Process is the driving force behind all businesses – it’s how work is (or isn’t) accomplished. While we all know it’s a very important thing, if you’re like me, you also know the subject can be quite frustrating. See, my beef with process is often, I see people use it as a crutch: “You can’t do this because you have to do x,y,z.” I watch projects that should take days take months and I see it hinder innovation and progression. So how do you prevent process from getting in the way of getting things done?
That’s when you begin applying the techniques we’re learning in class. You start to interview, watch and learn and you begin to apply techniques such as the “5 whys” and root cause analysis to better understand what’s causing the issue in the first place. By identifying the kinks in the chain, you can rework the process to ensure that each step in the process is truly valuable and helping to reach the end goal.
As we’re learning, the only true way to resolve issues is by better defining the process and removing steps that aren’t valuable. You must, however, begin with an end goal. When there’s a clearly agreed upon end goal, it helps to eliminate use of process as a crutch. You can begin challenge those processes you feel are hindering success by simply collaborating with peers to determine if the process is truly adding value. Getting to a defined process requires communication, collaboration and negotiation but the benefits can be incredibly valuable to an organization.