I’m frequently asked by clients to review their business processes. That is, to look at how they process information throughout the organization.

One way to look at this is to think about how many times a particular piece of data is “touched” by your staff. The more touches, the less efficient, and the greater the opportunity for error. Take, for example, a product order: if you have one staff person entering data, another processing payment, and yet another fulfilling orders, that is three different touch points in the chain.

The best way to look at this is to actually draw out a “process map” that shows what happens to the data, from the point it enters your organization, to the point you’ve finished using the data for that particular process. How often is the data “touched”? You may be surprised at what you see, and you may have an opportunity to introduce greater efficiencies and better quality data.