How Do You Eat An Elephant? You cut him into bite-sized chunks, and eat them one mouthful at a time. (The oldest jokes are the best, and the funniest ones have an element of truth to them.)
The same principle applies to making changes to your processes: don’t try to swallow the elephant whole – cut him down to size first. Actually, the first step is to choose the elephant, but we’re assuming the business has already done that. Better still, it could be that your staff are reading this post, and are inspired enough to start improving their own processes off their own bat.
Take that process, and look at it in detail, considering the Method (what steps you take) and the Tools (what you’re using to carry them out). See whether you’re doing things right (Efficiency), and more importantly whether you’re doing the right things (Effectiveness).
Always try to improve your Processes. Ideally, you want a process improvement culture These can be small wins, and that’s fine. Trying to change everything about everything is a recipe for failure.
Keep It Simple. Look at your processes for Efficiency and Effectiveness. First, cut out the number of steps (the Method). A checklist is a great place to start. Next, consider automating what’s left (the Tools). Automating a mistake prone process only increases the number of errors.
Consider the 80-20 Rule. Automating the routine gives you more time to focus on the value-add.
Your new process should Do It Right The First Time; it will save you three times as much effort, to say nothing of the knock-on costs.
Approach the design and the implementation as a whole, but try to do both in bite-sized chunks.