Process Support

Identify Process

Businesses already have processes in-place. It's what is done daily to get things done. Now that process might not match what the organization believes is actually happening but processes do already exist. They have to exist otherwise there'd be no business. What we mean when we say identify process means identify what's actually happening, not happening, should be happening, and or should not be happening. Usually a business grows and responsibilities are lost or exchanged and in transitions tribal knowledge quickly becomes the source for sustainability. Each new incoming resource trying to perform the same as the last and process is lost playing the telephone game. Not a great game to play with business.

When identifying process it's more important for all process to be announced than identifying responsibilities or faults. This can be a very emotional part of the process because this is when businesses identify potentially major issues with process that could be due to resource performance. Understand that resources will often resist admitting fault and are likely to become defensive when approached about faults in process. During these exercises it's important to ensure to a project team that what's to be accomplish is a fresh start.

In situations of gross negligence a company may choose to perform a staff adjustment but for most situations a fresh start approach allows for members to finally resolve the gaps in process. Your business deserves to identify the true process and once that happens you'll have the most opportunities for improvements, which is a win-win for everyone.

Process Development

Once processes are identified then we can get into the discussion about responsibilities and faults. It is important to identify responsibilities in process especially with software because there're often limitations. Software can have limitations such as access. Access can be either security or function but either way it's about information. If a resource is the only one who as the information it can make it very difficult for other departments to proceed or follow process.

In some cases the resource with the access is the wrong resource or the resource does not have enough time available to provide the support. What do you do? Now that the issue has been identified you can proceed with overcoming the next hurdle which is how does the business ensure this process gap is closed. Either re-assign or develop a validation or notification into the process.

Results of a process workshop should provide a clear picture of what is and needs to be performed. Everyone needs to agree and see this visualization as true. If there're individuals not paying attention/participating and there're still gaps outstanding a whole process could continue collapse and fail. These instances will occur, it happens. Often it's because a team is not used to paying attention to minute elements to a process and there're still opportunities for improvement. When performing process identification you're also training team members to have a more process centric mindset which breeds continuous improvements.

Implement Process  

Crawl >> Walk >> Run!

Implementing process often scares staff as it usually requires change. Change is resisted for an array of reasons but usually it's the effort of having to learn that's uncomfortable with most resources. And, it's not usually that they don't want to learn it's more about "I don't have time to do this". When processes have not been implemented or enforced resources become overburdened quickly and don't have enough time in a day to take longer to do daily activities. "We're already behind, I don't it to get worse". All of these reasons are potentially valid reasons and should be take seriously.

The organization want to perform improvements to process and the return on investment (ROI) is lower costs and happier staff. Part of the investment to process isn't just performing a workshop to develop you also need a plan to implemented: more resources, allow delegation, pay overtime, or outsource. If the organization does not fully invest into process opportunities they'll not get done and the ROI is never fully recovered.

Enterprise level implantation is not an easy task. If you've ever tried to rollout new software to 20+ personnel you know what an undertaking that is. Usually no one wants to admit that have no idea what to do during training, has the mindset 'I'll figure it out as I go', and they fail. Sometimes these are sink or swim situations, however, resource turnover is expensive. Having an implementation plan that includes process is vitial for implementation success.


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