Processes for the people

May 30, 2023 12:31:33 PM

Process: Almost everything you do at work, from making a coffee to organising a big project involves a process, so why not make it a great one? 

Business Mentors NZ support transformation and one way they do this is by offering guidance on putting processes in place. Good processes and systems make it easier for your company to perform well. They can also help free up your mind and save time. Romi Dexter has some expert advice on how to make the most of digital automation to set up powerful processes.

Romi founded Hype & Dexter to help New Zealand businesses drive change and growth through the smart use of technology. She says that having robust processes is one of the best ways businesses can lift their efficiency and simplify the way they work.

The power of processes is compelling

Romi Dexter

Romi’s early experience with process became a passion. "Automation and process can be used to remove admin, grow great teams, produce exceptional results and allow you to individually focus on more creative and interesting things." 

In her first management role, Romi was responsible for producing a huge volume of material regularly and rapidly. Quality was critical. It was going to some of the world's biggest brands and media outlets.

“A spelling mistake or missed deadline would mean losing a massive contract. We had to have exceptional quality, efficiency, and creativity.

“I quickly learned we would need good processes and automation wherever possible. This meant I could quickly step away from the hands-on doing and focus on more strategic implementations and projects."

Tech is here to help, not hinder

Romi didn't start out as a coder or technical person, which has helped her understand that good processes can’t rely on special tech expertise at every step. In fact, one of the greatest benefits of a good process is that it spreads control and decision-making. In turn, this reduces risks and bottlenecks while allowing people to take ownership and feel empowered.

Individual accountability and ownership unlock new efficiency. “Everyone was clear on their responsibilities within the process and the handoff points. This resulted in a highly productive team that was very easy to scale.”

Level up with software and systems

Systems, software and digital technology can support increasingly sophisticated processes. Even your standard office software has lots of tools to set up systems that include approval steps, scheduling and more.

Keep your eye out for opportunities to make the most of digital advances. “When you’re reviewing processes, figure out what you can reuse and automate. There are always ways to extend and expand on what you’re already doing.

Hype & Dexter helped Business Mentors NZ make the most of technology. And Romi says she's particularly impressed with the way Mentors and business owners are at the heart of every decision the organisation makes.

“Business Mentors has used technology to build a framework that enhances and extends the mentoring experience. They’re set up to keep growing and adapting to the rapidly changing environment.”

"We understand that enabling business through technology change can often be intimidating. Because of this, we focus on bringing a human approach to digital transformation of businesses who want to grow," says Romi.

Put people at the heart of your processes

Getting everyone involved in mapping out your process to invite broad thinking and shared ownership. After all, a perfect process is worthless if no one follows it. A team approach to process design helps create clarity on who is responsible for what. It also allows people to see how their part fits and affects the big picture.

A good process is one that people can find and use easily use to get consistent results. It helps busy staff if your process is searchable, accessible, concise and complete. Romi recommends using project management tools that link to references and support information. “This avoids one-off training and massive manuals by centralising your knowledge within the platforms that your team are using daily.

Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence, such as Chat GPT, bring almost endless opportunities.

Romi explains, “In the future, AI will start to change what we consider 'work'. Already you can book meetings, qualify leads and lighten the load on your team.

I hope that with this change, individuals can spend less time doing what robots do and more time focusing on relationships, creativity and critical thinking.”

Processes mean starting step-by-step

Romi is an advocate for "being great before fast" when it comes to setting up new processes. “A focus on quality will give a better result than a focus on speed. Speed will naturally be a result of a quality-focused process and sets the right direction for your team. So where should you start?

Some of the areas where Hype & Dexter helps businesses benefit from automation and technology include:

  • the recruitment process
  • onboarding of new team members
  • internal comms processes
  • invoicing, bill paying and cashflow management
  • financial forecasting and planning
  • security and storage
  • marketing content production and delivery
  • communications within your team.

Your Business Mentor can help you identify where processes will bring the biggest benefit. They bring a fresh perspective, experience and objectivity. We've gathered many examples of this in our library of case studies and our blog. You might like to explore our other pieces on processes and automation.

Pain points are often the first focus of mentoring, and processes can make a big difference here. Romi suggests looking at areas with quality issues or around building culture. “Templating common communications, presentations, documents, can also be a great way to speed up some of those key steps and improve your consistency and quality across your team.”

Keep refining and refreshing

Finally, remember that processes don’t have to be immovable. Stay on the lookout for opportunities to improve them and avoid stagnation.

New technology will become available, and you should keep seeking small ways to make processes better.

If you’re ready for your business to lift its efficiency and quality, then applying for a business mentor is a great place to start. They can help you map out where the opportunities are for real growth and back you to embrace the journey. Romi, Hype & Dexter and all our Mentors represent some of the smart support that’s ready to help you as a small business owner. Start the process now!