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A Practical Guide to Increase Productivity with Process Mapping

process-mapping

Process mapping is a useful tool for what can be summed up as “seeing the big picture and little pictures at the same time”.

That may sound silly to you, but that’s really what it is.

The primary benefit achieved from mapping out your business processes is that you can accurately evaluate each of the steps needed to complete a certain workflow, while understanding exactly how each of them interacts with one another and contributes to the process as a whole.

This ability to evaluate all aspects of a process helps managers identify constraints, opportunities for improvement, and formulate strategies to implement changes without disrupting day-to-day work.

But how do you go about ensuring that the time and effort you put into constructing these maps translates into improved performance?

That’s the question we’ll be tackling in this post.

Before doing so, however, we must acknowledge that there is a huge range of complexity when it comes to methods for process mapping. If you are a small organization it can be as simple as drawing it out on a whiteboard, whereas enterprises use sophisticated mapping software tools like Appian and Lucidchart.

This point regarding complexity and different kinds of process maps leads us to another important sub-topic that needs to be addressed early on – the difference between process mapping and process modeling.

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21 Best Business Podcasts: Process Street Team Picks

entrepreneur podcasts

Podcasts are like hacks for your everyday life. They allow you to passively improve your knowledge and gain valuable insight into almost any topic you could imagine, whilst doing pretty much anything.

All of that time spent walking to the store, commuting to work, preparing a meal, working out; it’s all time you could be utilizing to improve yourself and your business.

This article is a selection of the best business podcasts from our team at Process Street; we’d recommend them to anyone looking to devote themselves to self improvement, stay sharp and keep pace with the cutting edge of business trends and insights.

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How to Support €38.8 Billion Revenue: Tips from IKEA’s Supply Chain

ikea supply chain

You can’t earn €38.8 billion in annual revenue by stumbling through your processes.

Specifically, the IKEA supply chain is the glue that holds the company together and allows them to flourish.

From their suppliers through to the product in-store, the supply chain is set up and managed in a way that reduces costs at every stage, makes the products more appealing to customers, and makes the brand as a whole seem more appealing.

It’s genius, really.

So let me show you how they do it.

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5 Great Ways to Involve Your Employees in Process Design

process-design

Finding effective ways to engage your employees in decision-making processes has become a priority for most organizations in recent years.

Why?

Because numerous research studies clearly indicate that involving your employees in how things get done improves morale, which in turn positively impacts productivity, loyalty, and pretty much everything else that enables a business to grow and stay competitive.

Really it’s just common sense. Treat your employees well, give them opportunities to contribute, and they will be more motivated to consistently produce their best work.

According to Salesforce research, employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work, while another study indicates that organizations with high employee engagement outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%.

It’s hard not to perk up your ears and think carefully about how much you involve your employees when such significant numbers are flying around.

In this post, I’m going to be going through 5 ways for you to involve your employees in decision-making when it comes to process design.

In other words, I’ll be looking to offer you some practical, tried and tested ideas for encouraging your employees to contribute to the design of internal business processes. This will not only offer them a channel for empowerment, but will also improve process adoption as they will be built through collaboration and teamwork. It’s a win-win situation.

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Breakdown of the Best Workflow Management Software

workflow manager

It’s become commonplace for companies to look to workflow management software to help them “trim the fat” and boost productivity metrics.

A majority of savvy business owners are searching for solutions to automate their workflows and push their business to that extra percentile of efficiency.

Multiple different names have been used to talk about this particular kind of tool: BPM software, process management software, workflow management software, to name a few.

Whatever you choose to call it, the proposition remains the same. Workflow management software offers a centralized hub for overseeing and optimizing all of the moving parts that make up your workflow.

These workflows are made up of processes, which are like sets of step by step instructions designed to guide you along the ideal path to a simple desired outcome.

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8 Smartsheet Alternatives for Superb Project Management in 2019

smartsheet-alternatives

The Smartsheet platform provides exactly what the name suggests – smart sheets. It is modeled around the classic Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, enriching its capabilities with powerful collaboration features and integrations.

In addition to providing effective collaboration tools, Smartsheet’s user interface is relatively simple, which has earned it a solid reputation as a good project management tool for businesses of all sizes.

So why even look for an alternative?

Well, you may not feel that Smartsheet is particularly well suited to how you manage projects in your team and organization as a whole. Perhaps you are not very familiar with Excel, or just don’t like it very much and would rather use a tool with a different look and feel.

It can also become a difficult tool to manage in the long-term. As you add more and more projects, the organization of vast amounts of spreadsheets can become fragmented and confusing.

So, if you are not a big fan of spreadsheets, and would like a project management tool with a more fun, engaging look to it, here are 8 fantastic alternatives that may well be what you’re looking for.

The main criteria I used for selecting the following applications is that they all have excellent feedback from users, reasonable pricing models, good customer support, and effectively address Smartsheet’s limitations.

Let’s get into it.

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How to Write Faster Without Losing Quality (Or Going Insane)

How to write faster

I meet so many people who love writing.

Whenever anyone asks me what I do and they find out I’m a writer, they almost always say some variant of the same thing:

“Oh, I would love to write more!”

“I wish I could do that – but I just don’t have time”

“I’ve been meaning to start blogging, but haven’t gotten round to it”

These responses are pretty consistent whether they come from a regular Joe or someone whose business and professional life would benefit from them writing more.

So many companies build a blog and intend to use it properly, only for it to fall into disrepair and get forgotten.

Why?

Because writing isn’t anyone’s core task and is then seen as less valuable.

So what if I told you that you could finish a blog post in 3 hours?

Would 3 hours a week, or even a month, be worth committing to give yourself or your company a functioning and marketable blog? Is that a small enough commitment to open up a new channel or boost your SEO?

It is. You know it. So let me show you how I do it.

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What is Runbook Automation? Process Clarity for More Than Just IT

runbook automationWe all know processes are important.

Having a clear set of processes or procedures for repetitive or recurring tasks is a crucial way to make sure your output is the best it can be every time.

Those set game plans for how to approach a task can also help you to improve the way you approach those tasks.

Part of that improvement process can be automating elements of the flow to boost reliability and efficiency.

The world of IT provides us with a clear example of the vast efficiency benefits which can be achieved through carefully mapping tasks and seeking to improve the process which ties them together.

One such example is runbook automation, and in this Process Street article we’re going to look at:

  • What is runbook automation?
  • How do companies use runbook automation?
  • What can we learn from runbook automation to improve other teams?
  • How Process Street can help you automate set procedures

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Business Process Testing: Method Behind The Madness

All businesses have recurring tasks that have to be accomplished on a regular basis.

This inevitably leads to some sort of written process that helps guide team members on how to accomplish that particular task. As a company grows these processes should get updated, automated, and reviewed for relevancy. The point of this is to ensure that the team is as efficient as possible and that the process is helping as opposed to hindering.

This is where business process testing comes into play.

A study conducted by Łukasz Tartanus of Procesowcy.pl found that 69% of the companies they surveyed had documented and repeatable processes built out. However, only 4% of the 236 participating companies measured and managed them! A GAP analysis isn’t needed to determine a quick win on how to improve efficiency.

This post gives a high-level overview of what business process testing is, the pros and cons of BPT, and outlines the methodology.

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9 Tips to Improve Sales Process Adoption in Your Organization

sales-process-adoption

We all enjoy coming up with solutions. Unfortunately, if the solution needs to be internalized by a group of people to improve team execution, it can be a frustrating and time-consuming effort to get everyone on board.

Let’s say you have clearly identified that a process inefficiency is causing a bottleneck in sales productivity, and have built a solid process to address the issue. You’ve got the green light from senior management, they think it looks fantastic and can’t wait to see the impact it has.

Now, the real work begins – communicating the value of the process to your sales team and convincing them to implement it in their day-to-day work. Not as easy as it may sound.

Well, in this post I hope to relieve you of at least some of the stress that comes with sales process adoption by highlighting 9 tried and tested tips that will address 2 key obstacles you’ll face:

  1. Convincing sales reps that the process works and helps them achieve their sales goals.
  2. Providing the tools that enable reps to easily integrate the process into their day-to-day activities.

Successfully tick both those boxes, and you will be well on your way.

Let’s get started.

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