In recent times, process has become the villain. Agile or not, teams rally around a goal of keeping process to a minimum so that they can just get down to the business of completing work. The problem is that some teams go too minimal, resulting in disorganization and ultimately frustrations. In an article for strategy+business, Elizabeth Doty explains how to “liberate” your team by introducing better processes.
Go with the Flow
A dearth of process means a lacks of mechanisms to protect employee workflows from impediments. In other words, without process there is no reliability that people will be able to complete their work in a timely manner. And since one study found that “employees are least motivated on days when they face setbacks that inhibit their work,” that makes the problem even more serious from a retention perspective.
Granted, process for process’s sake will always be bad. But if a process can be created from the perspective of, “How will this improve the flow of work?” then it will likely have value. Doty describes a business with healthy processes in this way:
… a company with effective processes is like a river with strong banks. People’s attention and energy are channeled where they will have the most impact. The work environment, habits, tools, and methods guide people into doing things right the first time, based on a continually evolving set of shared best practices. No locks are required: Instead, employees are liberated to focus their creativity on developing new best practices, delighting customers, noticing changes in the competitive landscape, or tackling their company’s next moon shot.
She then goes on to share three important points that will be helpful in creating better processes:
- Demonstrate how people’s workflows ultimately fit together across the business, so that processes are built that address issues comprehensively. The alternative—optimizing within a silo—is not productive long-term.
- “Love your bottlenecks,” meaning learn to make the most efficient use of them when they must exist.
- Identify best practices in your workflows and turn them into habits.
We should stop thinking of process as the villain that enslaves our time and instead as the security blanket that frees time up. Making this conscious change in how we perceive process is the only way that we can start using it as effectively as possible.
You can view the original article here: https://www.strategy-business.com/blog/Liberate-Your-Team-with-Clearer-Processes