As a business grows, adhoc and manual processes will mature and become repeatable, until eventually these can be measured and optimised for automation.

When your business starts to grow, you will need to document your processes so your staff can build a quality products and deliver consistent service.

When you finally decide to document your processes, you can become quickly overwhelmed when mapping processes, realising the enormity of such a task.

There are several stages to process maturity (this is called a Process Maturity Model), which is beneficial to you because it means you can prepare a roadmap for success.

  1. Stage 1 – Infancy: Processes are ad-hoc, occur without structure, unpredictable and uncontrolled, staff do whatever is required to get things done.
  2. Stage 2 – Repeatable: Some processes are documented, usually for important projects and common tasks, usually only managers have documented and know all of the tasks.
  3. Stage 3 – Standardised: Processes are defined, documented and published to a central repository and new staff have instructions to follow.
  4. Stage 4 – Managed: The business measures process performance – how long it takes to perform a task, customer experience and waste, processes become predictable.
  5. Stage 5 – Optimised: The business focuses on continuous improvement, benchmarking with industry standards and using feedback to improve the experience.

What problem does it solve?

Figuring out whether you do or don’t need to document a process allows you the time to prioritise and prevents headaches.

Just because you’re running a business with staff or contractors, doesn’t mean that you need to document every single process all at once – some things can (and should) evolve by themselves without a procedure. Why? Well, you know, customer needs and expectations do change, so your processes should be somewhat flexible, until you reach a customer-base that is too big to manage without processes.

Understanding the Process Maturity Model allows you to make a plan how long it should take to grow your business with automated, predictable processes that deliver predictable, exceptional experiences.

All businesses will start off small and grow. During this process, you will notice that with minimal effort, you will step through each of the stages.

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