Some business processes can be improved simply by removing unnecessary steps, or taking advantage of free cloud-based tools like Dropbox or Google Drive. Other business processes have more fundamental issues that require investing in new technology, personnel, and/or employee training. This blog post will provide three tips for how departments can acquire the necessary resources for optimizing business workflows.
Tip 1: Familiarize yourself with the decision makers
Before you can ask for resources, you need to know who makes decisions about these resources within your organization. If you work in a microbusiness, it is very possible the business owner is responsible for most decisions around budgets and spending. But if you work for a larger company, these kinds of decisions are more likely to be made by a department head, committee, or group of executives. The specific kinds of resources you are asking for (e.g., IT infrastructure, additional secretary) may also impact who you approach in the company.
Tip 2: Have a wish list and a backup plan
During the business process redesign stage, you may come up with a variety of ideas for improving that process. Some of these may be easy and inexpensive to implement, while others may involve a heftier price tag. Come up with a list of all the items you’d like, but also have a backup plan (or backup plans) in case your organization’s current level of resources is insufficient for the breadth of your requests. This approach increases your chances of obtaining some level of funding. A similar tactic is prioritizing your wish list. Your organization could start by financing the top priorities, and then move down the list as funding becomes available.
Tip 3: Share your success
Once you acquire resources to address elements of a sub-optimal business process, and incorporate them into the process, closely monitor their impact. Any evidence you can provide to management showing a positive return on investment can help you justify further spending on business process improvement. If decision makers can see, for instance, that new technology led to greater customer satisfaction and revenue, they will be more likely to provide additional funding for business process optimization. Share your experience with other departments, perhaps at a lunch and learn, to inspire them to make their own workflow enhancements.
It’s not enough to redesign business processes. You also need the necessary resources to implement improvements. You can increase your chances of securing resources through familiarizing yourself with the decision makers in your organization, having a wish list and backup plan, and sharing your success with colleagues.