All posts by Oliver Peterson


Looking for a Visio Alternative? Here Are 4 of Your Best Options

Looking for a Visio Alternative? Here are 4 of Your Best Options

Microsoft Visio is the industry standard for business process modeling, but you might want something different. Something a little more… agile. Just because it’s the most widely used, doesn’t mean it’s the best.

The main reason it’s so widely used is that it’s packaged with Office 365 and often comes pre-installed with enterprise tech suites.

If you’re tired of Visio’s lack of integration, lack of macOS compatibility, and sky-high price point, then you should consider investigating one of the many Visio alternatives out there (like Process Street!) and asking yourself what they can do for you.

There are a lot of options for different use cases; in this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best Visio alternatives and talk about why they might be a better choice.

Here’s a breakdown of the article:

You’re probably all-too-familiar with Microsoft Visio, but for the sake of clarity, let’s start with a quick overview.
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Instagram Marketing Tips for Business: How to Get More Email List Subscribers

Instagram Marketing Tips for Business: How to Get More Email List Subscribers

This is a guest post from Hugh Beaulac, a content strategist at MC2 who also works as a social media manager. With over 6 years of digital marketing experience, Hugh helps small and medium businesses grow online and likes to share his tips and tricks with top-notch marketing blogs like Wordstream, CrazyEgg, and Semrush. Follow him on Twitter to read his latest articles on Instagram marketing.

In the era of social media, when over 2.82 billion people have at least one social media account, email marketing isn’t the most obvious marketing tool.

It’s no wonder that more and more brands use social media platforms to promote their products and services as their target audience is active on these channels.

But here’s the thing: Although email is one of the oldest messaging channels, it still matters.

Why? Because nearly all social media users have active email accounts.

Recent Hubspot report claims that email marketing is still effective: 99% of customers check their email every day, 73% of people claim that email is the preferred communication channel to receive branded news and offers, and 59% of customers say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.

For marketers, this means that combining social media and email marketing is a must. And with the growing popularity of Instagram marketing, there’s a perfect way to connect with engaged users and get more email list subscribers.

In this Process Street article, we’re covering:

Let’s take a look at four effective ways to grow your email list with Instagram.
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What is Fleet Management? The Beginner’s Guide (Free Templates!)

fleet management beginners guide

Fleet management is so much more than simply owning and operating vehicles. It’s a complex interplay of many different factors and optimizations – much like the concept of business process management.

In recent years, more and more tools for fleet management optimization are emerging. Fleet management is changing.

Projected growth of the fleet management industry to about $30 billion by 2022 is largely driven by advances in technology – and the rate at which fleet management companies adopt this emerging technology will largely impact the rate of this projected growth.

And it seems fleet management companies are aware of this.

The National Conference of State Fleet Administrators (NCSFA) recommended in a 2018 survey of 44 state and university fleet participants that fleet management companies begin implementing “robust fleet management policies and procedures” as well as “accelerating the implementation of technology to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of fleet management practices”.

That same survey showed that 38% of repairs and 39% of preventative maintenance work were insourced, on top of the in-house work that is done as part of routine fleet management. Just another incentive to tighten up your processes and streamline all of that manual work with a good, solid process.

In this article, we’ll be looking at how you can use Process Street to implement robust fleet management policies and procedures. I’ll cover:

Let’s start by making sure we’re all on the same page; what exactly is fleet management?
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Simple Checklist Templates to Use Every Day: Advice from Top Executives

simple checklist template

Perhaps you’ve heard about checklists. Perhaps you know someone who uses checklist templates. Who knows, you may even have a simple checklist template or two you use in your own business.

Chances are, if you clicked this link, you’re interested in learning about simple checklist templates. Or specifically, how you can use them to run your business more efficiently.

You probably already know the basics – why checklists are useful, and the value of using a BPM software like Process Street. But you want more.

You want to know the essential checklists, the ones all the top CEOs and successful executives are using. You want ready-made checklists that will save you time, money, and confusion, and you want to learn about some of the immediate benefits of using simple checklist templates, straight from the mouths of those who have used them to run successful businesses of their own.

Well, you clicked to the right article. Here, I’ll be looking at an extensive correspondence between our content team and a number of successful SMB owners who just happen to be simple checklist template champions.

Whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly, or otherwise, we’ve devised this article as a resource that will help you understand how you can use simple checklist templates in your business.

Breaking it down, we’ll look at:

But first, what is simple checklist template, anyway?
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Kanban vs Scrum: Understanding the Tools for Agile Success

Kanban vs Scrum

You’ll often hear the question: “Which is better? Kanban or Scrum?” or variations of this eternal deathmatch between two of the most well-established agile methodologies.

People are wasting energy fighting over which methodology trumps another. If you’re an agile organization, you should be placing principle above practice.

It makes a lot of sense to ask questions like “why might I want to use Kanban over Scrum?”, or even “Kanban and Scrum” as opposed to “Kanban vs Scrum”. There are a lot of differences between the two, but fundamentally, they are both agile methodologies, and the principle behind why you might want to use both can be in alignment.

You may even find they can work well together, as part of a unified strategy. You need to consider what approach will work best for your team.

My aim with this article is to approach the question of “Kanban vs Scrum” by clearly presenting both approaches in terms of when, how, and why you might choose to use either of them.

I’ll also talk about the capacity for overlapping Kanban and Scrum approaches, and how some additional tools like Process Street can factor into that equation.

Here’s a breakdown of how we’ll approach comparing “Kanban vs Scrum”:

Let’s start with a basic primer on what it means to be agile. Continue Reading

What is Value Chain Analysis? How to Deliver Value & Gain a Competitive Advantage

value chain analysis

How do you stand out against overwhelming competition? You need an edge; a value proposition isn’t enough on its own.

You need to make sure you’re out-competing the competition by keeping costs down and understanding the value you’re delivering to your customer. But how do you continuously improve your value offering while keeping costs down?

Enter the value chain.

A value chain is a model of looking at all of your business processes and figuring out how to gain a competitive advantage by focusing on developing maximum value in your product or service, while keeping your profit margins in the green at the same time.

Originally proposed by Harvard’s Michael Porter in his 1998 book Competitive Advantage, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Where do you start? What’s the process? What kind of tools exist to make the value chain analysis easier?

Well, if you’re looking for a clear, concise introduction to Michael Porter’s Value Chain model, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for a breakdown of:

By the end of this article, you should have a firm grasp on the value chain model, with a better idea of how to apply it to your own business. We’ll also investigate how to integrate BPM software like Process Street into the value chain.
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How to Unlock the Secret to Customer Success: Automation

customer success automationThis is a guest post from Shawn Mike. Shawn has been working with writing challenging clients for over five years. His educational background in the technical field and business studies has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions.

According to statistics, it is claimed that US organizations suffer a loss of $62 billion a year thanks to unsatisfactory customer service.

Customer service represents your secondary acquisition test, beyond actually getting that customer on board in the first place.

It’s very much a short-term game of conflict resolution, and your business depends mainly on how you deal with customer feedback and requests.

For maximum lifetime value, you need to consider how to synergize customer service with customer success.

It must be kept in mind that customers are the heart of every business and should be at the top of your priority list.

Satisfied customers help increase sales and build brand identity and reports claim that 77% of customers are estimated to recommend a brand or business to a friend depending on how good their experience with your product is.

Which is why focusing on keeping your customer base satisfied with great service and excellent products can go a long way in improving your sales.

Nowadays, consumers expect more than just a great product. They need you to guide them through the perfect experience. A better customer experience equals a greater lifetime value expectancy.

This article is all about figuring out the best way to analyze and improve customer experience by automating a lot of the manual work that can get in the way.

We’ll focus on:

Read on to learn more about how to optimize your customer success strategy. There’s even a free Ebook for you at the end of it!
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How to Automate Approvals: 20+ Free Approval Process Templates

approval process

Approvals are everywhere. If you’ve worked on any project involving any kind of deliverables, chances are you’re all-too-familiar with the process of requesting and approving (or rejecting) work.

Documents, prototypes, reports, mock-ups, wireframes, storyboards, and even more internally-facing elements like simple holiday leave requests. All of these represent different kinds of approval process, and approvals are an integral workflow element.

Approvals can also represent a major bottleneck.

Consider how you are currently approving work in your business. Perhaps you have a vague process involving emails, and if you’re particularly attentive you might be tracking it in a spreadsheet.

These methods are slow and prone to delays. You have no way of tracking anything reliably, you are more likely to miss approval windows, and information has to be sent manually between individuals.

What’s more, it’s quite difficult to improve this process without the proper system in place. You need to make sure you’ve got the right tools to optimize your approval process.

Process Street‘s approvals feature is the solution to this problem.

We created the approvals feature to make the process of approving work as fast and easy as possible.

With approvals, you can:

  • Get notified as soon as work is ready for approval
  • Approve (or reject) work with zero friction using a clear, streamlined interface
  • Approve on-the-go, from your phone’s email inbox
  • Synergize with many other Process Street features to optimize process efficiency
  • Save time and stay on top of your workflow

In this post, I have a trove of templates to showcase the approvals feature. All of the templates in this article are custom-built to make your life easier.

They also take advantage of Process Street‘s other powerful features like rich form fields, conditional logic, dynamic due dates, and role assignments.

So, read on for:

Read on to learn how to hit the ground running with the approvals feature.
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8D Chess: How to Use The 8 Disciplines for Problem Solving

8d

Hospitals have developed something of a reputation for being rife with bad processes. When processes aren’t adequate, the result is an abundance of “workarounds”.

For example, when equipment or supplies are missing, a nurse might waste time running around searching for what is needed, and once the item is found, return to their previous duties.

One study indicates that nurses spend 33 minutes of a 7.5-hour shift completing workarounds that are not part of their job description.

This may well “put out the fire” so-to-speak, but really it is just a hastily applied band-aid that does nothing to treat the root cause of the problem.

More time is wasted and more problems will arise in the future because nothing has been done to prevent the initial problem from happening again.

Individual nurses are not at fault here; workplace culture often values expertise in the form of those who “get the job done”, which tends to pull against the notion of spending time building good processes (time in which the job is perhaps not “getting done”).

So how to approach the problem of problem solving?

In a lean context, problem solving can be distilled into two simple questions:

  • What is the problem and how did it happen?
  • How can we make sure that it doesn’t happen again?

The 8D, or eight disciplines methodology, is a problem solving process – most likely one of the most widely used problem solving processes out there. It is used by many different countries, in many different industries, and many different organizations.

8D is designed to help you put out those fires, and make sure they don’t happen again.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 8D problem solving methodology and provide you with an outline of the basic process that you can hopefully apply in your own business, plus how you can enhance 8D with other tools and methodologies like Six Sigma, FMEA, and Process Street.

Here’s what I hope you’ll take away after reading:

Let’s begin with the origins of 8D – what is it, and where did it come from? Continue Reading

How to Be Productive: Use a Powerful Productivity System

how to be productive how to use a productivity system

This post is a collaboration between our Process Street Team and Corey Fradin, Founder of QuickBooost. Exploring topics like productivity, time management, and goal setting, QuickBooost helps you better utilize and take control of your time.

The pursuit of productivity is often simplified to a hero’s fable involving the conquest of willpower; the reality might be more about the systems we build around our work, and the clever things we do to make work easier.

You only have 24 hours in a day. You can reduce the problem of productivity to: How many tasks can I get done in that 24 hour period?

What you choose to do with your time – which tasks you prioritize, which you choose to delegate, which you choose to automate, all of these factors are directly the result of the productivity system you build around your work.

You already have a productivity system, you just might not realize. Even if you don’t feel productive, you can still look at what you’re currently doing and understand it in terms of some kind of system.

What that means is, you can break the situation into parts, like your goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics; how all of these things work together amounts to your productivity system.

Take for example David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology. The GTD method is basically the idea of achieving mental focus by writing down your main tasks, and figuring out how you can break them down into smaller, more immediately actionable tasks.

This is a type of productivity system.

So, in this article, we’ll be looking at:

In essence a productivity system is a lot like a straightforward process that helps you break down your workload into smaller, more manageable chunks, and ultimately do more work, more efficiently.

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