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Tips on Using Tracking and Monitoring to Improve Business Processes

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A good business process management cycle always ends with an evaluation of the process being managed. That evaluation is how you bring out the best insights and gain more data for further improving the process for the future. In fact, evaluation and refinement are among the most important tasks in the field of business process management.

Today, the evaluation doesn’t need to be conducted at the end of a complete process cycle. With the help of tracking and monitoring tools, you now have the ability to see the bigger picture at any point in the process. Instant adjustments are often possible, and you have more control over the process itself. These tips and tricks will help you use tracking and monitoring to your advantage.

Do It in Real Time

There are plenty of ways to keep track of various processes within an organization or a business in real-time. Rather than waiting for the cycle to end, real-time monitoring lets you understand how the process performs at any point in its cycle. This is a big advantage that not all businesses have, and it is certainly an advantage worth gaining.

Real-time tracking and monitoring are not without their challenges. The data collected in real-time don’t always come with the right context, especially when you don’t have the full picture yet. It is up to you to decipher the data you gather to better understand the process and its governing factors. The good news is, you can process the data just as quickly with the right tools.

Use the Right Solutions

Speaking of using the right tools, tracking and monitoring is certainly easier when you have the right tools for the job. What you need to remember is that not all solutions suit your business perfectly; a system that works for other business in the same industry may not work for your organization as well.

Before choosing an IT-based solution for your company, it is important that you take a closer look at the processes and any specific tracking and monitoring need you may have. Define clear requirements and needs, set objectives that the selected solution must achieve, and select a system based on these details.

Start with the Basics

To make tracking more effective, you need to begin at the very base of the operation. Covering the basics make future tasks easier to handle. In fact, the way you establish tracking and monitoring procedures will greatly affect just how effective the whole system is.

In a manufacturing line, for example, tracking begins with something as basic as assigning batch and lot numbers. The lot numbers – or serial numbers, if you want to track each product separately – have the ability to tell you so much about the manufacturing line.

You can measure the time needed to complete a particular batch based on the lot number. You can also track the progress of each batch from the starting point all the way to retailers if needed. On top of that, things such as quality control are made easier now that you have the ability to identify products and the batch they came from.

Track the Right Metrics

The data you gain from monitoring processes depend a lot on what you actually monitor. Focus on the wrong metrics, and you will end up with insights that aren’t very helpful in making process adjustments. Track the right metrics, on the other hand, and you gain valuable insights that will lead to better process management.

There are a lot of metrics to track in a process. Time, use of resources and cost, and quality are usually the main three factors to take into account. You can go deep into details and monitor machinery load or the efficiency level of each process segment too.

What’s great about doing monitoring in real-time using the right tools is that you can also monitor more metrics and gather a large amount of data. The key here is finding the right balance between choosing the right metrics and gaining more insights on the process itself.

Learn the Approaches

Similar to business process management, there are many approaches you can take when doing business process monitoring. Functional monitoring focuses more on the core of the process itself. It tracks metrics such as time consumption and compares those metrics with pre-determined performance indexes or KPIs. The monitoring itself can be as simple as checking the number of products completed in a set time compared to the manufacturing target.

Process monitoring takes a wider scope. Rather than focusing on specific KPIs, it deals with the overall health of the process. It monitors things like the number of process cycles successfully completed in a day, the number of terminated processes and errors found, and details about these circumstances. If you want to keep the entire process running smoothly, process monitoring can help you gain the insight you need.

Technical monitoring, on the other hand, deals more with the technical side of a process. When a manufacturing line uses machinery, for instance, technical monitoring focuses on how those machines perform and metrics such as downtimes and processing errors. Technical monitoring is handy when you are trying to find ways to improve process efficiency by improving the tools used in that process.

Learn to Use the Data Correctly

There are some really big challenges to overcome when you start using process monitoring seriously. Issues like not being able to identify potential problems, jumping to conclusions without seeing the whole data, and shifting blame to a part of a process are all damaging, not only to the effectiveness of process monitoring but also to your ability to improve processes.

Being objective and seeing all angles is critical. It is only when you can use the data correctly that you have the ability to make fine adjustments and big changes. You already have all the insights you need to make the right call; it is up to you to interpret the data from an objective point of view.

Tracking and monitoring are crucial to the management and improvement of business processes. Now that you have these top tips in mind, you can implement business process monitoring in a more effective and targeted way. 

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