Process Consulting

Everything a business does involves processes that are designed to achieve a certain result. But sometimes, those results aren’t what we would like them to be, and we realize that it is time to ring some changes. Process consulting means the analysis & improvement of the company process by a 3rd party expert. By making processes more efficient, process consultants help to reduce time spent in meetings, resolve conflicts, and improve efficiency.

Process Consulting: Helping Teams to Help Themselves

To a large extent, process consulting consists of facilitation or coaching rather than saying how things should be done. After all, a consultant is an outsider, and can’t “lay down the law.” During process consulting sessions, key team members discuss the issues that gave rise to the intervention, asking questions and providing information that helps the team to solve its own problems.

The mix of coaching and mentoring the consultant employs depends on his or her consulting style and background. In a mentoring role, consultants provide information, whereas coaching consists mainly of asking questions, listening and paraphrasing in such a way that solutions become apparent to the team members themselves.

Revisiting Processes

Most businesses start small and coordinating work is relatively easy. But as businesses grow, they become complex, and what was a perfectly good way of getting things done in the past becomes increasingly cumbersome and inefficient.

This not only impacts on organizational profitability but also causes a great deal of workplace frustration for the employees who have to navigate the business process. Decision-making processes may be too slow, too much or too little responsibility may be allocated, and knowing that things aren’t running as smoothly as they could demotivate people and leads to conflict.

The habits of years can be hard to change, and when your team is accustomed to doing things in a certain way, they may find it hard to think out of the box and come up with efficient solutions. A consultant can help them to take a fresh look at processes.

Process Consulting Begins with a Defined Problem

Business leaders and managers see the need for process consulting because of a specific problem they have identified. For example, customers are unhappy with lead times, or process costs are increasing while potential profits wane. Whatever the problem is, it is the starting point for process consulting.

Every problem has a cause, but the first cause you identify may not be the root cause. For example, the time needed to prepare and dispatch order is too lengthy, but the reason why it takes so long is that there is poor communication between the dispatch and sales teams. This, in turn, is the result of another glitch in the workflow, and so on. As a result, process consulting helps teams to reconsider entire process flows that have become problematic.

Commitment to Continuous Improvement is a Prerequisite

Of course, the whole idea of process consulting is that it will lead to change and improvement. If the team is not committed to this, the intervention will not succeed. A consulting intervention is much like a Kaizen Event in that the goal is continuous improvement.

Once changes have been implemented, they will also need to be fine-tuned, and because businesses and their environments are not static, the process must be revisited periodically to see if there is room for further improvements. Since there invariably is, process consulting leads to a process of continuous improvement that continues long after the consultant’s intervention is over.

Get In Touch With Us