The Evergreen Guide for Business Process Optimization

Last Updated on March 18, 2024 by Owen McGab Enaohwo

Business Process Optimization

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There’s tension at work. An employee made a mistake on a project that the entire team has been working on for months, taking it back to almost square one.

In the employee’s defense, they used the process on your system. Unknown to anyone, the process is outdated.

You have just a few weeks until the agreed deadline. Failure to meet it will not only cost you a client but also call the integrity of your organization into question.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), only 25 percent of new businesses survive for more than 15 years. The inability to enhance their operations is one of the reasons why they fail. Your business could be on the wrong side of the statistics.

Optimizing your business operations could save you from being in such a difficult position as it allows you to streamline your business processes for optimal performance. In this article, you’ll learn how to leverage business process optimization to fine-tune your operations, increase productivity and enhance customer satisfaction.  

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: What is Business Process Optimization?

Chapter 2: What Are the Benefits of Business Process Optimization?

Chapter 3: Who Needs Business Process Optimization?

Chapter 4: What Are the 5 Cs of Business Process Optimization?

Chapter 5: What Are the Pitfalls of Business Process Optimization?

Chapter 6: Common Process Optimization Methods and Techniques

Chapter 7: Practical Steps for Business Process Optimization

Chapter 8: How SweetProcess Can Help You Optimize Your Business Processes

Chapter 9: How to Choose the Right Business Process Optimization Software

Chapter 10: Who Should Take Charge of Process Optimization?

Chapter 1: What is Business Process Optimization?


With increased awareness about the importance of processes in business, most organizations have documented their processes. You have probably documented yours too. But the more important question is: are your business processes optimized?

Business processes fall short when they aren’t efficient. Processes aren’t created to occupy space but rather to streamline operations for better performance.

When tasks aren’t performed in the best ways possible, it suffices to say that there’s room for improvement. And that improvement is the core of business process optimization.

Business process optimization is the process of improving existing business processes for better operations. For business optimization to happen, there must be a recognition of the need for improvement. And that improvement is good for every business as it produces better results.

While optimizing your business processes is highly recommended, you shouldn’t exceed your capacity. The goal is to manage the resources at your disposal in order to improve your existing processes. At the end of the day, you want to save resources. With that in mind, we can say that business process optimization is the process of improving existing business processes within your means.

Business process optimization is an element of business process management (BPM), a systematic method of improving business processes.

Why should you optimize your business processes? If there’s nothing in it for you and your business, it’d be a waste of time, wouldn’t it? In the next chapter, we discuss the benefits that you stand to gain from optimizing your business processes.

Chapter 2: What Are the Benefits of Business Process Optimization?

What Are the Benefits of Business Process Optimization?

Business process optimization is a buzzword in the business space and a lot of businesses want to implement it just for the sake of it. However, understanding the benefits it brings to your business gives you a benchmark for measuring your success.

As a business owner, your time and resources are invaluable. You want to put your money where your mouth is.

The story of the US-based e-commerce logistics company ShipCalm will inspire you. The organization was able to overcome its growth pains by optimizing its business processes. There are several benefits for your business when you take the initiative to optimize your processes, including the following.

1.   Regulatory Compliance

Industry regulations exist to maintain law and order in the best interest of society at large. Businesses that flout stipulated rules and regulations aren’t eligible to operate and are clamped down on.

The non-adherence to regulatory standards happens more when processes are all over the place. Optimizing your business processes streamlines your operations, in line with regulatory compliance, especially when you consider the regulatory standards in the optimization process.

2.   Reduced Risks

When there’s a right way of doing things, there’s a wrong way as well. And when things are done the wrong way, several risks abound.

Depending on the nature of your business, certain risks can be more dangerous than others. Whatever the magnitude of the risk, it can be prevented by improving your processes to remove vulnerabilities.

As a business owner, ensuring the safety of your employees and customers is the least you can do. Business process optimization identifies risks arising from the execution of your current processes and removes the risks by creating an improved method of operations.

Give your employees the confidence that their safety matters as they go about their duties with standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been tested and certified risk-free. That way, they’ll be able to bring their A-game to the table.

3.   Streamlined Operations

Every business process would be effective save for bottlenecks—indicators that a process isn’t well-grounded as they obstruct the workflow.

Bottlenecks elongate the turnaround time of tasks. So much time is wasted on figuring out what to do and how to do it.

The most complex business processes can become the simplest when they are optimized. Optimization takes out all the bottlenecks, creating a free and seamless workflow that connects individual processes as one.

Automation is a good example of streamlining business operations, especially regarding repetitive tasks. Instead of wasting time on repetitive tasks, you can set them on autopilot while you focus on other tasks that require more brainstorming.

Gartner, a firm that delivers actionable, objective insights to executives and their teams,  predicts that 69 percent of routine managerial work will be automated by 2024. So, it suffices to say that automation is the way of the future.

4.   Maintain Consistency and Quality Assurance

Are you looking to acquire new customers and increase your customer retention rate? Besides marketing, maybe you need to pay more attention to enhancing the quality of your products or services by optimizing your business processes.

When new customers come, the quality of your offering will determine whether they’ll stay or not.

Offering high-quality products or services, consistently, gives you a competitive advantage. You instill confidence in your customers with your ability to replicate great results. With the assurance that you can always deliver, customers will have the confidence to call on you at any time without any fear of not getting the value that they are paying for.

As you optimize your business processes for consistency and quality assurance, you can automate some of your complex processes to minimize human error. The less human involvement in complex processes, the fewer errors.

5.   Better Management of Resources

Sustaining your resources depends on the processes in place to manage them. Inefficient processes cause you to use more resources than required in getting things done. And even at that, the results may not be so great, requiring you to commit more resources. Before you know it, your resources are diminishing because of non-profitable processes.

One way to prevent your processes from gulping your resources is to remove redundancy. If every step of a process serves a purpose, there’s no room for waste.

Business process optimization helps you to create efficient processes because each layer of your process is results-driven. That way, there are no bottlenecks to waste resources on. You get to put your resources to better use and enjoy their dividends.

6.   Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

The end game of most activities in the workplace is to satisfy your customers. You are in business to meet their needs, aren’t you?

When customers’ needs are met, they pay in exchange for the value delivered.

Effective processes are the “how-to” of satisfying your customers. If your processes are flawed, attaining customer satisfaction is difficult.

Perhaps your existing business processes are lagging in putting a smile on the faces of your clients. Not to worry—you can correct that anomaly by improving them with business process optimization.

In what areas are you having friction with your customers? What are your customers complaining about? Examine the processes that are used to cater to them in those areas and identify a better way to execute those processes.

Business process optimization offers great benefits, as you’ve read. But does your business really need optimization? Find out in the next chapter.

Chapter 3: Who Needs Business Process Optimization?

Who Needs Business Process Optimization?

Innovation is a benchmark for success in the modern business space. The willingness to improve your existing processes gives your business a strong footing against market competition.

As we have already established, business process optimization is key for business success. If you fail to improve your processes, you might be stuck with slow, outdated, and cumbersome processes that take forever to execute and endanger your business.

Let’s look at some pointers that your organization is in dire need of business process optimization.

Businesses that need process optimization have the following in common.

1.   Poor Communication

Regardless of where your team is working from, on-promise or remotely, they must communicate with each other about the projects they are executing. But when their communication centers on getting insights or instructions on how to perform their jobs, especially when you have existing business processes that are meant to cater to that but aren’t, there’s a problem.

Studies show that the cost of poor communication in business is up to $37 billion. Effective business processes relieve employees of asking continuous questions by providing them with all the instructions that they need. If your processes aren’t enough to guide them in their duties, it’s an indication that you have some improvements to do.

2.   Redundant Tasks

The most effective business processes are straightforward. There’s no room for duplicated and unnecessary steps. In a bid to have an exhaustive business process, you might be overly detailed, creating room for redundancy.

The longer the process, the longer the time, and sometimes the resources it requires for execution. 

3.   Complaint About the Same Issues

Are you receiving repeated complaints from several employees and customers about a particular issue? You’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you swept it under the carpet. Everyone complaining about the issue can’t be wrong.

Something must be off with the processes in question, so you need to fix them. And a great way to do that is to implement business process optimization.

4.   Difficulty Filling in New Positions

Having new employees in your organization is an indication of growth. But when the thought of training and onboarding the new entrants stresses you out, you might not be so excited about it.

Training and onboarding new employees can be daunting in the absence of streamlined business processes for the job. You repeat the simplest instructions repeatedly. And even at that, they may not get it.

You’d be surprised how optimizing your employee training and onboarding process can make a big difference. With the right tool, you can document your processes, automate repeated tasks, collaborate, and share these resources with your new hires for self-learning.

5.   Version Control Issues

How well do your team members utilize document version controls? Do they mix up the various versions of a document? This might seem like a basic issue until it costs you a big client or results in severe damages.

Identifying different versions of a document can be tasking for employees in the heat of work, especially if they have to do it manually.

Optimizing your processes allows you to update each version of a process without much hassle. You can also identify the exact version that you need with the press of a button without having to search through files manually.

Our goal is to ensure that you optimize your business processes for optimal performance. For that to happen, you need to have various parameters for measurement. In the next chapter, we discuss the five Cs of business process optimization.

Chapter 4: What Are the 5 Cs of Business Process Optimization?

What Are the 5 Cs of Business Process Optimization?

Business process optimization can be overwhelming when you try to do every single thing that comes to mind.

Focus is the watchword here. In the absence of it, you’ll end up doing so many unnecessary things, creating redundancy and a waste of time and resources.

The following five Cs of process optimization will help you stay on track and pay attention to the most important variables.

1.   Customer First

Since the end-game of your business operations is to satisfy the customers that you cater to, it makes sense that you put your customers first in your process optimization.

What are the expectations of your customers? How do they engage with your business? According to a Forbes report, 73 percent of businesses with above-average customer service perform better in terms of finance than their competitors.

If you focus on your internal operations without considering how your operations impact your customers, you might miss vital areas that are of utmost importance to your customers.

Adopt an outside-in approach. Improve your processes from the customers’ perspective to be sure that every process meets a pressing customer need.

2.   Conscientiousness (Awareness)

Optimizing business processes effectively requires an awareness of your progress. A step in the right direction is an indication that you are on the right track and spurs you to take more steps.

You need to define tangible key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you analyze and measure your performance. Your KPIs should align with your organizational goals. The more boxes you tick off your KPIs, the closer you are to achieving your goals.

3.   Collaboration

You might have great ideas for improving your business processes, but you mustn’t do it all by yourself. You couldn’t, even if you tried because there’s so much to be done.

Everyone who has a role to play in each process has to be involved at different levels to get their first-hand experience of executing the processes. Get the input of process owners and participants, and create room for feedback—you want to make sure that your employees and customers are getting the most of your processes.

4.   Communication

Open and transparent communication hasten the pace of your business process optimization.

Team members and stakeholders should always be privy to relevant information to be abreast of the latest developments. The KPIs and goals for the project should be made known to everyone to guide and help them stay on track.

Changes that arise while improving the processes should be communicated instantly so no one is left in the dark, working in the wrong direction.

5.   Continuous Execution

It’d be nice to get the process optimization over with once and for all, wouldn’t it? But that’s not the case. As long as your operations evolve, new bottlenecks will emerge in your processes so you have to make process optimization a continuous activity if you want to get the best possible results.

Make provision for an effective change management system that allows you to optimize your processes quickly without suffering downtime as you improve your processes continuously.

Optimizing your business processes changes your operations for the better but certain factors could alter the results. In the next chapter, we discuss the pitfalls of business process optimization and how to resolve them.

Chapter 5: What Are the Pitfalls of Business Process Optimization?

What Are the Pitfalls of Business Process Optimization?

Excited about the prospect of improving your operations, you optimize your business processes. You sit back and wait to enjoy the rewards of your efforts, but you see little or no difference. It feels like your operations are still the same.

Before you start lamenting about business process optimization being a complete waste of time, you need to examine if you did it the right way. Several pitfalls could ruin your process optimization efforts. It’s easier to fall into this ditch if you aren’t aware of it beforehand.

The common business process optimization pitfalls include the following.

1.   Not Problem-Solving

It’s easy to focus on improving your entire business process without identifying the specific areas that are underperforming.

There’s so much emphasis on efficiency in the workplace that neglecting the fact that efficiency or the absence of it lies in the condition of individual procedures.

You need to identify the root cause of the problems you are encountering and fix them one after the other. If you fail to tighten the loose ends, they’ll cause friction in your operations.

2.   Inadequate Data

Optimizing your processes involves improving existing processes. You can only improve on something when you have sufficient data to understand its current condition. That way, you are in a better position to deduce ways to make it better.

How much do you know about your current processes? You need to collaborate with the people or stakeholders that are directly involved in the processes to get the necessary information. You are better off having too much data and streamlining it to what you want rather than having insufficient data.

Broaden your scope. Don’t limit your data collection to top management officials. Allow other employees who are part of the processes to contribute too. 

3.   Jumping the Gun

Having the result of what you are working on can be exciting, but you and your team might be moving too fast to the finish line.

Improving business processes, effectively, requires attention to detail. You have to watch what’s happening and listen to what’s being said. If you rush it, you’ll miss important details. You’ll have the result that you are eager to have sooner but it might not be satisfying.

As much as you shouldn’t rush the optimization process, it shouldn’t drag on forever either. Set a reasonable timeline so everyone will be hands-on to complete it and not be complacent.

4.   Excessive Reliance on Technology

It’s impossible to optimize business processes in the modern business space without technology, as technology is a huge part of operations. But technology itself doesn’t solve problems—it’s how you use them that brings about problem-solving.

You don’t just implement a workflow tool in your business and expect it to transform your processes. You still have to do the work of mapping and documenting your processes yourself. Technology only comes in handy to simplify the documentation process, facilitate task management, enhance collaboration and automate repetitive tasks among other things.

5.   Inconsistency Across Teams or Departments

Different departments experiencing the same problems with a process might have a different terminology or language for identifying the problem. They might be referring to the same issue, but due to the difference in their communication, you might assume that they are talking about different things. And at the end of the day, you’ll have different results.

Pay close attention to various departments as they talk about the problems they encounter with existing processes. Let them describe the problem to you instead of just stating it. That way, you can pick up similarities between the same processes.

During optimization, ensure that the same processes have the same terminology or language across your organization so there’s no confusion.

6.   Delay in Implementation

Since business process optimization is a collaborative effort involving various teams or departments, there’s a tendency for it to be stalled. 

As one team does its own bit and passes it on to the next team, the new team might not be able to deliver on time. And until they make their own input, the project can’t move forward.

You need to map out an effective strategy beforehand, clearly stating the turnaround for each task. You can also use a workflow tool to track the work progress, seeing who’s delaying what.

Outline sanctions for defaulting teams or individuals beforehand for accountability.

Business process optimization isn’t one-size-fits-all. You have the liberty to choose a method that suits the unique needs of your business to get maximum results. Read along as we discuss the various process optimization methods and techniques in the next chapter.

Chapter 6: Common Process Optimization Methods and Techniques

Common Process Optimization Methods and Techniques


The competitive advantage that you desire is more sustainable when you have a blueprint that’s controllable and reliable. If for any reason you were able to optimize your business processes by chance, sustaining your newly established operations will be challenging as you wouldn’t be able to pinpoint what worked and what didn’t.

The following business process optimization methods exist to ensure that you can sustain and replicate your improvements under the right conditions.

1.   Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a data-driven methodology of streamlining operations for efficiency. The ideology of the concept is to attain near perfection.

Six Sigma focuses on the elimination of defects. When existing defects are removed, there’s a freeway for business operations to thrive. Measurement is another element of Six Sigma. It gives you a benchmark for measuring your progress from one point to another using the DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) and DMADV (define, measure, analyze, design, verify) sub-methodologies.


  • Define

What do you want to fix? Answering this question helps you to identify the problems in your processes. Proffering a solution without identifying the problem is a wild goose chase.

What’s the scope of the problem? You and your stakeholders must agree on the parameters of the project you are about to embark on.

Defining the problem also helps you to figure out the right improvement activities, opportunities for improvement, targeted goals, and how to meet the needs of your customers.

  • Measure

One way to know if you are doing the right thing is to measure your performance. In this phase, you have to map out your metrics for measurement.

What’s the current condition of your processes? You have to record the baseline data for comparison against emerging results.

As you create your processes, you need to test their effectiveness by measuring their performances. Are they serving the needs they were created for?

  • Analyze

Every ineffective process has a root cause. Until the root cause is identified and understood, the process can’t be enhanced.

The collected data is your best bet in figuring out underlying issues with your processes. From your data, you can see the red spots and bottlenecks in your processes. This information will help you to save time and resources chasing shadows so you can focus on the areas that need your attention the most. 

  • Improve

Having figured out the root cause of the problems from your data analysis, you and your team will be well-guided in addressing the problems. When you devise a solution, you have to test run it to see how effective it is.

The “improve” stage can only be said to be accomplished when you record tangible improvement from what the process used to be to what it is now.

  • Control

Having improved your process, you have to create an enabling environment for sustenance. What does the process require to thrive in its improved condition?

Pay close attention to the performance of the process and look out for indicators of underperformance. Keep track of your records and make the necessary changes to keep the process up and running optimally.


  • Define

There’s no better way to kick off a project than defining the “what” of the project as that will help you set definite goals. When optimizing business processes, you should focus on creating processes that’ll simplify the tasks of your employees, and most importantly, enhance the customer experience.

In this stage, you establish and review the guidelines that’ll help you achieve your goals.

  • Measurement

Quality control is key in process optimization as it helps you to maintain high performance or quality across your organization.

You need to identify the factors that are significant to quality control. What are the requirements to attain and sustain a certain quality? What are the critical design parameters?

There’s also the need to assess the process against possible risks and their volatility in the face of those risks.

  • Analysis

Several challenges associated with optimizing your business processes can be avoided when you carry out an extensive analysis of the project before commencement.

In this stage, you’ll develop design alternatives and create conceptual designs with the goal of identifying the best design for improving your processes.

  • Design

Having developed design alternatives for your optimization, you proceed with the design of your choice, one that aligns with your goals the most. You have to identify and prioritize the elements of your design and input the details into your design.

  • Verify

The verification stage helps you to determine the feasibility of your design in the real world. Is it applicable to your business? Does it impact your operations positively?

The design must meet the efficiency needs of your team members and the satisfaction of your customers before it can be certified to be effective.

In addition to verifying the effectiveness of the design, in this stage, you also have to ensure that it’s sustainable and put measures in place to manage its sustainability.

2.   International Standards Organization (ISO)

The International Standards Organization (ISO) is a certification that helps businesses to develop and improve their performances in line with internationally accepted standards of operations.

To become ISO certified, organizations have to undergo an audit of the ISO standard in their industry including ISO 9001 (Quality Assurance Management), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management), 27001 (Information Security Management), ISO 22000 (Food Safety Management), ISO 45001 (Health and Safety), etc. Besides having a competitive advantage with the certification, your business is sure to enjoy several benefits including:

  • Streamlined operations
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Risk identification and assessment
  • Increased business opportunities

ISO 9001 is an effective methodology for business process improvement because, as an internationally recognized quality management system (QMS), it’s been proven and tested by a team of experts. 

The ISO certification steps include the following:

  • Document Your Management System

Developing your management systems involves identifying your core processes, documenting those processes, and then reviewing and approving the processes.

It’s important that you document your processes in a comprehensive way so that they can be understood by your team members who use them.

The processes must be reviewed against the stipulated standards for compliance. Once that’s settled, you make them easily accessible by your team.

  • Implement Your System

Why take the time to document procedures if you aren’t going to make use of them? Documented procedures will only be effective when they are performed as documented.

Some employees may not use your new procedures because they lack the technical know-how. Ensure that you provide the necessary training. With that in place, be firm about everyone in your organization working with your new procedures.

The implementation stage is incomplete without measurement. As you implement the processes across your organization, measure their effectiveness. Processes that fall short in their performances should be reviewed for improvement.

  • Verify That Your System is Effective

Verifying the effectiveness of your system requires an internal audit of the processes. Observe the processes as they are in action and review them for compliance with the requirements in your industry.

Speak to the employees who perform the processes and get their feedback on efficiency. Check the strengths and weaknesses of the processes and report them accordingly.

Based on your observations, you should take corrective or preventive actions.

  • Register Your System

In this phase, your goal is to register your system to undergo the test for certification.

Look for a credible auditing body for external registration. Gather your management system documentation and submit them for review.

Make arrangements for an external auditor to conduct the review to certify that your system’s requirements align with the stipulated standards.

3.   Kaizen

Running a successful business comes with the responsibility of constantly evolving. The metrics for success today could change tomorrow. Failure to adapt to the new environment puts your business in a disadvantaged position.

There are two major kinds of change that an organization can implement—breakthrough change and continuous improvement.

Breakthrough change refers to a complete overhaul of your operations. Since it requires a total transformation across the entire business, breakthrough change is done occasionally.

Continuous improvement, on the other hand, refers to the minor changes that you make frequently. Once you notice that something is off, you fix it immediately to make your operations more efficient.

Kaizen borders on continuous improvement. A Japanese word that translates to “for the better,” it recognizes that there’s an opportunity for improvement in every situation. Even when something is good, there’s a chance to make it better.

There are two major aspects of Kaizen in business process optimization: philosophy and action.

  • Philosophy: The philosophy holds that change is a collective effort of everyone in an organization from top to bottom.
  • Action: The action posits that, although the cultivation of continuous improvement culture is key, it’s not enough to give you the change that you seek. You have to execute a series of Kaizen activities to bring the change to fruition.

Let’s discuss the steps involved in optimizing your business processes with Kaizen.

  • Establish a Culture of Kaizen

What better way to commence a project in your organization than announcing it to your team members? Information about the process optimization from discussions at the management level may have been going around in hushed tones, but your employees deserve to hear about it from the horse’s mouth.

Let them know that optimizing the process in the organization is a collective effort and that their contributions or suggestions are highly welcome. Don’t just stop at asking them to feel free to make contributions. Create avenues for them to contribute: otherwise, some employees may feel reluctant.

Create Kaizen Corners—these are places where team members can drop or send their suggestions to.

Implementing the contributions can be done in three parts.

  • Stage One: Gather all the suggestions and evaluate them carefully. If some of the suggestions don’t make your final cut, acknowledge the employees who made the suggestions by giving them feedback on why that is so. That way, they’ll feel valued and not be discouraged.
  • Stage Two: At this stage, you train your employees on how process improvement is done so that they are able to make more positive contributions.
  • Stage Three: Ensure that employees who are committed to the process optimization are duly rewarded for their efforts. By doing so, the process is exciting and everyone is more willing to participate.

How to Put Kaizen into Practice

  • Organize Your Team

You need a team to form a quality control circle (QCC) for successful process optimization. The best team for the job consists of people from different levels of your organization such as the management officials, shop-floor employees, and process specialists.

  • Define the Problem

Make a clear definition of the problem for focus. You might be having trouble in other areas of your organization. Taking it all on at once will be overwhelming. Pinpoint the specific problems that you want to solve and the processes that you need to optimize to solve them.

  • Develop Key Metrics

If you don’t have metrics for improvement, you’ll find it difficult to know whether you are doing something right or wrong. Measure your progress along the way with your metrics to help you stay on track.

  • Create Solutions

A problem isn’t solved until an effective solution is created. With the current data of the problem in your hands, map out a solution that’ll enhance the processes.

The solution will vary according to the problem. For instance, you might have to adopt new software to solve a particular problem instead of just changing the process.

  • Test the Solutions

The solutions you have created can only be said to be effective when tested. Run the processes and observe their performances. The metrics you developed earlier will come in handy in helping you ascertain the efficiency of your new processes.

  • Implement the New Process

If you are satisfied with the performance of your new processes, it’s time to implement them across your organization. Ensure that they are made available and accessible to everyone on your team.

There you have it, the various methodologies that you can adopt in implementing business process optimization. While these methodologies are effective, there are specific business process optimization techniques that you can also implement to achieve stronger results. Read along as we discuss them in the next chapter.

Chapter 7: Practical Steps for Business Process Optimization

Practical Steps for Business Process Optimization

So you are ready to optimize your business processes. Depending on the gravity of the setback you are experiencing in your business as a result of your current processes, you might think that you have to do something big or cumbersome to bring about the improvement that you desire.

But that isn’t always the case.

Sometimes the most complicated problems are solved with the simplest ideas. It isn’t about the size of the problem but the ingenuity of the idea to solve it.

We can say the same thing about business process optimization. It’s amazing how implementing the following steps can bring about a total transformation in your organization.

1.   Identify

What’s the issue at hand? Or better still, what’s the process that’s causing an issue?

You might have several problematic processes in your operations. To get the best results, you need to address each of them one after the other.

Focus on a particular problem. Zoom in on it to identify what’s making it ineffective.

Ask questions about the execution of the process to find out the root of the problem. The goal is to figure out what can be done to make the process effective. Don’t be in a hurry to create additional layers to the process without figuring out ways to improve its current condition.

2.   Rethink

Business process optimization thrives on efficiency. A great way to be efficient is to work with available resources to get maximum results.

So, you have been executing your processes a certain way without getting the desired results. Instead of completely overhauling the processes and starting from scratch, can you think of better ways to execute the same processes? In this case, you’ll streamline the processes, putting your available resources to better use.

For instance, if a process is too slow, you are better off identifying the factors that are responsible for the slowness and removing them instead of discarding the process. Shortening the turnaround of a single process can have a significant impact on your operations.

3.   Analyze

As you make the necessary changes to your processes, you need to be confident in your actions by examining all the areas at stake.

Map out your objectives beforehand and implement a plan to guide you in achieving the objectives. How do you intend to measure your success?

Developing a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) will help you with that. In a situation where you have to implement a workflow software to automate some of your repetitive processes, measuring the time difference in executing such processes manually and automatically will give you an idea of your progress.

4.   Implement/Automate

It’s almost impossible to optimize business processes without automation. That’s because some of your processes, especially the repetitive ones, slow down your operations.

Repetitive tasks aren’t of less importance, so they deserve some attention. Fortunately, you can set them on autopilot with an automation tool. That way, you and your team members will have more time on your hands to carry out more engaging tasks.

Human errors are a constant struggle in many organizations. With business automation software, continuous errors will be a thing of the past. Once you program your system accurately, it runs with utmost accuracy.

5.   Monitor

The most efficient business processes are continuously monitored for constant improvement. Even when you do an almost perfect job optimizing a process, it could slack in no time. If you weren’t monitoring it, you would be oblivious of this.

Keep a close eye on your new processes to detect any downfalls. Too busy to do that manually? You can leverage automation tools to monitor the performance of your processes as it analyzes the real-time reports on your dashboard.

Examples of Business Process Optimization

Examples of Business Process Optimization

Business process optimization happens around us every day. In a bid to enhance their operations, organizations seek new and better ways to do their jobs. Sometimes they do this in the simplest ways without thinking too much of it. They just want their operations to be smoother and they go for it.

But it’s a different mindset when they are conscious of implementing business process optimization. They complicate things by trying too hard. There’s a misconception that optimizing processes has to be complex for the processes to be effective so the more difficult it seems, the better the process.

That’s a false premise. Sometimes, a little tweak does the magic.

Let’s take a look at some examples of optimizing business processes:

Automating Your Social Media Posts

Your company engages in social media marketing to reach prospects on social media. Your social media manager posts content three times a week. They take the time to create the content and publish it manually on the selected days of the week. Whenever they aren’t feeling too well, they are unable to create and post any content. There’s no post for as long as their sickness lingers.

Now you have identified the problem of inconsistent posts and you want to optimize the process. Since creating the content requires brainwork, your social media does the content creation. But instead of waiting to post it on the selected days, you adopt an automation software that allows them to schedule the posts ahead of time and they go live on the scheduled days. By doing so, you’ll have your content up regardless of what’s going on with your social media manager.

Empowering Your Employees With the Right Resource

As the chief operating officer (COO), you are unable to get any tangible work done because other employees are always asking you questions about how to execute one process or the other.

You document the processes on a Microsoft Word Doc so they can access the information they need instead of coming to you, but they keep coming back because (a) searching for the specific information they need is tedious and (b) the information in the document is outdated.

The question-and-answer sections continue. Committed to solving that problem, you implement process optimization software and document your business processes. Every process is documented in a comprehensive way and your team members can access them whenever they need to.

Now you can concentrate on your job as other employees have been empowered with the information they need to be efficient at their jobs.

In both examples, implementing software made the difference in optimizing their operations. That explains the importance of adopting the right tools in getting the most of your processes. Are you thinking of how to find the perfect tool to assist you in optimizing your processes? Think no further—we have the right one for you. Check it out in the next chapter.

Chapter 8: How SweetProcess Can Help You Optimize Your Business Processes

The excitement you felt before you started optimizing your business processes will fizzle out if you don’t get the desired results by the time you are done. You have every reason to be disappointed because it’s a waste of time, resources, manpower, and other valuables.

Instead of relying solely on your capacity, you can leverage business optimization software to maximize the potential of your processes. But just any software doesn’t cut it—you need one that’s effective. Allow us to introduce you to SweetProcess.

SweetProcess is a workflow software that helps businesses like yours streamline their operations for efficiency. It’s an effective tool for business process optimization as it offers several features to help you raise the bar of your operations.

TechQuarters, a London-based IT company, is one of the many businesses that have benefited from using SweetProcess to streamline their operations. The organization was able to overcome tribal knowledge among its employees by creating more effective business processes with SweetProcess.

Let’s see some of the ways that SweetProcess can help you optimize your processes and change your operations for the better.

1.   Documenting Processes

From all we have said thus far, it’s obvious that effective process documentation is an integral part of business process optimization. Employees can only do their best when they are empowered with the necessary information that they need to execute their tasks.

Merely documenting your processes doesn’t cut it because you could document them the wrong way. For instance, if you used a tool like Google Docs to document your processes, it’s going to fall short because it lacks the features to bring your processes to life. Yes, employees can access the document remotely, but does it have the visual capacity to make your processes easy to understand?

SweetProcess makes process documentation a fun sport. Text is just one of the many features at your disposal to create your processes. You can also use images, videos, charts, graphs, and more to capture your processes beyond words.

What’s the point in documenting processing that no one understands? You can rest assured that such documents will be abandoned. With SweetProcess, that can’t happen because you can create the simplest and most comprehensive processes. 

The visual documentation capacity of SweetProcess was too good to ignore for the team at Turkstra Lumber, a US-based construction company. Its business intelligence officer, Jamie Ramsden, stated that their team was more in tune with their business processes through the visual representation that SweetProcess offered.

2.   Automation

Automation is at the forefront of business process optimization. Take away automation from the equation and you’ll continue to spend so much time on processes that can be executed better and faster.

To get the most of automation at the workplace, you need to identify your repetitive tasks. In most cases, these tasks are mechanical and don’t require much human engagement. Having identified the repetitive tasks, you enter the details of the actions that you want your system to execute.

SweetProcess automation features are very effective in task management. Are you collaborating with teammates on projects? You don’t have to go through the stress of informing everyone to make their inputs. The system takes the burden off your shoulders by sending notifications to team members when the work gets to their table.

You can also use the automation feature to get approvals on time. The approving personnel is notified promptly to do the needful without obstructing the workflow.

Implementing updated documents across your organization can also be simplified with SweetProcess. Once a process is updated, team members are notified about the update and they begin to use it right away instead of being in the dark about the status of the document. The same applies to versioning. Employees are duly notified about the various versions of a document to avoid a mix-up. 

3.   Master Processes

Mastering a process takes a deliberate effort to ensure that the process is in its best condition at every point in time. To achieve this, you have to constantly look out for opportunities to improve your processes.

Constant process improvement thrives in an enabling environment. Having a system that allows you to make changes to your processes without causing an obstruction or overhaul makes for an enabling environment. That’s one of the core strengths of SweetProcess.

MiPA, a top virtual personal assistant support and call answering services company in the UK, successfully mastered its processes by using SweetProcess. According to its founder, Emma Mills, her number one feature of SweetProcess is its ability to enable you to amend a process or improve on it.

4.   Centralized Knowledge Base

Process optimization is about creating free movement in the workflow. Most times, obstructions or delays in the workflow are due to a lack of information. When employees don’t know what to do, they’ll either make a mistake by doing the wrong thing or leave what they are supposed to do and go around asking questions. The person attending to their questions leaves the job they are supposed to do in answering those questions.

Providing employees with all the information that they need to execute their jobs independently and efficiently is part of the optimization process. SweetProcess allows you to create a centralized knowledge base that’s accessible by your team remotely. More so, you can control how team members access your documents by granting them different access levels.

You’ll be amazed at how the management at pLink Leadership, an executive coaching and leadership development organization, were able to eliminate fear among its employees by creating a strong knowledge base with SweetProcess.

We can go on and on about how SweetProcess can help you achieve business success by optimizing your processes effectively. But wouldn’t you rather see it for yourself? You can do that without paying a dime. How? SweetProcess offers a 14-day free trial. And guess what? No credit card is required. If you aren’t impressed with the software at the end of the trial, you can simply walk away. You have nothing to lose in trying it out.

Before we round up, we’d like to give you more information on how to choose the right business optimization software for your business. When you are done reading the next chapter, you’ll be in a better position to make a buying decision.

Chapter 9: How to Choose the Right Business Process Optimization Software

How to Choose the Right Business Process Optimization Software

The success of your business process optimization largely depends on the software you are working with. Instead of sweating over every little detail, the right software helps you to delegate and automate your tasks, leaving you with more time on your hands. 

A Google search of business process optimization software will give you several options to choose from. There’s a tendency for you to get overwhelmed by all the information at your disposal. We have compiled a list of factors to use as a benchmark in determining the suitability of a business process optimization tool for your organization.

1.   Industry Experience

Some tools are created to serve businesses in certain industries. Adopting a tool that’s outside the jurisdiction of your business is a flop. No matter how hard you work to implement it, its performance will be below the mark.

It’s important that you verify the suitability of the software to your kind of business before you go for it. Find out if businesses in your industry have used it or are using it. If they are getting good results, you can rest assured that you have the right tool.

2.   Automation

Automation is non-negotiable in business process automation. You need a tool that will enable you to automate some of your tasks, especially the repetitive ones.

Besides the tool having automation features, you need to confirm if they are effective. Can automated tasks be executed independently once you have set up the system? Or do you still have to monitor every detail? If the latter is the case, you aren’t enjoying the full benefits of automation yet.

3.   Integration

There’s only so much one software can do in optimizing your business operations. Using a combination of tools will give you better results than a single tool would. While the software you are getting may have several features to streamline your operations, you might need to integrate it with other tools to accomplish more work.

Having the various workflow tools you use on one system makes your job easier. You get more work done instead of moving from one place to another.

4.   Ease of Use and Accessibility

Optimizing your business processes can be a handful. Don’t complicate things any further by implementing complex software. You want to use a tool that simplifies the process with easy-to-use features.

Configuration is another factor to consider regarding ease of use. The more basic it is to configure the system, the faster and better it is for you to use it. That way, employees with basic IT skills can get accustomed to it easily without having to acquire advanced IT skills.

5.   Pricing

Pricing plays a key role in the buying journey, generally. It’s no exception when choosing a tool for process optimization. Two products may offer similar features but have different pricing. Instead of going for the more affordable one outrightly, compare the values of both items first.

The value of a tool should be proportional to its pricing. If it offers high value, it’s understandable for it to be more expensive than a product of lower value.

Chapter 10: Who Should Take Charge of Process Optimization?

Who Should Take Charge of Process Optimization

Just as with any major project, someone has to be in charge of business process optimization to maintain orderliness and fast-track the project. Otherwise, things will be all over the place.

Typically, a project manager oversees the implementation of business process optimization. It’s the project manager’s responsibility to create a plan for what needs to be done and how it should be done. You also need to delegate tasks to other people in your organization to actualize your goal.

Although the project manager is in charge of the optimization process, they don’t have to make decisions all by themselves. The contributions of stakeholders including the chief operations officer, line manager, and other executive personnel are key in the decision-making process.

The leaders of the various departments have to be consulted in optimizing the processes in their departments to get valuable insights into how their operations work. By doing so, the team members in that department will resonate with the improved processes.


The market competition bar is ever rising as businesses thrive to satisfy insatiable consumer needs. If one business fails to deliver, there are several others eagerly waiting to deliver and consumers are all in for that. Your failure to optimize your business processes is an answered prayer to your competitors especially when they are continuously optimizing theirs.

Why shoot yourself in the foot when you can simply do the needful?

Get up and get it done.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to optimize your business processes. You can also download our free material​​, Checklist for Business Process Optimization. Good luck!

Checklist for Business Process Optimization

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