Processes: when they are not working.
Updated: May 26, 2021
As a result of my previous processes' blog, I have been asked why processes do not work. What does this mean? How do we know that processes are not working?
Processes are not working when your staff cannot tell you the process. Processes are not working when they are not dynamic and evolving. Processes are not working when there are inconsistencies in the final product. Organisations almost always have processes in place, but they are not necessarily effective or fit for purpose.
Process design needs to start with the end user and to be human-centric. This means making design decisions based on how people can, need, and want to perform tasks, rather than expecting them to adjust and accommodate their behaviors to the process. Talk to your team, ask them what the problem is, ask them how they would fix the problem, ask them how they would prefer to do the tasks. And, talk to your customers! Get the answers, design the process, document the new process, and train all your staff! Managers often make the mistake of putting processes in place, expecting that they will be followed because staff have been advised of them. There needs to be buy-in from everyone using the process.
It is important to remember, now more than ever, that there is constant change. This means that processes need to evolve. You get a new supplier, you need to review the process. You receive a valid customer complaint, you need to review the process. New staff join your team, you need to review the process. I guess you get the message - ensure your processes are dynamic enough to evolve with constant change.
When there are inconsistencies, the process needs to be reviewed and staff training addressed. Processes should be initiative and clearly contribute to the end goal. There is a great Harvard Business Review article titled Fix the Process, Not the Problem. This outlines the need for patience to get the process right and the rest will follow.
Don't know where to start; perhaps Dandi Processes can help.