Note which process needs optimizing

Processes are repetitive tasks you execute on a regular basis to reach a specific business goal. Read more about it here.

While it's never the case that any process you create is perfect, there will be some that regularly cause problems and you'll need to optimize that process to save time and money in your business.

First, note down which business process should be optimized:

What: Identify the elements of the process

What can be measured can be managed. To understand how to improve a process, you have to first understand what it is. Answer these 'what' questions to clarify the process' elements and help yourself to optimize it.

See below the form for example answers.


  • What's the goal of the process? Send an error-free newsletter to a list of subscribers.
  • When does it start and end? It starts when the newsletter is created, and ends when it's sent out.
  • What activities advance the process? Creation, proofing, testing, sending.
  • What departments/employees are part of the process? The marketing department.
  • What information is carried over between steps? Errors to be corrected before sending.

How: Rethink the methods currently used

Are you using paper where it would be better to use an electronic system? Are you moving documents manually over huge office spaces? There are bound to be steps — even in purely electronic processes — that can be slimmed down or cut entirely. Answering these questions will help you identify them.

Remove non-essential steps

It'll become obvious to you that there are parts of the process that can be cut. If you're the person running the process, it's probable that you already knew the redundant steps.

Use the space below to note which steps you cut.

Note which steps can be automated

By answering these 12 questions, you'll find problems in any (seemingly) tight process. Now you've removed non-essential steps, it's time to automate as much as the remainder as possible.

If you're using paper, there's almost certainly an electronic solution that can eliminate that, whether it's signing documents or just managing them.

If you're transferring data between your apps (adding Dropbox files manually to Google Drive, for example), you'll certainly find a solution with Zapier, which lets you set up a rule for all future actions that meet a specific criteria. For example, 'whenever a new file is added to Dropbox, transfer it to Drive'.

Think in the most efficient terms for the whole process by reading our ultimate guide to business process automation.

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