September 12, 2023

Business As Usual (BAU)

Business As Usual (BAU) Meaning

Business-as-usual (BAU) refers to the routine, day-to-day, repetitive activities that are part of core business operations. BAU activities include accounting, customer service, maintenance, quality control, stock management and other contractual duties. These ensure existing customers are content and the company delivers a high standard of service. The goal is to leverage current products, technologies, capabilities and processes to run a tight ship in order to maximize long-term profitability.

Documenting BAU processes through procedures is critical for ensuring a business runs smoothly. They help employees prioritize work tasks, collaborate and identify procedural gaps. Procedures provide consistency and can be tracked over time for performance and efficiency. The performance is measured in control, visibility and predictability.

BAU stands in contrast to projects. Projects are short term, have specific goals, unique outputs, are allocated limited resources (people, materials or equipment) and are monitored by specific metrics. BAU is repetitive and ongoing with the same outputs produced each day. It has long-term formal management structure with direct authority over functional personnel.

While BAU are predictable and repetitive, the business needs to change them from time to time in line with emerging opportunities, innovation and trends. To shepherd employees to a new BAU:

  • Ensure each team member understands their role and responsibilities.
  • Obtain feedback from team members impacted by the changes to accommodate their concerns where possible.
  • Arrange meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page and moves forward together.

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