The most important aspect of optimizing your process is to develop trust in your organization.
As awareness of the importance of processes in business has grown, most organizations have created documentation for their processes. You have probably documented yours too. A more important question is whether your business processes are optimized.
Business processes fall short when they aren’t efficient. The point of having processes is not to take up space, but rather to make operations more efficient and improve performance.
This means that the task was not done in the best way possible and there is room for improvement. The improvement of business processes is the core of optimization.
What is Business Process Optimization?
Business process optimization is the process of improving existing business processes for better operations. In order for business optimization to occur, recognition of the need for improvement is necessary. This improvement benefits all businesses as it leads to better outcomes.
You should optimize your business processes, but not to the point where you’re working beyond your capacity. The goal is to use the resources you have to improve your existing processes. You want to save resources at the end of the day. The process of business process optimization involves 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? There would be no point in doing something if it would not benefit you or your company. The following chapter will discuss the benefits you gain from optimizing your business processes.
Who Needs Business Process Optimization?
If you want to be successful in business, you need to be innovative. If you’re always looking for ways to improve your business processes, you’ll be in a much better position to compete against other businesses in your industry.
Businesses need to optimize their processes to be successful. If you don’t improve your business processes, you could end up with slow, outdated and complicated processes that take a long time to complete and could jeopardize your business.
Here are some signs that your organization might need to optimize its business processes:
There are several things that businesses who need process optimization have in common.
1. Poor Communication
Wherever your team is working from, they need to communicate with each other about the projects they are working on. If their primary way of communication is to get insights or instructions on how to do their jobs, and these business processes don’t exist or don’t cater to that, there is a problem.
This research indicates that poor communication in business costs American organizations billions of dollars every year. If business processes are effective, employees won’t need to keep asking questions because they will have all the information they need. This suggests that you need to improve your processes if they are not adequate in directing employees in their work.
2. Redundant Tasks
The most effective business processes are straightforward. There’s no room for duplicated and unnecessary steps. You might be overly detailed in your business process, creating room for redundancy.
The longer the process, the more time and resources it can take to complete.
3. Complaint About the Same Issues
Do you have a problem that several employees and customers are complaining about? You will only make things worse if you try to ignore the problem. Everyone complaining about the issue can’t be wrong.
The processes must be faulty, so you need to fix them. One way to improve your business is to optimize your business processes.
4. Difficulty Filling in New Positions
Adding new employees to your organization is a sign of growth. Although you may be excited about the idea of training and onboarding new employees, the thought of it may also be stressful.
Having a streamlined process for training and onboarding new employees makes it less daunting. You repeat the simplest instructions repeatedly. And even at that, they may not get it.
If you improve your employee training and onboarding process, it will have a big impact. The right tool can help you document your processes, automate tasks, collaborate, and share resources with new hires for self-learning.
5. Version Control Issues
Do your team members use document version controls effectively? Do they include different versions of a document? If this seems like a basic issue to you, it could cost you a big client or result in severe damages.
Different versions of a document can be hard to keep track of for employees, especially if they have to do it manually.
Making your processes more efficient makes it easier to change and improve each process. The ability to identify the exact version you need with the press of a button eliminates the need to search through files manually.
An organization that has been disappointed by broken tests or discouraged by a period of losing tests will not be able to continue its testing program with enthusiasm. A culture of experimentation is important for your job security and the effectiveness of your testing program.
Thing is, teams keep making the same mistakes. I have seen many times how badly these things destroy organizational support. What are the 5 mistakes?
1. Making Decisions Using Opinions Instead of Data
While CRO teams have a lot of knowledge and are probably well-informed about the online landscape, they may not be experts in site design and shouldn’t be the only people who decide what the “best practices” are.
If tests are developed due to personal preferences rather than what would be most effective, the testing strategy may not be successful.
People and consumers tend to research and study topics that are important to them. If you use psychological research to come up with ideas for tests, you can improve your conversion rate or, at the very least, have a starting point for your team’s brainstorming process.
Essentially, confirmation bias is a way of looking at new information in a way that reaffirms what you already think – even if it’s not necessarily true. People tend to form opinions and then only look for evidence that supports those opinions, even if there is evidence that goes against those opinions.
2. Declining to Understand Who Your Users are Before Jumping Straight into A/B Testing
Do your tests target your real users’ needs? Before you can address that question, you must first understand:
- who your users are
- what they’re trying to do with your site.
If you don’t know who you are optimizing for, how is your organization supposed to value your optimization recommendations?
Learn About Your Users Before High-Velocity Testing
You should not start a testing schedule that is very intense without having a good reason for doing the tests and knowing a lot about the people who will be using the product.
As arbitrary as most companies’ ‘personas’ are, if you create customer personas with real data, you solve two things:
- You can create better tests with a more empirical understanding of your users.
- You can communicate this understanding to execs, which solidifies trust in your testing program.
The best way to do user research is to create personas. This will help you to understand your users and their needs.
If you’re in luck, your organization will have data scientists or analysts who can help you understand what this looks like. They’ll use complex methods such as cluster analysis, cohort analysis, and advanced data mining techniques to learn about your customers.
If you want to get clear insights from Google Analytics, you need to have a good understanding of it. It is beneficial to use a tool like Amplitude or Heap Analytics to collect data on behavioral cohorts and identify correlations in different user groups.
These analytics tools allow you to map out user journeys through your site. Session replays and user testing in combination with heat maps can give you a detailed understanding of how people are interacting with your site.
Including on-site surveys as well as customer surveys will help you to understand both who your customers are and what they want to achieve, putting you ahead of most of your rivals.
3. Assuming That all Website Visitors Think the Same Way
Stop looking for easy answers and over-simplified stories when you are trying to understand your customers. They are not all the same, even if they share some characteristics.
If you assume that the models and theories that exist are factual, you may make invalid assumptions about your audience. Although these models and theories can be helpful, you should be careful not to treat them as definitive rules.
For example, you can have a series of customers who are all 35-year-old males from the same city who all need the same product (that your site happens to sell!). Jumping to the conclusion that everyone needs to use your site in the same way can lead your CRO team astray.
Male A is interested in buying a product today, while Male B is trying to decide if he should repair the one he has before buying a new one. Although Male C has not made a purchase yet, he may be close to deciding which product to buy. The site can be optimized for different users who will use it in different ways.
In other words, someone could be classified as “competitive” at 1pm today, but could be classified as “spontaneous” at 8pm on Thursday night. People are more complicated than the astrology signs or labels we create for them.
4. Forgetting (or Neglecting) to QA the Test that You’ve Set Up
There is nothing more disappointing than when a well-researched hypothesis fails because of a quality assurance issue with the test itself.
It’s important to both launch tests at a high velocity and maintain quality standards. If tests are not confirmed to be accurate before they are pushed live, it will cause the organization to lose trust in the tests (and the team).
Using an official QA process can help mitigate these risks
It is advisable to use the organization’s QA team to check your test pages. The internal QA team is the best resource for finding issues with your tests within the landscape of the existing site structure.
If your company does not have an internal Quality Assurance team, you can contract out this service. If you don’t have an internal QA team, you’ll need to find a way to check your tests for errors.
5. Avoiding Admitting the Hard Truth When a Test Fails Miserably and Costs You Real Money
The example used above showed that sales decreased by 40% when variation pages were used. The organization could have lied about the results or skewed the data to look less tragic, but they would have risked the testing program if they weren’t honest. We ran the test again to get accurate results that the company could use.
You didn’t “fail” – you learned
Frame a test loss as a learning opportunity. This is easy, because it is a learning opportunity.
If you ran a valid test and the variation lost by 50%, you would need to take action. You prevented the company from losing money by skipping A/B testing and just implementing. You learned that what you changed mattered to your audience. They behaved differently based on your changes.
Even though testing has some inherent risk, it is still much better than not testing at all. Make sure your organization is aware of this. If a CRO team deployed changes site-wide without testing, it would be the same as running an A/B test with 100% of traffic going to the new variation. Most CRO teams would not recommend doing this.
THE PROBLEM: YOUR BUSINESS ISN’T GROWING AS FAST AS IT SHOULD!
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