“It’s just easier to do it myself.” I cringe when I hear this statement. It represents short-term thinking.
In the long run, it’s never easier to do it yourself, over and over again—unless you don’t value your time. By not systematizing tasks, you doom yourself to juggling more responsibilities than you should.
A process presents a tested method for achieving a result in the most efficient manner. Creating and following processes provides a foundation for consistency across your organization, with the goal of delivering quality to your clients.
When done correctly, a process is scalable. As your business grows, new team members can follow your systems with minimal direction or training.
The effort of building processes is a process in itself.
Before you tackle the task, take time to save time by following these steps for creating processes that will simplify and deliver quality.
Here are 6 Tips that will help you build processes:
1. Determine tasks that will benefit.
Any activity that is repeated—whether by you or others—will benefit from an established process. From a method for preparing reports or forms to restocking inventory or even talking with new customers, building processes will create a consistent path.
2. Determine fixed actions and variables.
Some activities will have a “what if…” factor. For example, if a customer responds positively, invite them to receive more information. If a customer poses an obstacle, ask specified questions. When building a process, identify the fixed actions as well as those that may vary.
3. Write down each step.
Do a run-through of your process. Make a note of each step as you go, even the simplest ones. Some actions are second-nature to you but aren’t obvious to others. Be detailed at this stage of process-building.
4. Test the simplicity on a neophyte.
Can someone without your experience easily follow your process and efficiently produce the desired result? Note the adverbs here: “easily” and “efficiently.” If your system has missteps or flaws, you’ll learn quickly by watching others attempt to replicate your action. Test it out on several people. Take note of any stumbling points.
5. Refine as needed.
A process is like a recipe. You can tweak it for a tastier result. A little more of this, a little less of that. Start with a method that seems to function well. Then keep an eye out for opportunities for improvement. Maybe new technology comes along—an app, a piece of hardware—that can help your process. Possibly, a change in your business requires you to rethink the way you’ve been handling certain tasks. Be open-minded to valuable change. Ask others to share their ideas.
6. Commit to following the process.
A process will streamline your work, but you need to give everyone involved the opportunity for input. It has to become their process!
- Explain the reason for having a process to your team.
- The frontline is your team of experts and should be treated as such.
- Encourage your team’s input and be sure to implement their ideas and suggestions.
- Keep is simple. (the vintage KISS rule)
- Create a culture of continual process improvement.
- Set clear expectations.
- Recognize and reward excellence-often!
Trust, motivation and delegating creates a team of leaders that will want to deliver excellence. It doesn’t get any better than that!
What tips do you have? Share with us on Twitter, @LTronCorp.