What is the Cost of a Bad Process?

Process.  All organizations run on processes.  Processes are how things get done. If processes are ineffective and/or inefficient, then time is wasted, deadlines are missed, customers are frustrated, or worse. 

A bad process costs your organization. Have you ever stopped to think about how much?

Ryan Holmes, Co-founder of Hootsuite, shared an entertaining article on LinkedIn about their company’s experience with a $15 promotional item which ended up costing more than $200 because of the red tape associated with internal approval.

Of course they didn’t know that as the process began, but hindsight is 20/20.

According to IDC research, inefficient processes cost organizations up to 20-30% of their annual revenue.  

To combat a bad process, it’s important to note why they even happen in the first place.

Why does a process go bad?

As Ryan Holmes shared, “frontline employees aren’t empowered to change the [bad processes].  Leadership overlooks the issue or assumes it’s someone else’s problem.”

There are a variety of reasons why processes fail.  (Poor process documentation, personnel training, unclear process and sub-process ownership, and even actual “defects” in the process).  

Oftentimes, asking a series of questions can better pinpoint the real cause behind why a process is ineffective or inefficient. Some of these questions include:

  • Do people know there is a process? Is there process documentation?
  • Do people know where to find the documentation? 
  • Does training exist to use the process properly?
  • Are people using the process or not?  If not, why not? If so, are they using it correctly? 
  • Are there manual processes outside of the automated systems? Are they creating breakpoints in the process?

Stop a bad process with systems to ensure consistency and quality

It is also helpful to have a system to support a process. A ticket management system, like Mojo, provides a process to collect and organize service issue. Including issues that are broken and keep re-surfacing. 

You can create processes for all kinds of work performed within your organization. As you formalize your processes, implement them via business systems.  With business systems, you can implement the process with the same level of consistency and quality each and every time. Plus systems enable you to monitor and improve your processes. 

In summary, bad processes can cost your organization its reputation, customers, and suppliers. Take these five steps to keep your processes from failing:

  1. Define and document your processes
  2. Take a systematic approach
  3. Ensure adoption of the processes across your organization
  4. Keep them fresh. Regularly monitor, analyze and if necessary modify your processes. 
  5. Implement a system to support your processes.

After all, the longer the bad process continues, the more it costs your organization to run inefficiently.

Filed under: News, Productivity