How do you maintain quality of processes as you grow?
As a business grows there is always a risk that service may start to suffer. This is especially true if that growth requires new hires or leads to more intense working patterns. Maintaining quality is essential if you want to maintain those customer relationships and continue growing. Whilst there will be many variables depending on the product, service and the nature of the business there are three principles that guide the approach to how quality is maintained from a process perspective.
Document: Ensure that processes are mapped, understood and the dependencies highlighted. The ability to store this documentation in an easily accessible way increases the likelihood that people can firstly find the right information and secondly refer to it on a regular basis. There may be industry specific tooling that can be leveraged, failing that a SharePoint or Shared Drive are both simply yet effective ways to store and refer to process documentation.
Train: Having the process written down is one thing, being able to deliver it is another. Training considers both bringing new hires up to speed but also ensuring that where the process isn’t correctly delivered then refresher training is available. Training may be covered during an induction process, through work shadowing or through a more comprehensive program depending on the complexity of operations.
Refine and improve: As the business grows, as things change and as supporting tooling develops then processes need to be revisited and refined. Continuous improvement should be the target and through growth (and investment!) processes should be considered alongside bringing onboard new customers, new hires and new systems.
Maintaining quality should be the baseline and a period of growth is often followed by a period of consolidation, making sure you take that opportunity to review how things are done is a great way to consider how processes can be improved.