Creating Effective Processes
You know processes can help streamline your work, but if you’re a solo entrepreneur (or working with just a couple of other people), you might be tempted to bypass the process of creating a process. Work, however, has a funny way of getting overwhelming, so at some point, it is in your best interests to take the time, put on your thinking cap, and come up with a plan. Once you’ve completed your process planning and have implemented it, it is also important to make necessary changes when your current process becomes out-dated or unwieldy.
Identify What Needs to Happen
Brainstorm what needs to happen to get successfully from Point A to Point B, whether you are submitting a work order or billing a client. Write down every action you or someone else needs to take to get a successful result. If you currently have a process that is not working, analyse where it is broken and what new actions need to be implemented. Ask yourself or your co-workers what information they require to get the job done and decide how to get it.
Map it Out
Once you have brainstormed what it takes to get from the beginning to the end, start organizing the parts of the process into clearly defined action steps listed in a logical sequence. Be as specific as possible so that a new employee could step directly into the process without the need for extensive training. Never leave things vague or require a new employee to be able to make inferences based on insider knowledge of your personality or how your business works.
Revisit and Improve
Things happen: your business grows, you add new employees, or your services and products evolve. Make sure your processes are evolving and adapting along with these changes or you run the risk of encumbering yourself and others with out-dated and unnecessary work that slows you down and makes you less efficient. Plan regular process updating meetings to ensure you are remaining flexible.
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