All posts by Leks Drakos


Improve Business Operations With Economies of Scope

Improve Business Operations With Economies of Scope

The other day, my household experienced one of the great tragedies of the home delivery era: our grocery delivery was canceled.

You know what that means. I had to go to the grocery store. Like, physically, in person, go inside the grocery store.

I survived, but phew. Let’s just say there were a few close calls.

All in all, though, it was a successful trip. I picked up a couple of prescriptions, had an eye exam, switched the pet insurance, got some advice about first-time homeownership, and even remembered to get dinner fixins. I would’ve gotten my oil changed and tires rotated, too, but I don’t have a car so… Yeah. I didn’t do that.

This is what economies of scope look like. Economies of scope are when it’s more cost-effective to produce related items together than it is to produce them individually. In the 21st century economy, it’s also an increasingly familiar model as brands continue to expand their offerings to consumers.

As a consumer, this model is great. We don’t have to run around all over the place to take care of all our responsibilities. For companies, it’s not a bad model, either.

Economies of scope – offering all of these services under one roof – companies are actually spending less by offering more.

But wait – how does that work?

Well, I’ll tell you:

Welcome to Process Street! 👋 Right this way, please.
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Tech Out Loud: The Best Tech Posts Delivered Straight To Your Ears

tech out loud

Who resolved to read more this year? ✋

Who actually has? 🙈

Let’s be honest: you’re never actually going to make it through that folder of bookmarked articles you’ve been collecting since last year. Hey – not judging. I’ve been cultivating my own To Be Read monolith for months.

So what’s the deal? How do you catch up with all those industry insights, actionable advice articles, and entrepreneurial retrospectives when there never seems to be any time to, y’know, read?

Simple: let us read them for you.

Introducing Tech Out Loud – the coolest podcast around bringing those must-read articles directly into your waiting ears.
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Workforce Planning Essentials for the Remote-Savvy HR Manager

Workforce Planning Essentials for the Remote-Savvy HR Manager

There are plenty of great quotes from inspirational leaders that perfectly sum up the importance of workforce planning, but in my mind, none of them quite capture it like this one:

“Making a plan without the right tools is like making spaghetti without a pot.” – Kris Hughes, Content Strategy Consultant

You are absolutely not going to be making any spaghetti without a pot, or at least a pot-like vessel that will hold boiling water in a way so as not to burn the crap out of your hands in the process. When it comes to workforce planning, the spaghetti is your business and the pot…

Okay. I took the simile too far. You get the picture: if your business doesn’t have the right people in the right place, you got nothing.

Think beyond that: if the right people don’t stay or aren’t being utilized properly, you still don’t have a pot to… make spaghetti in.

There is a lot out there about workforce planning, and by a lot I mean, a frickin lot. It’s my job to do research and even I got a little dizzy trying to sort through all the different takes on what is or isn’t or could be/might be the best way to manage your workforce.

This post aims to simplify all that. I’ll cover the foundations of workforce planning, specific considerations for remote work, and examine some common methods for finding the right approach for your organization.

This Process Street post is designed so you can jump straight to the info you need to know, so feel free to skip ahead.

Let’s get planning!
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Beyond Enlightenment – How to Make an Impact With Data Storytelling

Beyond Enlightenment – How to Make an Impact With Data Storytelling

This is a guest post by Brian Skewes, a technologist into deconstruction. Over two decades of self-employment, he has accumulated a wealth of inadvertent real-world lessons related to building, running, and preserving a small company.

There’s a phrase that’s become popular in web analytics, digital marketing, and business consultancy in the last few years: data is everything.

There’s a lot to recommend it. It’s short, snappy, and captures the importance of data to the way in which we do business today. Whether you are building organic links or in the process of drafting an employee development plan, the path to success runs right through a big ‘ol pile of numbers.

Unfortunately, there’s more to numbers than just numbers.

This is due to the nature of data itself. The problem with relying on numbers and nothing else is that no matter how impressive it is, it also remains inscrutable, incomprehensible, or simply boring for the majority of people. Unless your audience is composed entirely of the type of person who can instantly visualize columns of figures, you are going to need to provide some context for the ever-so-impressive stats.

This is where the concept of storytelling comes in.

In this Process Street article, we’ll look at how you can go beyond data acquisition, compilation, and presentation. We’ll show you how to make your data come alive through the magic of storytelling.

Once upon a time…
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How to Reduce Customer Attrition During a Crisis

How to Reduce Customer Attrition During a Crisis

This is a guest post by Brayn Wills, the current Knowledge Management Specialist at ProProfs knowledge base. He is responsible for creating unique and relevant content on the knowledge base and keeping track of the latest developments in the realm of knowledge management. In his free time, he is either reading a new book or exploring offbeat destinations.

When a crisis strikes, it brings along daunting challenges that require businesses to reevaluate their strategies. One such significant challenge is customer churn. It can impact a business drastically if left unchecked.

Statistics show that, on average, most companies experience a monthly churn rate of 7.5%. If left unchecked, this can be catastrophic for a company’s bottom line.

A rapidly shrinking customer base means reduced profits that can have a severe impact on an organization, especially during a crisis. What’s more, crisis situations tend to exacerbate the root causes of churn, meaning businesses need to be extra responsive and attentive to their customers during these times.

While you cannot prevent all customers from leaving your company, you certainly can take concrete steps to keep customer churn in control.

In this post for Process Street, I will cover:

Read on to uncover the pragmatic ways to reduce customer churn during a crisis by understanding and providing value to your customers.
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Conquer Process Improvement With These 9 Lean Six Sigma Tools

Conquer Process Improvement With These 9 Lean Six Sigma Tools

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.”Peter Drucker

Lean management, Six Sigma, and lean Six Sigma all walk into a bar. Lean management orders a Scotch. Six Sigma orders bourbon. Then lean Six Sigma orders a hot toddy. The bartender says, “So that’ll be a whisky, a whiskey, and a bit of both.”

Are you seriously writing another post about lean Six Sigma?

Yes. Yes, I am.

While you’d be forgiven for thinking that these methodologies are all essentially the same, it is important to remember that they are, indeed, separate. The principle of lean Six Sigma is simple: it combines the waste reduction and workflow efficiency of lean manufacturing with the defect-elimination process of Six Sigma.

To break it down:

  • Lean: A method to reduce or eliminate any activity that doesn’t add value to a process (read more)
  • Six Sigma: A system to create a defect-free process (read more)
  • Lean Six Sigma: The best of both worlds used to eliminate process waste and variation (read more)

Some may say Six Sigma is outdated, or just another example of “business bullshit,” Process Street keeps lauding the benefits for one simple reason: lean Six Sigma works.

From Motorola to Amazon, Fortune 500s have been incorporating Six Sigma practices since the mid-80s. In the early 2000s, Dell, Inc. did the same and by 2004 had saved the company $1.5 billion in costs. In 2020, Dell Technologies reported total revenue of $92 billion and as well as the increasing popularity of their systems.

In this post, I’ll break down Lean Six Sigma into the five corresponding DMAIC process categories, and provide the most relevant tools for each stage. Feel free to jump ahead:

Otherwise, dear reader, let’s begin!
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5 Human Resources Best Practices We Learned From GitLab

hr manager

Human resource departments get a bad rap.

While those in leadership roles predominantly feel that HR has strategic value, a majority of on-the-ground employees feel much differently.

HR Manager Concepts: Value of HR
(Source)

The question is: Why? What can you, as your company’s HR manager, do to correct this?

Here at Process Street, we know a thing or two about HR best practices – and have a wealth of pre-made templates to boot. There’s always room for improvement, though, so lately, we’ve been doing some deep dives into GitLab’s handbook (like my post on how GitLab totally rocks their marketing strategy).

GitLab is unique in a number of ways – most significantly, their willingness to share internal tactics. This post is going to look at five essential concepts every HR manager needs to keep in mind based on GitLab’s own tried and tested processes.

Ready to manage some humans?
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Quicken Your Software Deployment & Generate More Value with CI/CD

This is a guest post by Gabe Nelson. Gabe is a content specialist with over 7 years of experience, currently working with Semaphoreci.com. He has a passion for programming and has written hundreds of content pieces in numerous niches. Currently, he lives in Missouri with his wife and kids.

Let’s face it: the longer your software takes to get from ideation to iteration, the more irrelevant it becomes.

With the innovation of new paradigms and working methods to meet the right here/right now demands of consumers in a hyper-connected world, your developers need workflows that will deliver your software into production environments the second they’re able to.

The millisecond micro nanosecond, even.

Managing your software deployment processes and procedures to not just keep up with, but stay ahead of, the competition can seem like a Sisyphean task, but it doesn’t have to be.

Continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) together constitute the light at the end of a software developer’s tunnel. No doubt that’s why implementation is commonly described in terms of “pipelines” – CI/CD takes you straight through the problems.

More specifically, CI/CD pipelines make it easy for developers to deploy working code into functional and error-free production environments. That’s because these workflows do a great job of automating entire pipelines of your team’s code releases and updates. This frees up developers to create new features and processes instead of spending hours debugging faulty code.

In this Process Street guest post, I’ll do a quick walkthrough of the basics of CI/CD, then dive into how CI/CD can generate more value for and quicken your software deployment.

Read on…
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Hyper Growth: The Strategies You Need to Reach Unicorn Status

The 4 Hypergrowth Strategies to Gain Unicorn Status for Your Start Up

Everyone knows that unicorns don’t exist.

Or do they?

The latest findings have reported that there are now over 600 unicorns thriving in the wild. Experts in the field often cite unicorns’ unique capacity for managing hyper growth that’s allowed them to experience such a surge of success.

However, unicorns still face a perilous existence: two-thirds of unicorns never reach full maturity. This is partly due to a lack of sustainable resources in their environment, but with valuations of $1 billion or more, they are also highly coveted by collectors.

Say you want to raise a gangly young foal into a noble specimen of unicorn-ness. Where do you start? How do you make sure your prospective unicorn makes it into that elite one-third of successful hopefuls?

Fortunately for you, Process Street knows a thing or two about unicorn rearing and maintenance, and this post will cover the basic strategies of managing hyper growth for the best possible outcome: a fully matured unicorn.

Peruse the following chapters for the best advice we have to give:

Giddy-up! (Last horse reference, I promise.)
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DACI: Group Decision-Making Made Easy With Our Free Template

DACI: Group Decision-Making Made Easy With Our Free Template

We’ve all been there: an hour and a half into a 45-minute meeting. You’re trying to reach a consensus but as one department makes a suggestion, the next disagrees.

Customer success insists the next product should be geared towards students; sales thinks their parents are a better demographic. Content marketing started out by spitballing potential names until someone brought up the latest Process Street post and they all got sidetracked discussing whether it’s better to use odd or even numbers in a post title. Social marketing is scrolling through newsfeeds and graphic design isn’t even sure what they’re doing in this meeting at all.

It should have been simple: get everyone together, brainstorm ideas, then form a game-plan and timeline to use moving forward. Except no one can agree on anything and, at this rate, the only accomplishment the meeting will have made is wasting everyone’s afternoon.

Group decision-making is complicated. Fortunately, there are processes for that.

You may have already read our post on DECIDE, which is a great decision-making process for individuals. However, what works for an individual does not necessarily translate to a group. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to one of the most popular group decision-making frameworks: DACI.

The DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributors, Informed) decision-making framework is a set of processes geared toward doing just that. As a variant of the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) responsibility matrix, DACI’s emphasis on decision clarity for complex projects often makes it the go-to framework for product managers.

That’s a lot of acronyms all at once, huh?

Don’t worry. We’ll take it slow – or you can jump straight to the point:

Let’s get some decisions made!
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