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Process Optimization Template
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Reimagine the Process
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Enact the Changes
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Automate and Monitor the Optimized Processes
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Process optimization will require you to take a look at different levels of a process. (source)

Process optimization is typically heard about optimizing business processes. These processes may be assembling products, onboarding employees, or any other repeatable task that goes on within an organization. The key to the definition is that processes are repeatable, they’re not one-time deals. That’s why they’re optimized – to receive a long term benefit. Optimizing those processes has become a trending solution in the modern business era. By working at maximum efficiency, businesses can save a ton of money and increase gains. Process optimization can be a complex task, especially for larger corporations. The more repeatable tasks that occur each day, the more potential for optimization. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may be more time consuming and require more expenditure. So, how does it work?

Process Optimization Explained

Process optimization, and specifically business process optimization, is one of the last steps along the Business Process Management trail. Process optimization concerns itself with creating more productivity out of what you already have. This can range from anything like improving communication methods to getting rid of redundancies along the way. The overarching goal will be to reduce and at best eliminate, wasted resources and time to increase productivity. In total, there are three parameters that one may adjust to increase or affect optimal performance. They are:

  • Control Optimization
  • Operating Procedures
  • Equipment Optimization

Control Optimization

Control optimization refers to optimizing processes where control loops are present. Control loops maintain one part of a process. For example, a control loop may regulate water flow or temperature control. Control loops may not be properly tuned and/or design. This will cause the process to function below optimal levels and waste resources and energy. Control optimization works to resolve that issue so you’re not wasting additional resources.

Operating Procedures

Operating procedures is a term that you’ve likely heard a million times before in your career. These procedures may wildly vary depending on the field or industry your organization is involved with. It may even differ between shifts and individual persons. Typically, operating procedures are optimized via automation. This will drastically cut labor costs and human errors. However, there are other ways to optimize procedures that don’t require automation.

Equipment Optimization

Equipment optimization is normally the first thing you’ll do when optimizing processes. That’s because verifying equipment is relatively easy when compared to the lengthy efforts that the other two types of process optimization. This is where you’ll examine data and determine what equipment is working at its maximum productivity and where bottlenecks are happening.

Benefits of Process Optimization

Process optimization has become a trending solution to increasing the value of organizations – and for good reason. If you incorporate this type of optimization into your organization, you’ll be rewarded with a slew of benefits.

Here are some examples:

  • You’ll eliminate any redundancies in processes.
  • You’ll be able to better see any changes in the future
  • You’ll have better overall communication between departments and individuals. This may even create new methods of communication.
  • You’ll be able to speed

Steps for Process Optimization

Process optimization certainly won’t occur in days or perhaps even weeks. It’s a lengthy process that will require mutual efforts from every department and individual involved. However, the benefits stand to be excellent and it’s a process that every organization should undertake eventually. It can even become necessary to constantly go through this process as your organization expands and new processes are being created. Many scholarly articles have been done on process optimization, so ensure that you keep up-to-date with the latest trends.  With that in mind, here are the steps for process optimization.

1. Identify

It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? The first step is more than likely the easiest step for you. Think of all the processes that your organization does daily, or even on a weekly, or monthly, basis. As long as the process is repeating, it will be worth optimizing. Although, processes that are repeated more frequently than others will be worth more to optimize in the long term. These processes should be troublesome for your organization. It may be causing issues for management, HR, production, or any department. It can also be a process that is known to frustrate or irritate consumers. These are going to be the processes that will have the most impact when optimized.

After you’ve identified the problem processes, you’ll need to acknowledge the core value of the process. These will be the unchangeable parts of your process. They may include the final purpose or overall goal of the processor required steps that are necessary to complete it.

Some things that will be pertinent to think about include:

  • How the process begins and finishes
  • How, what, and where information travels between steps to the process
  • Who is involved in the process? This can be individual persons or entire departments

These types of questions will help you understand what the process is, rather than how it works. You can use this information to optimize without losing the core value and function of the process.

2. Reimagine the Process

Reimagining the process will be key in how process optimization will eventually play out. (source)

This step of process optimization is typically going to be the most difficult task on your journey. This is because you’ll need to reimagine how the process should function and ways to mitigate redundancies and wasted resources.

Here are some things that you should consider:

  • What other ways are there to perform this process? Look toward competitors or new technological advancements that may carry answers that weren’t present before.
  • What resources and expenditures does this process require? This can help you understand if too much of a resource is being used or if there isn’t currently enough support for the process to run optimally.
  • Where are the problem issues? Is your process stalling? Does a delay occur? Correcting these issues often brings the most impact.
  • What resources are being wasted in correcting mistakes and errors currently? If you can determine when and where resources are being used to correct a mistake in the process, this can highlight a dire need for change.
  • What are the steps to the process? Run through the process multiple times yourself, or record others doing it. If there is a mistake or error that occurs, you’ll be able to track where exactly processes are need optimization.

Rethinking different aspects of your organization will always be helpful. 

Envision the small as well as large details behind a process. Making macro changes can quickly express a dramatic change, but focusing on the micro issues will bring out the desperately needed optimization and can even end up making more of an impact that the elephant-in-the-room corrections.

Process improvement templates will help the journey go smoother. 

3. Enact the Changes

Once you’ve found the small details and identified where changes need to occur for better optimization, it’ll be time to apply these processes in a new manner. This can be a tedious and time-consuming task, but don’t fret. You’re almost there. At this stage, you’ll need everyone involved to be on board with the idea of change. Everyone from general staffing to management will need to be ready and willing to change the process for optimization to take effect. If you fail to get others on board, the entire optimization process will be ruined and worthless.

This is because you’ll need these people to start enacting the improved process so you can gather feedback and data. This will help determine if the improvements worked or if more work needs to be done to fully optimize the process. This crucial step in the journey will determine whether you need to start the project over again, make improvements, or if it’s been a success for your organization.

4. Automate and Monitor the Optimized Processes

Once you’ve found a process to be fully optimized, you’ll need to automate it across your organization to see the fruits of your labor. This is where you’ll see mistake prevention, resources saved, and cost reductions. Once you’ve automated, the last thing for you to do is to monitor. Using process analysis templates will help the monitoring process. Monitoring the optimized process will allow you to track if it will be successful in the long term while also allowing yourself the opportunity to continue to improve it. This can be crucial as technology rapidly advances in the modern world.

Keep Employees Happy To Optimize Processes

It is quite essential for an employee to know how much company spending on their part is okay, and it’s also important for team managers and higher-ups to issue thorough and detailed expense reimbursement forms. With understanding of the details on both ends, companies can more efficiently issue process optimization templates. With the main intentions of operating procedures controlling optimization, implementing process optimization templates should always include the most useful way to communicate employee spending, and should detail out the companies expense reimbursement policy.

Having this transparent level of communication between team members and managers creates a healthier work environment. In a healthy work environment, companies can carry out process optimization efforts with ease. 

Continuous Improvement In Process Models For Process Optimization

The upkeep and maintenance of ongoing process models helps to keep different departments and team members on pace with one another. It would only make sense that the optimization of a business will begin to fall apart when team members and departments begin becoming distant from each other. Information gathered from employees, managers and stakeholders should all be considered and presented in process models. With the information presented, companies can usefully carry out the execution of a process optimization template.

Ongoing supervision of business processes and models keeps the main intentions of the company / department at hand. Gathering as much information as possible from different sources helps to improve process models, which will ultimately result in creating better process optimization.  Even though identifying the necessary components to be added to a process model can take time, the pay off will be well worth it, as the company is feasibly able to focus on the most important aspects of business at the moment. Automating a fine-tuned process optimization can be useful for saving a lot of time in the future. 

Listening To Customer Feedback To Optimize Business Processes

When assessing which business aspects and processes need the most attention, it would be advised to first turn attention towards what the companies customers are saying about their products and / or recent performance. A questionnaire issued to customers can be a very effective way of gauging how they feel about the company at the moment, and what the company can do to improve. A useful customer feedback form should be as detailed as possible, gathering as much information as necessary. Using customer feedback forms can help to optimize business processes by;

  • Giving The Company Information As To What Most Customers Are Demanding
  • Making Sense Of What Business Processes To Optimize First
  • Putting Demands In One Place For Easy Visualization
  • Help Companies Rethink What They Have Been Doing Wrong

Listening to customer feedback is one of the most concrete pieces of business advice to be offered. It gives crucial insight as to how to improve a company’s performance. Optimizing business processes is made more clear with taking customer feedback into consideration.

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