María Alcaraz

Why do I need to systematize processes?

Organize your processes systematically and save time when managing your business.

When you start a project or a company, everything, absolutely everything, including the way you do things, is still to be developed. In short, it is yet to be done. At first, this turns out to be a positive aspect, as you may create it as you go according to your needs and tailored to your resources.

Limited time is available

Above all, to your time resources. Only a limited time is available, and unfortunately (or perhaps luckily, as we need to live our personal lives when we are entrepreneurs, too) you can’t create more of it.

A day has 24 hours, and you need to devote some of them (many of them, perhaps) to working, but also to eating, having a life of your own, socializing and even sleeping!

Something we usually forget or set aside when we are starting on our own and are thrilled with what we do.

Resting is as important (or even more) as the time we devote to work, but we will talk about that in another post.

Today I want to show how to organize “the way things are done”. Moving back to the beginning of the text, and to the start of your project or company, when you start, everything, absolutely everything, is yet to be developed.

Optimize your time

We keep doing the tasks that are required for our project to develop to the best of our knowledge and considerations.

Little by little, or perhaps suddenly (depending on the particular case) the “to do” list keeps growing and growing as mushroom in the rain, but it seldom comes along with some help to tackle it.

This is why we start devoting more and more time to solving several things that could actually be undertaken in a more mechanical, usual fashion once we have learned how to do them. What should we do then? At this point, and growing along with the growth of your company, the need to optimize your time and introduce processes in the different tasks to be done arises.

What is a process?

A process just means the establishment of an optimum manner to perform a task, which is technically known as creating action protocols.

We know we do things “as well as we can” or “to the best of our knowledge”, and we also know how much time it takes us to do so, but when we get used to doing them we always find a better way to do it, a way that will enable us to devote less time to it without altering the quality of the output. It may even be better.

The creation of a process or an action protocol will help us standardise the task in a nearly automatic manner. Therefore, we will save time and energy to devote to other tasks that are yet to be standardised.

Why use an action protocol?

Because it will only bring benefits to your life: to your personal life, and above all to your professional life. It will help you save time, which is always good for you because you will be able to devote this time to something else. Besides, the quality of your work and that of the results achieved will improve.

The introduction of an action protocol involves creating a routine, and routine is considered one of the major needs to be included in our life in order to feel comfortable, safe and secure.

When an action protocol is included in one of our company’s tasks, we are making it standard and providing it with extra quality.

Besides, at the same time we will be growing as a project and as a company, and we won’t keep rooted to something that keeps consuming more and more time even though it could have been done faster.

When our company starts growing, action protocols must be introduced

Think about it in the following terms: a task with an associated protocol is something I can put aside, because it will be done almost automatically. Then you may switch to the following task and standardise it as well.

Nevertheless, in order to be able to do that you need to “analyze what is being done, how it is being done, find out whether it could be done better and, after all, analyze the steps and create the process using clearly-defined stages”.

The growth of your company and processes

Another great advantage that comes along with the introduction of processes in your company will be the possibility to delegate tasks while feeling calm and confident. When the time comes for your project to grow and for you to start hiring talent and help, you will need to teach how to do the tasks to the person you hire.

Such stage will be solved by an action process, as you will make sure that an action undertaken by several people will be performed under the same criteria. This is extremely relevant when it comes to working in the same direction.

When should you start creating the processes? This is one of the big questions when it comes to standardizing. You could think that it’s time to do it when you start with your project, or even better, as the company grows so that you may do it step by step.

This is the one-million-dollar question in this issue, and opinions are divided. Making processes systematic in order to increase the quality of your work is very important and essential for the growth of your company, but it is also important to do it when you are ready. If you keep doing it from the very beginning, you will manage to save time and money, as you will avoid serious mistakes from the very first stages.

Keep doing it according to your possibilities

Nevertheless, you also need to optimize time allocation depending on what matters the most in every step. We would advise you to keep doing it according to your possibilities, but keeping it in mind from the very beginning. Including a process right from start to tasks that are quite easy or that are straightforward will help you move on to more relevant ones, or to other tasks that require more effort and devotion.

Be that as it may, making processes standard and creating action protocols is something you need to include in order to increase the quality of your company when it comes to internal management. This will be seen in the product, in customer attention, in commercial tasks, and therefore in the final results, which includes your quality of life.

Nowadays, several solutions and tools are available to help you create processes.

They will record one step after the other, in an easy, simple manner. (Using solutions such as Billage you will be able to optimize your time in a myriad of basic management tasks for your business, that will be stored and systematised to be made available to all your team members).

How to introduce action processes?

Do whatever you find easier, simpler and better for the work you do, your daily tasks and your team. This is essential. You need to do it for you, so that the protocols are an asset instead of a hindrance. You may use your own criteria and knowledge or else find support in other “protocols” that will help you create your own.

This would be the case of the ISO 9001 Regulations, which describe excellent processes for the proper functioning of a company.

But once you reach this point, the point in which your project is the most important aspect and what you devote your life to, consider the help provided by these Regulations as such: just help.

Most probably, this is not the right time to regard it as a guide to obtain the certification seal.

You don’t need more work and more pressure right now; perhaps this will come on its own in the future just as a result of doing things well. So do it for yourself and for your company, in order to be better and to improve your life and your professional quality.

Making your processes standard

Be that as it may, making your processes standard is a must from the very beginning. This will help you internally increase the quality of your business, and this will be seen externally. It will make your team feel empowered, whereby you won’t feel bound to keeping absolutely everything under control.

An action protocol is always something positive, but keep in mind that you should update and improve it continually. Don’t forget the processes once you have undertaken them, as new ways and/or tools that help make them better and more suitable may become available.

Don’t hesitate to introduce improvements whenever possible and, of course, listen to your team. Without the slightest doubt, they will be able to provide you with better ways to do the same.

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