Process optimisation: a win-win for everyone
Peter is fascinated by work flows and processes, with a particular preference for the IT sector. He analyses what procedures are in place and works out if/where they could be improved. This sounds very simple, but it’s less obvious in practice.
‘It’s often very difficult to keep a good overview of your process when you’re in it yourself and using it every day,’ says Peter. ‘That’s where I come in. I have the necessary distance away from the process to be objective and look at it from all angles.’
What is a process?
‘In simple terms, a process can be described by working out who does it, how they do it, and what they need to do it. A process always has an owner, someone in the organisation who makes the final decisions. The owner definitely doesn’t need to be part of the process. It could be an IT manager, for example, who owns the process for their team’s service desk,’ explains Peter.
Peter as a Service
What does ‘process optimisation’ entail? ‘A process always need to work for the organisation, and this is also the approach needed to improve it. Everyone has different priorities within a certain procedure. My task is therefore to listen carefully to everyone involved in the process so I can map it out and write it down. Once we’ve clarified the existing work flow, we look for improvements.’
‘The first step is to improve the parameters to get the low hanging fruit, which means making changes that don’t require much effort but achieve good results. I always keep in mind that we cannot jeopardise any other steps by making these adjustments,’ clarifies Peter.
‘Change is always possible, so I want to show that optimising the process is in everyone’s benefit as quickly as possible. I look to see what problems there are with the tools, and how we can eliminate them. If customers and employees are both complaining about the same tool within a process, tackling that tool can be a great help. And if there are complaints, it’s high time to call me in! In fact that’s actually too late already; I prefer to avoid and prevent any complaints from arising in the first place.’
Peter is happy to give a practical example of what he does: ‘I was working for one of AUSY’s partners where we installed a service desk. The SLAs were being achieved, but there were still complaints that the end customers weren’t satisfied. I spent three days speaking with everyone to find out what users thought about the service desk. Then I wrote a report and drew up a three-month plan with quick improvements that were easy to implement. After three months we evaluated everything: are the recommendations being followed up? What’s improved? Have any new issues emerged?’