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If the process is broken... fix it!

I had a really pleasing conversation yesterday with a client's member of staff.

A process that had been in the business for years (that was poorly adhered to anyway) was proving to be cumbersome for the job that it was designed for.

Despite the process having been in place long before I appeared in their business it had become perceived as something that I had created. It wasn't causing a problem to the business, and it had never made it (thus far) to the top of my list of priorities for my client.

The member of staff approached me cautiously and asked a few questions about the process.

I could see where this was going to and helped them out by stating that 'I wasn't precious about the process, I was precious about the results being achieved in a consistent manner'.

I could tell that the gentleman speaking to me was relieved and so we then got into the nitty gritty of what changes would make a real difference.

So, there are two points to me writing this post:

1. If a process is getting in the way of achieving results it is worth taking a look to see if we can make it easier to use for all concerned.

2. We need to decide what we are bothered about; maintaining the status quo for a poor process is not a great decision in my eyes, where as aiming for better results (in a controlled manner) is.

Are you having the right conversations with your staff about improving results in your business?

Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering

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