This One Minute Process Mastery Tip is the first in a series of my pay-it-forward observations focused on solving business process failures (and spotting opportunities). Each tip is succinct, practical, and proven. Enjoy.
When a process fails somewhere — such as a deliverable is late or its quality disputed or costs too much, don’t conclude it’s a people problem first. Check the process first.
As your best practices deliver business growth, processes that use them fail because they may not be designed for more volume or cycles. It’s not necessarily an operator or supervisor failure — a people problem. What worked at “X” volume fails at “1X” volume. No one deliberately hires incompetent people; the process simply outgrew itself. Processes break as they grow and it’s normal. By focusing your first conversation on the process you encourage problem solving and empowerment. Consider a people problem when those responsible don’t bring fact-driven, ready to approve-the-purchase order solutions. It’s the ball before the player.
Warning: If you try to fix a process with a design failure thinking it’s a people problem, you’ll upset your people (Oh Crap!) and not solve the process problem (Double Crap!)
Process Triage facilitators are great sounding boards for dealing with business process issues. Contact us for a no obligation, no solicitation conversation.