Process standardization represents one of the directions we can move in after process modeling. In most companies that do not have clearly defined business processes, same processes take place with completely different process flows depending on the region, process executor etc. Every process, no matter how often it is performed, requires rules that define the scope, quality and methods to be followed. If these rules are not standardized, there is no insight into whether quality is ensured or if human error is being reduced. Standardization of the process leads to an increase in compliance, reduces the possibility of ambiguities, promotes productivity, which directly affects and simplifies the quality control process. It can be applied to all processes, tasks and activities.
What is process standardization?
Why do we apply standardization?
A single task can be performed by several employees in different ways. If the processes in the organization are not standardized, each employee will have their own way of working, which leads to the processes being performed longer than necessary. Processes are not executed efficiently, employees perform tasks in a more difficult way and the company’s costs are significantly higher. In order to standardize the process, it is necessary to determine the best way to carry it out. This method is documented and becomes the standard by which all employees should work. By precise modeling and standardization of processes, tasks are clearly defined, and work procedures are documented and available for review by employees, which ensures that processes are executed in the best possible way.
Advantages of standardized processes
- The clarity and reliability of the process increases – standardized process eliminates the need for additional checks and reviews; once established and verified, a standard for verification will always be valid
- Quality guarantee – all tasks are performed in a predefined and optimized way
- Productivity increases – inefficiency caused by non-standardized work methods and techniques is eliminated, quality control is ensured because tasks are performed in the same way
- Minimizes the probability that key details about the process will be overlooked
- Increased user satisfaction
- The possibility of revising what has been done – standardized processes are transparent and it is relatively simple to trace how certain decisions were made
Process standardization steps
- Process analysis – analyzing the way in which organizations carry out processes. All the ways in which a certain process is carried out within the organization are mapped. The execution of a process can be performed in a different way by employees within the same team or, alternatively, by employees working in the same sector but in different geographical areas within the same organization. It measures how long the processes take, who executes them and what resources are spent for their execution. For a given goal in the organization, it is necessary to investigate possible variations for implementation and then decide which of them brings most value while reducing time and resources. This phase is quite exhaustive because it requires detailed information about all processes, their execution methods, authorizations and metrics.
- Design and implementation of standards of execution – Criteria is defined based on which processes are measured, such as: time duration for the execution of the process, number of errors in the process, how many times the process was executed within the defined time period, etc.
- Evaluation of the process for points of change, improvement and possible additions – based on the measured performance, the best business practice for the execution of tasks is defined and that business practice will represent the standard by which all employees should work. The benefit of this step is that workflows are simplified, and processes are accelerated, so that organizations can optimize their overall operations.
- Implementation of a validated methodology;
- Alignment with maturity model;
- Precisely modeled, defined and standardized processes;
- Defined responsibilities and authorities;
- Process documentation
- Process measures (SLAs, KPIs, etc.)