Regular reviews of non-profit business processes are essential

ProcessesDoes your organisation conduct regular reviews of business processes? Regular reviews of business processes are essential to any non-profit organisation. Routine analysis of such processes often times uncovers:

  • Inefficiencies.
  • Inadequacies in resourcing.
  • Waste.
  • Lack of competencies.
  • Opportunities for improvement.
  • Ethical or legal issues.

Reviews of  processes – who to conduct them

Organisations may lack the expertise or the right person to conduct such a review.

Not every staff person of a non-profit organisation is best suited to study business processes. Event leaders or managers may lack the skills necessary to lead a review. Often times, the person who has guided the processes for a set time frame is the worst person to review the same processes. Many times it requires someone from the outside (outside of the business unit or outside of the charity itself) to conduct the review.

What type of person is right to conduct business process analysis? A person who is best suited to review business process and conduct the necessary change is someone who has the following skills set:

  • A facilitator – someone who gets along with all types of personalities and who can guide change – even when there is resistance to such change.
  • A change manager – someone who has coordinated change efforts and navigated choppy waters prior. A real champion for change when change is needed.
  • An enabler – someone who enables others to facilitate their own change. Someone who can make others a cheerleader or advocate for change. This person spreads the excitement for change across the business unit or organisation.

How to conduct routine reviews

In the end, the coordinator of such a process needs to be a bit of a forensic detective. They need to also be the chief advocate for change and have the capacity to turn each and every process inside out and ask the following questions:

  • Why do we do “X” this way?
  • How long does it take you to perform “X” task?
  • What would it take for you to perform “X” task in ½ or ¼ the time?
  • Have we searched for a better way to perform this task?
  • Should we outsource this task?
  • Is there a way for technology to aid in this task?

Expected outcomes of routine reviews

The facilitator of the review process needs to document all discussions and make recommendations for each topic area. A report should be issued and should contain an action plan. The report should be reviewed with the team involved and with organisation leadership. The action plan should contain a timeline, assigned resources, and any associated costs. Ultimately, the action plan needs to be committed to by leadership.

Change shouldn’t happen just to change

While every process in the department should be reviewed, not every process will be changed. Do not change just for the sake of change. Instead, review with the following goals:

  • Consider the value of each process.
  • Document each process.
  • Highlight what is working well with various processes.
  • Recommend changes required for any process requiring change.
  • Document an action plan for change needed.

When and how often to review

A process review might be best conducted as part of the annual strategic planning process. Some organisations conduct business process reviews when considering a search for a new constituent relationship management (CRM) solution. Others conduct reviews when a crisis or issue arises. In the end, a non-profit organisation cannot be well placed to achieve its goals without, at the same time, ensuring business processes are clean, buttoned down, and as efficient and effective as possible.

FundraisingForce conducts regular business process reviews for non-profit organisations. If you need assistance with your business process, contact FundraisingForce today.