Have you ever found yourself watching synchronized swimming during the Olympics? It’s about the only time you will ever do so, isn’t?
Well, keeping your association running smoothly takes a lot of effort and keeping it all together can seem almost as tough!
In order to keep your team synchronized, SmartThoughts recommends regular Business Process Assessments. Business Process Assessments are vital for many non-profit associations to ensure that their organizations are in perfect working order. However, mounting such assessments can also be a pain in the neck and very difficult to find the proper time and resources to do.
So, how can organizations effectively conduct one?
What to assess
Much like actual business entities, non-profit association can run into risks that can hamper operations. Knowing what these risks are is important to create solutions to deal with them. Here, the Nonprofit Quarterly gives a comprehensive guide on determining risks.
Here, one important thing to do with regards to identifying risks is to cover a broad array of subject matters. Don’t focus solely on the obvious risks, like legal issues. Take into consideration other hidden risks, such as internal differences, which can threaten the solidarity of the organization. There might also a growing distrust amongst the people the organization serves.
However, risk identification and planning is not the only thing that has to be taken care of during business process assessment. The effectiveness of the organization’s current strategy for service delivery to the catered group also needs to be regularly assessed. This is vital, as poor service can lead to the above-mentioned distrust.
Doing it right
In order to get right kind of information from business process assessments, using the correct tools for the job is important. Note that, while it has been said that process assessment for nonprofits run in the same vein as those for actual businesses, the needed tools are going to be different. After all, nonprofits operate on an altogether different mindset.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Office of Internal Audit gives comprehensive list of tools an organization needs for assessing its operations. Here, these are divided into several categories covering the nonprofit organization’s various components. Note that, depending on how the particular organization operates, there are some tools on the list that can be omitted. For instance, organizations that don’t depend heavily on donations for operations can simply put assessment of such under the Cash Handling department, instead of creating a separate assessment process for it.
Having a qualified personnel handle the assessment process is also important. Here, it would be best to get someone independent of the organization to avoid any biases. Do note, though, that getting an outside reviewer will cost the organization, so don’t forget to also take it into account in the assessment process. In case your organization opts to do it in-house, take all the necessary measures to ensure the impartiality of the assessment process.
Acting upon the assessment results
One of the important parts of doing business process assessments on nonprofits is determining whether the current processes employed have proven beneficial for the organization. As management leader Lewis Kinard points out:
”This is a natural phase, especially for critical thinkers. One where you question the results, both expected and unexpected. Why did you get the ones you did? Why did you not get some you hoped for? Have you accounted for these things?”
Determining the answers to those questions is your main goal here. Thoroughly compare and contrast the assessment results with those of previous methods to see why they are falling short of the expectations. Also, take into consideration whether your initial expectations are, in fact, attainable at all. Disclose your findings to the entire organization and set discussions to develop strategies to meet the recommendation of the reports.
To learn more about the importance of regular business process assessments and tools for your organization please do so by contacting us today.