Business activity analysis is the act of identifying all regular processes in an organization and determining what changes need to be made to increase its value. It typically involves observation, collecting information from employees and research of past work. Both individual departments and the entire enterprise can be examined so that improvements can be made on every level.
The first task of business activity analysis is collecting information. Employees can provide feedback via interviews, surveys and other direct contact. A researcher might observe employees at work to get a feel for the patterns of activity found during a typical work day. It also can be useful for a researcher to look at past records of sales, operations and other elements that drive the business to compare them with data that was collected via other means.
After information about the organization has been gathered, the next step of business activity analysis is examining the findings for problem areas. These can be areas where there are unnecessary waste of resources, certain conditions that tend to slow production or other factors that detract from the value of the organization. A thorough analysis will include examination of each activity.
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The next step of business activity analysis is separating the actions that add value to the enterprise from those that detract value. Those elements that are considered valuable will not be changed, if possible, but occasionally it is necessary to accommodate changes in less-valuable areas. Elements that do not add value to the organization are further examined so that it can be determined why they impede productivity.
After the problem areas have been discovered and analyzed, the next step is creating methods of increasing the value of these activities. Employees who work in these areas will often have ideas about how to increase value. An outside source, whether it is someone in another department or a consultant, also can provide a useful perspective.
When the business activity analysis has been completed, the organization typically will have a plan in place for managing low-value actions. Ideally, there will be benchmarks to be met so that measurable progress can be made toward achieving ideal productivity. Separate departments might have specific responsibilities, and the entire organization could have other overarching goals. Eventually, another analysis might be necessary to ensure that the organization is making progress overall.