Standardization or Reengineering of Processes. Which is right for me?

Ferenz Feher - 6 de julio, 2021


An entrepreneur knows that the time to plan results does not make sense without a correct delimitation of activities, therefore, it is necessary to have administrative processes in your business or company to obtain the results you want to achieve.

If we want to understand what our target market is looking for, it is necessary to analyze:
a. The series of marketing variables (which we will not delve into in this article)
b. What do we do differently and how do we do it differently?
The what, is solved with the quality of the product and/or service we market; while the how depends on the type of administrative processes that are carried out.
A process has several definitions, but in general, it refers to the set of organized or categorized events that occur in a certain time, under pre-established or documented conditions. There are different types of processes: biological, physical, historical, economic, judicial, administrative, etc. The latter are the ones we will review in order to give you an accurate vision of the direction and change in the world with respect to processes in terms of your business.
For that reason, we will try to distinguish the main conditioning factors for all those businesses that start in some way in the subject and we will dedicate another space to the reengineering of the same ones.

When to start with the administrative processes?

Let's suppose that today you have the opportunity to open your business, or you are about to do so. All activities will be carried out according to your instructions. In the hypothetical case that you miss the opening, do you think that someone else could open and operate in the same way, or, if a new collaborator enters the company you manage; do they know perfectly well what their activities are according to their competences? If the answer in both cases was a resounding NO, it is time to start documenting and creating an administrative process.
The goal is to evaluate which are the ideal activities, those that help to grow sales and those that are established through experience in terms of the temporality of the products or services offered or their knowledge.
If you don't have this information, you can't waste another year without a history of what is happening to your business. Determine cut-off dates and collect not only reports on sales, costs and expenses, but also establish an administrative process for each position and present it to employees.
They will be the ones who know your activities and administrative processes best. You just write in an understandable and standardized way to all the editorial staff. Write with the administrative process in mind so that it is understandable to someone who is going to do it with no prior experience.

Standardized administrative processes are one of the main characteristics of growing businesses and companies.

If properly managed, process standardization can have a positive impact. With them, you will know the details of each of the activities carried out and you will be able to improve them as necessary.

Do I have to change my administrative processes?

If you know the company's administrative processes and procedures, but most of them are obsolete or if the operations manuals show serious deficiencies in the way activities are carried out, it is time to change the strategy and establish a new way of doing things. This strategy is known as process reengineering.
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Understanding the above, we can say that for the existence of a successful process reengineering, three factors must be taken into account in order to re-invent the company:

1.- The change must be fundamental.

You have to get to the bottom of the operations; understand why we do things this way in the business? And be able to assimilate whether all the basic processes should continue as they are. Beyond changing the way of doing things, it is also necessary to discard what is not useful, even if it has been done since the birth of the company: if it does not add to the company, then it is subtracting.

2.- The decisions taken will be radical.

It is necessary to discard old ideas, to learn to do everything in different ways. To carry out process reengineering is not easy, since resistance to change usually includes fear of various kinds; but it is less risky to do something new than to continue with the same results. Remember that it is better to move than to be stagnate.

3.- Improvements must be spectacular.

If it does not imply a strong movement in the company, it is necessary to make that giant leap in terms of new ways of doing things. The interesting thing is to change and move the routine and safe things, to print a little creativity in each of the collaborators. In this way, the potential of the human capital will be known and the company will grow.
An entrepreneur knows that the moment of planning results does not make sense without a correct delimitation of activities, therefore, it is necessary to take into account the operational variables of your business to obtain the results you want to achieve.
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Either through a standardization of administrative processes in which the company's procedures are manualized for the first time, or by updating them through process reengineering, it is possible to develop new ways of doing things.
It could be said that both management tools are applicable, as long as the company leader defines that it is necessary to do different things to achieve different results. You will not regret it.
And which will you choose: standardization of administrative processes or a process reengineering in your company?
I end with the phrase of economist John Maynard Keynes, who said that "the hardest thing in the world is not to make people accept new ideas, but to make them forget the old ones"

Por Ferenz Feher

Ferenz Feher

Bachelor´s Degree in Business Administration from ITESM. With several Diplomas and a Master´s Degree in Franchise in Miami. He is currently an advisor on Business and Franchise issues for Entrepreneur magazine; professor of the Franchise System