Man works on laptop and looks at notepad, suggesting he is streamlining business processes using mind mapping softwareMan works on laptop and looks at notepad, suggesting he is streamlining business processes using mind mapping software

3 tips for streamlining your business processes

16 AUGUST 2017BLOG

Most businesses have a range of processes that could be streamlined and improved. Whether generating a report, developing a new product or planning a client project, it’s likely that you will have experienced difficulties with inefficient processes at some point during work.

Improving the planning and delivery of projects can result in quicker results, less costs occurred, a happier team and satisfied clients. Here are three tips for reviewing and streamlining your business processes.

Automate

Whether in terms of email marketing, introducing chat bots to your FAQ page or using a software that will automatically generate charts to display your KPIs, automation is a great investment, saving you time and money in the long term.

But where do you start with automation? Well, you should assess your biggest pain point in terms of business processing. After that, consider how much time and effort you expect to put into this area of your business over the next five or ten years. This will help you make a smart decision about where to automate first.

If you plan to travel around the globe for your business but you are getting bogged down with logging business expenses, why not use an app to track your payments and log receipts and invoices as you go? Perhaps you are launching a new product and anticipate a possible strain on customer service as your grow. In this case, investment in a bespoke chatbot could go a long way. Or maybe you need a quick and easy way to capture social media data and generate a report to send to your client. Hooking up to the right software can save you days of work.

Communicate

It goes without saying that communication is what holds a team together. Nobody expects people to work together efficiently without effective communication, but so many businesses still use dated and time consuming ways to discuss their ideas.

From lengthy, non-focused meetings to multiple email threads for a single conversation, communicating efficiently is not as simple as it should be. With an increased focus on employee wellbeing through opportunities for flexible and remote working, we face even more challenges for ensuring seamless communication in the modern world.

We’re in the digital age and now is the time to embrace new technology, so why not try a real-time collaboration software that has a live chat? Most new digital tools include free versions to get you started, so you won’t need to commit financially to try it out.

Delegate

This is one for the small business owners and start-up founders of the world. You probably wear quite a few ‘hats’ and your investment in your company goes far beyond financial, so it is no surprise that delegating tasks is a frightening idea.

Transparency and trust will serve you well when you start delegating. If your team understand your goals, and you provide clear instructions and desired outcomes, all you need to do is trust that your team can deliver. It takes a little faith and a good hiring process.

You also need to remember that mistakes and failures are a product of your learning. Don’t just gamble blindly, but assess the situation based on research and any data that you have already gathered. Mitigate errors as much as possible, but you if you commit to learning from your failures and understanding how they happened, you can ensure you do better next time.

Automate, communicate and delegate are three simple yet effective rules to live by for any business ready to streamline their processes. This is how we use these rules internally at Mind Doodle:

  1. Automate
    We have integrated automatically generated 3D charts into our software. When creating reports, we add KPIs into data tables within our mind maps either manually, by uploading a CSV file, or by connecting to a live data feed. All we need to do is select the charts function and these are generated into beautiful charts by Mind Doodle. This means that anyone in our team can log into a Doodle to view the latest data graphically, or we can export the reports to Word, PowerPoint or Project.
  2. Communicate
    There is plenty of research to prove how effective online chat can be for workplace communication and for internal communication at Mind Doodle, we use the live chat within Mind Doodle. With many of our team working flexibly, either remotely at different locations or working different hours, we built a live chat system into Mind Doodle so that we could communicate about each idea as we were working. Removing barriers for communication allows us to work quickly, collaboratively and efficiently.
  3. Delegate
    Software developers will be very familiar with the term agile working, which is a project management process that encourages adaptation, teamwork and accountability, to rapidly deliver high-quality software, and this is exactly the way we work at Mind Doodle. We delegate tasks to team members to help us drive forward our development roadmap in a focused way. We’ve also built an agile project management extension for Mind Doodle, which will help teams with task management. This will be added to a future release of the software, so keep an eye out for it.

Streamlining your business processes by improving automation, communication and delegation will help avoid team frustration, neglecting or duplication of tasks, increased costs or wasted resources. Most importantly, improving in these areas will ensure you hit deadlines, deliver a good service and create happy customers.

Watch this 1 minute video on using Mind Doodle for team collaboration.

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