Exploring methods to streamline business processes is just fancy way of saying we need to find ways we can save on time and resources. There are a number of things we can do, and put into place to ensure we eliminate waste, and get the most out of an 8 hour day.

No matter the output of your business, the common goal is to look for ways to save time and money, while never having to compromise on quality – the business holy grail if we may.

We sat down with Realm’s Project and Operations Manager, Hans Croukamp to find out what the company has done to ensure maximum productivity. Here’s what he had to say…

In essence, being efficient comes down to the least input, for the most output. The pressing question though, is how to get to this sweet spot in a company, especially in the high-demand, fast-paced digital industry.

With such a vastly covered topic, there’s not much more to say about business efficiencies that hasn’t already been covered. However, in my experience, I’ve learnt a few practical things that always helps to ‘kick-start’ improvements.

Ask Questions
You have to ask questions, and plenty of them. It’s as simple, and complicated as that. This is useful as an individual, or within a management or team discussion. Each question should be considered, and may result in more questions, but this is a good thing.

Initial questions can usually be answered with a simple, ‘yes’ or ‘no’. “Is this the best process we’re following?”, “Can it be improved?”, “Are we wasting time?”

These initial questions will enable you to prioritise the areas to improve for better efficiency. Asking more specific, purposeful questions, should lead to actionable tasks, which means you’re on your way to improving effectiveness in your business already.

Accountability
Second to asking questions, is assigning specific tasks and areas to an individual, creating a culture of responsibility and accountability. When someone is assigned to something he or she are more likely to drive it forward, and find ways to improve it. If you don’t assign a specific task to a specific person, nothing will most likely happen.

Manage your time
Time management is something that everyone in your organization can improve on. Things like making a to do list, timing yourself, setting time caps on certain tasks are all ways to better manage your time.

Along with this comes focused meetings and discussions. To help improve meetings, keep them short, no longer than 30 minutes if necessary. Be clear on what needs to be addressed in an agenda. At Realm, we have started to put a time cap on each agenda point, by making use of Less Meeting. This helps to keep the meeting focused.

Sufficient Planning
While this one may seem obvious, it’s still something that most people struggle with. Plan your week, plan your day. Your brain is a wonderful thing, and will pro-actively work in the background if it knows what is coming next.

Often it is the small, considered changes and improvements that will be most effective, if not more effective than a big, and potentially disruptive, change.

Here’s to working smarter!

What have you implemented in your business or way of work to be more efficient? Let us know!