With winter rapidly approaching, many companies are planning for the upcoming year. The end of the year provides a great opportunity to reflect on the previous year and determine where changes can be made to enhance your current processes. A process audit allows companies to assess, understand, and plan for process changes, making implementation much easier.
Process Audit Basics
A process audit lets you isolate and take an in-depth analysis of your current processes and resources to determine how they help you achieve your long-term business goals. It also allows you to look at your workflows, which may happen without a full process audit. The steps in a process audit include:
- Defining goals: A process audit can help you clearly identify the business outcomes and goals you want to achieve. It reviews the strategic objectives of the organization. In addition, the process audit defines the factors that can help you achieve the goals and refine your processes to support the desired outcomes.
- Defining roles: Process audits allow you to reflect on the competencies and capabilities of your team in a way that supports the goals and outcomes you have defined.
- Achieving results: A process audit aims to help you establish how your processes are linked to your business outcomes and identify ways to improve your current methods. A process audit forces you to define the results you want to achieve and identify how to measure results.
After going through the process audit with your managed IT services provider, you should have sufficient documentation that reviews your processes, especially as it relates to your IT. The objectives of a process audit may include items such as:
- The elimination of anomalies
- To follow the goals and objectives set by leadership
- Encourage continuous improvements
- Mitigate risk
- Defining contingency plans
- Provide suggestions for improvement
- Creating or maintaining a process culture in your company
- Creating good management practices
- Provide data for better decision-making by leaders
- Enable proper employee training
- Assess IT resources
- Create safer and more reliable information
- Increase productivity
- Determine adequacy of resources for tasks
- Create transparency
Benefits of a Process Audit
Conducting a thorough process audit is a lot of work, leaving some business leaders wondering if the effort is worth the work. There are multiple benefits to conducting a process audit, such as:
- It can help new team members learn your processes. Hiring is difficult with the current economic conditions, and many companies have higher-than-usual turnover. Process audits conducted at the end of the year help you analyze staffing changes and prepare for any departures or retirements. Addressing this regularly allows for the transfer of vital knowledge from employees with experience to new team members.
- It identifies inefficient or ineffective business processes. A key goal of any process audit is to identify ways to enhance the status quo. And this leaves many opportunities for you to refine your business practices to adapt to a constantly changing market due to technology and evolving consumer preferences. Moreover, process audits often result in a business staying relevant and competitive when they occur regularly. In short, process audits can keep your business prepared to meet new challenges in the upcoming year.
- It can help you identify new technologies. Technology is evolving at an ever-increasing rate, leaving many platforms obsolete relatively short time. Additionally, technological changes often lead to regulatory changes. Unless you have a managed IT service provider, keeping up with these changes can be a huge challenge for many business owners. Conducting process audits carves time to devote to researching new technologies that can enhance your efficiency, productivity, or marketability.
- It gives you a reason to update your documentation. Updating policies and procedures, along with other documentation, can be cumbersome, but it’s often necessary to reflect a changing business climate. It can be easy to put off updating documentation in favor of activities that directly impact your bottom line. And while this is a common mistake, it can be serious if your outdated documentation increases your risk or liability in any way. Process audits give you a reason to review and update your important documents.
As you can see, there are many reasons why conducting a process audit can benefit your business. However, the biggest reason is that it can position your business for success in the upcoming year. By identifying key actions that improve your performance across different metrics, you are in a better spot to succeed in your endeavors. For more information about process audits and managed IT services, contact Sagacent Technologies today.
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.