on the process improvement stages. Process improvement helps teams keep processes front and center so they can operate efficiently and consistently. Process improvement is the proactive task of identifying, analyzing and improving existing business processes within an organization with the objective of improving process efficiency. To ensure that process improvements are properly documented and tracked over time, dedicate a few evenings a month to process improvement measures or add a few questions to your daily routine to make improvement efforts a priority. Additionally, use visual elements such as cards on a digital Kanban board to represent the workflow instead of text-based methods like to-do lists.