Getting Started with Process Planning
Working with numerous organizations across the United States, we’ve had many conversations about process planning. Most organizations agree that having a process or set of processes, is vital to the improvement of their culture and bottom line. However, many of those organizations don’t have processes documented or even a plan to get started.
The prevailing reason? They don’t know where to get started.
Why Are Processes Important?
As most would agree, without a solid process there are too many opportunities for failure. Below are a few examples of issues we’ve heard from interviews conducted over the past few years.
- Rework – Upon “completion” of a job, a return visit is required to finish overlooked steps
- Non-Standardized Work/No SOP – Without a clear path to completion, individuals choose their own way which often leads to extended completion times and/or varying quality of work
- Time Bottlenecks – Without clear instruction, non-experienced team members end up at a standstill
- Veteran Production Drop – Rookie team members seeks out assistance from seasoned team members which causes production drops for both parties
Considerations for Starting
It is important to identify what your various teams are (production, mobile service techs, customer support), who is included in each team, overlap between teams (individuals who fall under numerous teams), and how they interact with each other. By getting a solid understanding of these factors, you’re better able to map out process designation and minimize duplicate work possibilities.
Consider where processes are needed the most and what improvement would mean for return on investment. While the end goal is to continually manage all process material, it makes more sense to tackle the urgent issues first and then continually improve secondary tasks. This is one stage where it is crucial to get input from your front-line team members and managers. Ask them where they have the most stress when it comes to completing their day to day tasks. Inquire about what improvement specifics they require and ultimately what impacts would become of a change.
Perhaps most important, get insight from experts. You already have a group of veteran workers. Utilize them for their knowledge. They’ve undoubtedly been through difficult situations and know the do’s and don’ts of their specific duties. By harnessing the power of this knowledge base, you’re not only ensuring that your process data is accurate and tested, you’re empowering this particular group by letting them have input on the future state of their position.
In addition to the steps listed above, it is highly recommended that you consider scheduling out process creation so that you’re not being overwhelmed and ultimately discouraged. The point of this activity isn’t to cause debilitating stress, but rather to improve efficiency of your organization. Reaching a point of “burn out” helps no one and prior to quitting, almost ensures inaccuracies are occurring.
Are you ready to get started? We’re ready to help you document and provide suggestions along the way. Give us a call or click “Contact.”