Many teams suffer from messy, unorganized processes. What’s even worse (for their productivity) is that some of them don’t even realize it!
Are you aware of what are your team’s processes? To begin with, don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking your team doesn’t have any processes – it does.
It doesn’t matter how small or incipient you believe your team to be, even one-man bands have routines and processes to organize their operations.
Let’s go back to the basics so you can understand what processes are, identify the ones you’re currently running and diagnose whether unorganized processes haunt your productivity.
What is a process?
A series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result; A series of changes that happen naturally.
Isn’t this definition explanatory enough for you? Ok, let’s give it another try. According to the Business Dictionary, processes are a:
Sequence of interdependent and linked procedures which, at every stage, consume one or more resources […] to convert inputs (data, material, parts, etc.) into outputs. These outputs then serve as inputs for the next stage until a known goal or end result is reached.
Ok, guess I might have complicated something simple. In layman’s terms, a process is the series of actions, or steps, it takes you to get from point A to point B, producing something or getting to a specific result.
Processes are everywhere (really, they’re literally everywhere) on your everyday life. From the way your favorite pizza place takes orders and produces pizzas to the steps you go through when creating an expense report for a trip.
Just stop for a minute and think about those cyclic tasks you do on your work routine. See what I meant about you running processes without even realizing?
Ok, next step, let’s delve into how you can map those processes to analyze whether they’re improving your productivity or jeopardizing everything you’re working so hard for.
How to map a process?
That’s yet another very important topic we’ve dedicated an exclusive article to. We really recommend you take a few minutes to read it. It can be a lot more helpful than you think.
Assuming you’re just like me and you want a summarized version of the facts, process mapping is another one of those simple concepts essential to the success of any business.
Process mapping consists in identifying the steps you take to go from point A to point B. Sticking to the pizza parlor example, the steps of the process would roughly be:
- Taking the order on the phone;
- Passing it on to the kitchen for preparation;
- Separating the ingredients;
- Putting the pizza together;
- Delivering the pizza.
When mapping your processes it’s also very important to identify what is your input and output: what you begin the process with and what determines you’ve achieved its goal, as well as all the resources you need to achieve it.
How to identify whether you have unorganized processes?
Well, once you’ve mapped your processes you’ll have the chance of analyzing whether you’re taking the most effective path to get from your input to your end result, without wasting resources, time or money.
If you identify that your team doesn’t really know what the steps of the process are, if they don’t have clear instructions on what they should do and what type of information they should provide…well, there you have it, unorganized processes.
It’s very important, though, that you realize that before you can work on improving those processes, you need to effectively map and start managing them in an organized way.
Many companies use bulky, complex software to manage processes (such as ERPs). These software don’t give teams them the necessary flexibility to manage all sorts of different processes in a single platform.
To go from a point where you didn’t even acknowledge you had processes to managing them may be very difficult. That gets even harder if you don’t have the necessary resources to do it.
If only there was a platform with a simple, intuitive interface that allowed you to run all your company’s processes without adding unnecessary complexity to them…well, you’re lucky for you, there actually is one (and it’s free)!
Pipefy allows you to map and run all your company’s processes, going from the tangle of spreadsheets and email threads to an organized, centralized approach. That’s not all, you can do it without spending thousands on implementation or depending on your IT team for each tiny modification.
With Pipefy your team can map, implement and monitor all your company’s processes on its own, no technical expertise necessary! It’s the end of unorganized processes that endanger your productivity!