Running a process with spreadsheets and task management apps can be risky!

After working with process management for a while you tend to hear different versions of the same excuse said by innocent, inexperienced managers:

It’s too early to create processes and play books here. Our team is too small, we don’t need these things yet. We’re controlling everything using spreadsheets for now.

These sweet summer children know nothing of fear and even less about process management. These managers prove that whenever they try to argument that spreadsheets and simple to-do or task management apps are enough to manage their processes.

Using spreadsheets, task management software and email threads can threaten the safety and quality of your company’s information. Don’t take my word for it, let’s check some evidence.

Spreadsheets:

1- Fragile data: The data you keep in a spreadsheet is very fragile. An inexperienced intern that deletes what he thought were duplicated, an ex-employee that holds a grudge, a laptop that gets stolen… it’s really easy to lose your files;

2- Information duplicated or outdated: Whenever there are different versions of the same spreadsheet, owned by different people,  duplicated registers happen. If there’s only one online spreadsheet on which multiple people are working at the same time, the risk also exists;

3- Stolen data: Your sensitive information needs to be kept in a safer place than a public spreadsheet. Anyone can copy the files and that’s it! Your strategic, sensitive data can easily be shared;

4- Rework: The same information has to be entered multiple times in multiple places. Besides the time wasted with rework, relying on CTRL+C and CTRL+V will sooner or later cause serial mistakes.

Task management apps:

1-  Wrong approach: Task and Project management apps are great…if your managing projects! Cost of project, Gantt chart, critical path…these are awesome features, if you’re managing a project! Unfortunately, if you’re looking to measure a process, these are the wrong metrics. You should be looking for lead and touch times and tools that help you understand what are your “production line”s bottlenecks;

2- You can’t create play books/add instructions: Task management apps don’t allow you to create execution standards. Everyone can do everything, like a large blank canvas. There is no logical path to be followed, no cumulative learning or standard procedures. This is definitely not the way you want to manage your processes;

3- Poor automation: These apps don’t allow you to create workflows with rules to guide your team. You can’t create smart integrations, efficiency or even ‘hacks’ that help make your team more productive;[/col]

4- Poor quality of information: Without rules and customized fields, how could you possibly ask for all the information you need to process a task? Let’s take a reimbursement request as an example. Each person, when asking for a reimbursement should at the very least inform: what and how much did they spend, how they spent it and why. They should also attach a digitalized copy of the invoice. Can you imagine the amount of work it would take to process a reimbursement request without having the appropriate information to begin with?

Leave all the risk in the past!

Manage your processes with Pipefy!

Pipefy is an intuitive, easy to use process management platform. It allows users to manage all their processes in a single platform, ensuring efficiency and solid execution standards.

Its structure is 100% flexible and customizable, allowing users to create their processes according to their exact needs (without technical knowledge or IT support).

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Written by Alessio Alionço, Tech Entrepreneur | 5+ Years Product Management | Founder & CEO of Pipefy, founder of Acessozero (acquired) | An addicted on technology, books and sports.