Tags: Define Business Process, SOPs

workflow diagram

Why Define Business Processes?

Most Small Medium Enterprises (SME's) don't have concise and comprehensive business processes because some owners and founders usually keep these processes to themselves or fail to articulate them to their staff. 

Here are some of the most important ones:

Training of New Staff
A business must run through the training procedure itself to be able to understand it from the new hire's perspective. Document the procedures and avoid overwhelming the new staff. These will allow the trainee to retain the new information while allowing the company to observe the new staff's threshold in learning while accepting new responsibilities. The Standard Operating Procedures must include a checklist of how to do the tasks. The new employees simply need to follow them in order to improve their skills over time.

Measurement and Improvement of Services
Documented business processes or Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's),  allow enterprises to determine the cause of certain issues, identify the bottlenecks and which steps in the process can be improved.  Implementing these analyses help to ensure that they are impartial and fair. 

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Business Continuity
A business that fails to prepare, prepares to fail. A business, therefore, must have a Business Continuity plan to avoid disruption and to steer clear of acquiring more expense. Business Continuity or Standard Operating Procedures, unfortunately, are often overlooked aspects of small and medium-sized Philippine businesses. Business owners fail to realize that when business gets disrupted, money is lost and there is less profit. The lack of documentation of its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) is detrimental to any type of business. 

For a Business Continuity Plan to be effective, the business must be able to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes by conducting a business impact analysis. It must form a business continuity team and compile their business continuity plans to survive future business disruptions. It should constantly conduct training for the business continuity team and test and implement these plans to evaluate your strategies and recovery systems. Strategies must also include your Information Technology Department, so it can be restored promptly to meet the needs of the business and the clients. Manual workarounds must be included in the plan so the business can continue while systems are being repaired and restored.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP's) help an enterprise deliver consistent levels of service and quality.  Having none make service delivery heavily dependent on the quality of manual processes which are prone to errors. These often lead to frustration on the part of the management.

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