Recently, I was called upon for help by one of the local small business owner. She wanted to improve efficiency of her business processes to improve production capacity. After reviewing her existing process documents, I couldn’t find any major improvements. So, I visited her company and met with few employees to get more information. To my surprise, employees gave me the different picture of the organization. Most of the employees seemed to consider processes as an unnecessary overhead. Their working style reflected “Just do it” approach to finish the work. This is not an independent event. I have seen many organizations, where this problem is prominent. You can have as many processes as you can, but if you fail to incorporate those process in to your culture then nothing is going to help you in improving efficiency. Following are few tips that you can follow in order to enforce your processes.
Most of the workers push back on the use of processes based on their primary perception of “more processes = more work”. While that might be true, the assumption that not employing processes will tend to create less overhead is generally untrue. Thus, an organization needs to do a better job of communicating benefits of their processes to their employees. For example: Don’t just tell your employees to put in their actual hours in to the ERP system. Explain them how this will help you to get an appropriate estimates for your future projects, and how this will reduce their overtime. Also, discuss about other benefits such as reduction in employee’s stress level due to more control over projects, etc.
It is always better to have people adopt practices that they have thought of instead of demanding that they should follow a particular process “because I said so”. Thus, every organization should do a better job of involving their employees in fine tuning their processes. Before coming up with any kind of process or hiring an external consultant, one should ask their employees about their idea of an ideal process. Of course, you might not agree with each and every idea that is presented to you. But it will give you a baseline to think about, and that too, for free. Asking feedback from employees will make them feel valuable and get their buy-ins before you implement the process. Thus, there are more chances that those customized processes will convert into actual processes instead of being just on paper.
I hope, these tips will help you to incorporate best practices in to your organizational culture. Let me know, if you have any other suggestions regarding the same. Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi
April 4, 2011 at 3:02 PM
I was a bit confused about the title of the post actually. You don’t bring anything about best practices into the post at all… That being said, I think your point is spot-on with regard to customizing processes based on the opinions of your staff.
All too often we see organizations incorporate “best practices” into their business model, only to have the “best” turn into the worst… Just because best practices at other organizations work for them doesn’t mean that they will remotely work that well for your organization.
Good post 🙂
April 4, 2011 at 3:59 PM
@Christian: Thanks for your comment on my post.
You are right. But I was unable to come up with any other suitable heading for my article. Also, I consider process implementation as best practice implementation, so I thought of going with this title.
And yeah! processes that works for one organization or one team not necessarily works for other organization or other teams. That’s the primary reason for customizing one’s processes. For example: at my work, we follow Agile Methodology for Software Development, but we follow a different kind of process. It is similar to the standard agile process by 80%, but we have some customization to make it work in our work environment.
Thanks for your feedback – Bhavin Gandhi
April 5, 2011 at 8:48 PM
I have been reading almost all of your blog comments. The thought process you put and they way you explain things are really great. I really feel your blog posts will be a stepping stone for some one new like me in the world of business. Keep up your good work.
April 14, 2011 at 1:58 PM
@Ilango: Thanks for reading my blogs and commenting on it. Really appreciate your kind comments. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi