What is Process Implementation?
Process implementation is the act of introducing new processes into your organization. These processes will help to make your organization more efficient and improve workflows. For instance, your organization may have found that it wants to improve its project management processes. It could then decide to introduce a new process where employees log projects onto a project management tool like DevOps. By introducing this new process, your organization will have a streamlined way of managing its projects and be more efficient in getting projects completed. Process implementation is similar, but different from the software implementation process which is more about installing, configuring, and integrating new software systems.
The Importance of Change Management
Anytime you are introducing processes such as new software, practices, or workflows within your company, you want to take action to ensure that this is executed correctly. By having a plan for process implementation, you will ensure that the transition to new processes is successful and reaches your business objectives. To execute this change, you want to take steps to ensure the software is used in the most efficient way possible, that employees are comfortable with the change, and that everyone is fully trained on it. By failing to plan for a change in processes, you will be doing your company a disservice by not getting as much benefit from your new processes as you can.
Benefits of Process Implementation
The purpose of new processes is ultimately to save time and reduce complexities so your employees can be more productive. Instead of employees spending a ton of time on mundane tasks, streamlined processes will help make their lives easier and allow them to spend time on substantial efforts. By introducing new processes that improve the efficiency of your employees, they will be able to accomplish more in a given amount of time. If you run a warehouse, for example, you might introduce a new order-picking method for your warehouse employees that helps them save time picking orders so they either pick more orders or spend time on other warehouse activities.
Improves Quality of Output
Not only do your employees accomplish more with new processes, but they will also produce better quality work. This could potentially help you to gain more customers or improve customer satisfaction to better retain existing ones. Say for example, you introduce a new process to your team that requires them to run written documents through Grammarly, this might help you make a better impression by avoiding grammar mistakes in documents sent to customers or prospects.
Increases Employee Engagement
By effectively involving employees during process implementation, you will increase employee engagement. You can tap into their knowledge, skills, and expertise to better the process and make them feel more involved. This will allow employees to feel appreciated and contribute more during tasks that involve the new process.
Helps You Monitor Performance
Some new processes you introduce might come with measurable KPIs that will help you to better keep track of performance. For example, you might introduce a new marketing analytics tool that specifically helps you keep track of leads, traffic, CTA (etc). Monitoring performance will allow you to gauge the success of your efforts and aid in your reporting.
Helps Find Improvement Areas
Having a formal structure for implementing processes will help you to evaluate processes that are connected so that you can find weaknesses or improvement areas. For example, you might implement a new project management process only to find that your communication processes are not up to par.
Helps You Comply with Regulations
Certain processes you introduce might be necessary to comply with regulations or aid you in doing so. For example, you might introduce a new HR process that helps you to comply with workplace safety standards.
How to Implement New Processes
1. Set Goals and Objectives
Before even defining the process, you will want to determine what you hope to achieve in this pursuit. Figure out how the specific process you want to implement will benefit your organization. It’s important to choose objectives that everybody involved will connect with rather than just a select few. By understanding the reasons for implementing the new process, your company will be motivated to see it come to fruition.
2. Allocate Responsibilities
You will have to allocate responsibilities during the implementation process and figure out which employees you want to be a part of. You might need technical help in implementing a process in which case you might delegate responsibilities to your IT or Dev team as an example. When it comes to assigning training, you will likely want to delegate responsibilities to leaders of different departments. Once you train managers on how to use the new process, they can then train those working underneath them.
3. Set KPIs
Before embarking on the implementation, you will want to determine KPIs to measure the goals and objectives that you set. For example, you might introduce a new process for lead generation that helps you get more leads into your funnel. You would then measure the success of the new process by keeping track of the quantity and quality of leads coming into your funnel.
4. Visualize Processes
To be able to effectively define the process and communicate it to employees, it helps to visualize the process and create a diagram that outlines the different steps you need to take. This is also referred to as process mapping. Process mapping will help to provide a high-level overview of your process to communicate the process to all parties that are involved including project members, stakeholders, and anyone that will be using the process. By mapping out the process, it will be easy to receive feedback from these different parties on how the process can be improved.
5. Communicate the Value of the New Process
Before implementing the new process, you must communicate the value of the process to your employees. Help them understand how the process not only benefits the company but benefits them individually. Once employees understand the value of a process, they are more likely to be on board with it. Otherwise, they may be slow to accept it or miss the old way of doing things.
6. Create and Execute an Implementation Plan
Once you have visualized processes, set goals and objectives, established KPIs, and assigned roles/responsibilities, you can now create an implementation plan that will outline the project from start to finish. Your implementation plan should include details about the different stages of the project, timelines, tasks (etc).
7. Onboard Employees
For the process implementation to be successful, your employees must understand the process that’s in place. Develop an onboarding plan and consider hosting workshops and sessions that relevant employees can sit in on.
8. Test the Process
Once the implementation process is complete, it’s important to test the process before committing to it. As soon as the testing is successful and you can prove that the process is working as intended, you should then begin to implement the process within your organization. During the testing process, you need to consider feedback and make adjustments to better the process accordingly.
9. Assign Go-To People
On top of assigning roles and responsibilities, you also need to communicate who employees should go to if they have questions, concerns, or feedback about a process. There needs to be dedicated expert(s) for management to go to and employees need to understand that they can go to their managers as well. Everyone within your organization must know exactly who to go to as it pertains to this new process.
10. Create a Training Document
Having a training document that employees can refer to without having to on their own without having to speak to anyone, is convenient for everybody involved. Training documents are great for future reference as well for implementation project teams to refer to next time there is a change in processes.