The term “business” refers to the organized efforts of individuals looking to turn a profit in exchange for a product or service. Though the profitability of a business lies not in selling the product but in the processes used.
The right processes can help you produce products or services much faster and cheaper and attract new customers in a cost-effective way.
In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to know about streamlining your organization’s processes to boost your efficiency.
Let’s start with a basic question.
What is a business process?
A process represents all the activities — or operations — needed to achieve a particular goal — or outcome — as well as the logical progression these activities must follow.The total sum of your processes builds up the operational system that makes your business work. The more efficient your processes are, the more profitable your organization will be.
For example, let’s imagine that you’re the owner of a local cake shop. Some of your main processes would include:
- Buying cake supplies
- Preparing cakes
- Storing cakes and managing inventories
- Advertising your cake shop
- Managing your finances
Now, each of these processes can be broken down into a series of systematic steps. For example, the process “preparing cakes” may involve:
- Preparing the ingredients
- Mixing ingredients
- Baking and cooling
- Decorating the final product
By dissecting each process with surgical precision, you can identify where the bottlenecks and revenue leaks are and figure out how to fix them. That’s how you make a business process more efficient.
For instance, you could improve the “buying cake supplies” process by finding a new supplier and reducing the cost of each ingredient. You could also develop a new baking methodology that requires fewer ingredients.
This is a simple example, of course.
The point is that having a clear understanding of your business processes is the first and perhaps most important step toward improving your business.
We’ll dig a bit deeper into the actual business process management methodology, but first, let’s answer a major question.
What are the different types of processes?
Even though some organizations may have more complex processes than others, all of them can be grouped into 3 main categories:
- Operational (primary): all the processes that are directly related to income generation
- Supporting (secondary): processes that help you prevent chaos and keep things organized
- Managerial: processes that help you organize and manage all other processes
Understanding the role of each category is crucial for the operation of your business.
For example, no matter how well-structured your managerial processes are, if the operational side of your business isn’t working, you’ll struggle to turn a profit.
On the other hand, if your core processes are working fine, but you don’t have a management strategy in place to ensure those processes continue working over the long run, you’ll be risking your entire business.
The point is that the 3 categories are crucial for your business, and you shouldn’t neglect any of them. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time growing your organization.
Business process management explained
As your organization grows, so does the complexity of your processes.
That’s why business process management is so crucial.
In short, business process management (BPM) is the discipline of modeling, analyzing, monitoring, and streamlining your organization’s processes, aiming to achieve maximum efficiency.
By standardizing your processes, you’re able to better manage and control growth, as well as systematize the entire organization.
Business process management consists of 5 main steps, which we will go through now.
At this stage, you and your team should organize a meeting to analyze the organization’s current state, define clear objectives, and spot potential problems.
To do it, you should identify and break down all your current processes. This is also called “business process mapping.” It consists of building a visual representation of a process to understand all its components.
For example, a typical process map might look something like this:
By structuring your processes this way, you’re able to better understand your business’s overall functionality.
Business process modeling is the act of improving an existing business process by exploring how that process might work under different scenarios.
At this stage, your goal is to find potential bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the process and brainstorm ideas to increase performance.
To do this, you can rely on a variety of methodologies, including:
- Flow charts
- UML diagrams
- BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation)
- Role activity diagrams
- Data flow diagrams
A few decades ago, companies had to approach this process manually. Nowadays, things are way simpler.
Thanks to BPM software, teams can now manage and streamline processes more efficiently. Roughly 7 out of 10 organizations state that software has helped them improve their processes and achieve goals faster.
For example, with monday.com, you get access to visual and interactive features to streamline any type of workflow with ease.
Forget about mapping a process in a flow chart and trying to improve it with theoretical data.
With monday.com, you can pull real information from your business and import it into any monday.com board. This way, you can structure better workflows and understand the performance of each process.
Once you have designed and modeled your business’ processes, the next step is to execute them.
At this stage, your goal is to discover whether your new processes are functional and optimize accordingly.
To do this, you have 2 options:
- The old way
- The new way
The old way involves giving the process maps you developed to your team members and helping them implement each process manually, which may be counterproductive.
The new way consists of tapping into AI to automate repetitive tasks and centralizing all your work under a single platform.
For example, with monday.com, you get access to an automations center where you can streamline over 250,000 human actions, including:
- Recurring activities
- Status changes
- Item creation
- And many more
You can create “If this, then that” automation recipes for any type of process. With this level of flexibility, executing simple or complex workflows become feasible for any organization.
On top of execution, you should monitor all your activities and measure the progress of your new processes. Otherwise, you’ll never know whether they’re working properly.
At this stage, you should have clear metrics and KPIs that define what success looks like for you.
For example, if you’re trying to improve a sales-related process, you’ll probably need to look at sales generated and revenue.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to improve user experience, you might track different metrics, like complaint rate and time spent on the site.
You should also make sure to have a robust Work Operating System (Work OS) that helps track progress with precision.
monday.com gives you access to powerful reporting features that help you track the more relevant metrics in real-time.
You can choose between 21 different widgets to build custom dashboards that feel just perfect for you. This will help you track every one of your processes with granular data.
Finally, you should analyze the information you collect during execution to optimize and improve your processes continuously.
To do it, you should look at all the data you collected during the entire process, including wins, fails, opportunities, and threats.
Scheduling a meeting with your team can be helpful to brainstorm potential improvements and come up with better solutions.
To do it, a functional collaboration system is essential.
For example, monday.com allows you to bring in your entire team from the beginning, share files with team members, notify clients or stakeholders, and even add context to each task through instant messaging.
This level of collaboration will help you optimize your processes and speed up your entire workflow and communication.
Crucial processes (plus templates to streamline all of them)
Now that you understand the importance of business processes and the steps to manage them, it’s time to discuss some of the most important processes of a typical business.
Since each department in your organization may have different process structures, we’ll cover the approach you should take in each scenario.
Better yet, we’ll provide you with specific templates for each process so you can streamline and automate your business faster.
Marketing is the discipline of attracting the right people and helping them see that your product or service is the right solution for their problems, needs, or desires.
Some of the most crucial marketing processes include:
- Lead capturing: saving leads’ information for future opportunities
- Lead nurturing: educating prospects about their problems and the solution you’re offering
- Marketing automation: automating communications, personalizing your messaging, and streamlining repetitive tasks
- Market research: studying your market to find potential gaps you can fill
- Competition analysis: studying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
- Marketing planning: orchestrating your marketing activities to achieve a specific goal
Marketing is crucial for any organization, and you need the right system to manage its processes.
With our marketing activities template, you can bring your entire marketing team in to work under one roof, coordinate activities, plan campaigns, and even turn your board into a dashboard to monitor performance.
Besides, you can use our automations to streamline all your marketing processes and boost your productivity.
The main goal of sales is to turn marketing qualified leads (MQLs) into customers through strategic value communication and customer relationship management.
Some of the most important processes in sales include:
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management): managing every customer touchpoint to maximize results and build better relationships with customers
- Qualifying: identifying the prospects who are more likely to buy right now
- Pipeline management: managing your sales lifecycle and forecasting potential revenue
- Post-sales: managing the post-sales strategy to ensure a better experience
- Lead scoring: scoring leads based on specific actions and criteria (clicks, past purchases, etc.)
With our advanced and fully customizable CRM template, managing your pipeline, scoring leads, and maximizing your profits is way easier.
This template helps you store contact information, forecast future revenue based on real data, track every deal with precision, and improve your sales processes through powerful automation.
Software development processes
A software development team’s objective is to build products that meet stakeholders’ requirements in the least amount of time, without compromising quality.
To achieve it, software developers use some of the following processes:
- Sprint planning: breaking down the project into small time boxes and defining deliverables for each sprint
- Features and releases: prioritizing features and releases and aligning your team
- Testing: making sure a specific product or feature works before actually releasing it
- Deployment: making the product available for use
- Maintenance: monitoring and controlling the end result to make sure nothing slips through the cracks
In the context of software development, we suggest you start out with our software development template.
This template will help you work with your development team in one place, plan your roadmap, monitor progress, and manage all your development processes during each iteration.
Human resources (HR) focuses on managing the most valuable resource in an organization: the people.
To do it, HR teams follow some of these processes:
- Recruitment: attracting the right talent for specific positions
- Onboarding: helping new hires understand their role and adapt to the organization faster
- Selection: analyzing job applicants and selecting the right candidates based on predetermined criteria
- Training: training the team on specific skills and crucial activities for the business
With monday.com, managing these processes is pretty straightforward.
For example, with our recruitment and onboarding template, you can manage all the processes involved, from application to onboarding.
As you can see, you’re able to organize each application by role, application date, department, interview status, and more.
You can also use our HR requests template to coordinate vacation time, time-off requests, employee terminations, and every other HR request with ease.
Customer service processes
Once marketing and sales have closed a deal, customer service must ensure the new customer has the best experience possible. If they need help or guidance when using the product or service, customer support must provide that through effective communication.
Some of the most important customer service processes include:
- Contact management: managing customer information — name, email, chat history, etc. — to provide a better service
- Ticket requests: handling customer problems in the most efficient way possible
- Community management: optimizing every touchpoint with customers to build better relationships
- Feedback management: collating and analyzing customer feedback to improve the experience
- Analytics: analyze overall customer behavior to improve the service
To start, we suggest you check out our customer onboarding and contact management templates. We consider them the lowest-hanging fruit when trying to improve your customer service processes.
These templates will help you explore all the history you’ve had with a given customer, as well as optimize your communications. This will help you improve the overall experience.
Project management processes
Every organization manages projects.
Whether it’s a new product launch, an office revamp, or an advertising campaign, you need appropriate project management to reduce chaos and make sure everything works properly.
Some of the most important processes in project management include:
- Team management: allocating workload to team members, monitoring progress, and making sure everyone is on the same page
- Project planning: planning the activities required to achieve the project’s objective
- Task management: assigning tasks to team members and tracking completion
- Scheduling: schedule each activity to meet deadlines and make sure the project is completed on time
- Monitoring: controlling the execution stage to optimize all the initiatives involved
With monday.com, you can manage any type of project from start to finish. Whether you’re a freelancer working on your own or an enterprise-level organization, monday.com will help you become more efficient.
For example, with our advanced project management template, you can control the execution of your projects, assign tasks to team members, monitor progress, and visualize your data from different perspectives, including Kanban, Gantt, Timeline, Map, and more.
Some other project management features we offer include:
- Collaboration: get access to file sharing, notifications, tagging, video conferencing, and more
- Integrations: integrate over 40 of the tools and apps your team relies on
- Task management: manage tasks from single or multiple projects under one roof
- Automations: create unlimited automation recipes to streamline your workflows
- Security: get access to enterprise-level security and keep your information safe
- Customizations: customize the entire platform to fit your exact needs
- Reporting: monitor your performance with surgical precision
To get a more thorough understanding of everything you can do with monday.com, we suggest you watch this short video overview:
Ready to streamline your processes?
Process management and streamlining is a crucial activity of any organization. By optimizing your most important processes and operations, you can reduce costs, increase revenue, and solve problems more efficiently.
Hopefully, you now have enough information to manage and improve your business processes. With monday.com, you have all the features and flexibility to actually do it.
To start, we suggest you try out our advanced project management template. It’s fully customizable and will help you streamline any type of workflow.