A client recently pointed out to us that we have a recurring theme in our blog posts recently – that of simplifying processes. This is not surprising as it’s one of our prime company service offerings.
Even in a time of staff and system consolidation , you’d be amazed at the number of companies who still have large, complex processes and methods to be followed, even though there’s often far fewer staff and time to do these things. They don’t just do what is core to the business, they feel they need to continue the way things have been done before.
But rational people don’t want to make things more difficult for themselves.
So how does this mess happen? One of the big causes is that people don’t want to let go of what they have – just in case it’s needed some time in the future. So they add new processes (ie. whatever the latest management technique being promulgated by consultants) to their existing base. Thus adding a process to an amorphous blob just gets makes a bigger blob.
No, no, no, no, no!
What do we do?
- Define (ie. write down) your core business activities – what do you get paid to do?
- Track down your processes and do a list (in word, excel, paper, whatever).
- If you’ve got too much do it team by team or by process or by project
- Just get it consolidated in a list
- Check around the office to see if it’s been used in the past 6 months – if not more it to a quarantine area
- If after a few months you haven’t touched the quarantined material, archive it off the system
1a) If there’s too much “stuff” just get your core processes extracted and get someone else to extract the rest – if you don’t have staff to do this, get someone external to do it for you 😉
Doing this process consolidation will save between 6 – 22 percent of running costs:
- Staff know what to do
- Staff don’t have to waste time looking for things
- Staff communicate together
- Project work becomes a LOT more transparent
What could you do with an extra day of free time each week?