All posts in Business Processes

How to Use The Deming Cycle for Continuous Quality Improvement

the deming cycle

Understanding quality and seeking to improve it is arguably the core purpose behind undertaking process improvements. Hence the creation of the Deming cycle.

But where did this philosophy of process improvement come from?

One key person is William Edwards Deming – sometimes referred to as Edward W. Deming. He’s principally a statistician, but one could even call him a philosopher of science.

Deming’s goal was to reapply the scientific method to business processes, and has left us with two main variants of his thinking: PDSA and PDCA.

In this article we’ll outline:

Deming’s approach is not just about improving processes, but about improving a whole business.

In a recent meta-study from the British Medical Journal, researchers found only 2 out of 73 studies had applied PDSA in a way which fully met criteria. Commenting:

To progress the development of the science of improvement, a greater understanding of the use of improvement methods, including PDSA, is essential to draw reliable conclusions about their effectiveness.

And that’s why we’re writing this article!

Continue Reading

What is ISO 14000? EMS Basics & Implementation (Environmental Management)

iso 14000

If the United Nations Environment Programme is to be taken seriously, the current generation is the last generation with a realistic chance of kick-starting the processes necessary to halt or reverse the looming global crisis of climate change.

“We are clearly the last generation that can change the course of climate change, but we are also the first generation with its consequences,” Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of the World Bank.

Continue Reading

Prioritization Matrix 101: What, How & Why? (Free Template)

Prioritization Matrix

As humans, we tend to focus more on the things we need to do than the things we’ve already done. This so-called “Zeigarnik effect”, named after Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, means our minds are often swimming with all of the tasks, responsibilities, and mental notes that we think we should be focusing on. That’s where Prioritization Matrix can help!

All of these tasks and projects that need doing, this mental to-do list, without a clear hierarchy of importance can make it difficult for us to stay focused and actually get things done.

One way to combat all of this Zeigarnik noise is to note down everything. Make an actual to-do list. Studies have been done, and it has been shown that the very act of noting down tasks can quite simply “make you more effective”.

But, even with a to-do list, before you actually get anything done it’s necessary to have a clear idea of your priorities.

Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, figuring out what to prioritize can be hard. It’s a complicated process that involves weighing up cost against value, effort against time, and for a lot of businesses, will likely involve many different stakeholders.

The solution is to work out a process for determining what to prioritize.

Continue Reading

Cut Costs With This Free Strategic Planning Template

 Strategic Planning Template

In the book The Balanced Scorecard, by David Norton and Robert Kaplan, it is noted that 90% of organizations fail to execute their pre-set strategy.

This is a concerning statistic when you consider that, for a majority of companies considered successful, an emphasis is placed on having formal and pre-established systems to inform, manage, and meet their strategic obligations.

In this sense, can we not infer executing business strategy = business success?

To bridge this gap between strategic ambition and business performance, Process Street has created a Strategic Planning Template, which you can use – for free – right away!

By executing the steps given in this template you will not only develop good strategy, but the delivery of this strategy will also prove successful.

Click here to access our free Strategic Planning Template!

But to accommodate this template, you need to have a solid understanding of strategic planning itself.

In this article, I’ll discuss what strategic planning is, the different strategic planning models – with an emphasis on the Cascade Strategic Planning Model -, why strategic planning is important, and more.

Click on the links below to read through:

Let’s jump straight to it!
Continue Reading

17 Ecommerce Processes to Set Up, Maintain, and Promote a Successful Store

Ecommerce Processes

Ecommerce is a massive sector, with a projected value of $4.5 trillion by 2021. However, without the proper ecommerce processes in place, it’s more than easy to fail before you even get close to selling your first product.

And have you ever heard:

“That’s fantastic! Have you thought about selling those?”

We’ve all had a moment of inspiration for our own online store. Whether (like me) you took up a new hobby (crochet) and showed your project to a family member (my gran) or you stumbled across a cheap source for a certain product, the lure of online sales is difficult to ignore.

… data from Statista anticipates a 246.15% increase in worldwide ecommerce sales, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021. That’s a nearly threefold lift in online revenue.” – Aaron OrendorffGlobal Ecommerce: Statistics and International Growth Trends

That’s why we here at Process Street have put together this ecommerce processes pack. These templates will provide you with detailed instructions on how to do everything from setting up an online store to listing products, designing a logo, and promoting your content.

Better yet, every last process is completely free!

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s start selling!

Continue Reading

Mastering workflows: A comprehensive Guide With 10 Real-life Workflow Examples

workflow examples

Are you in need of some workflow examples to make your teams smarter?

But what makes a team smart?

Several things do, but powerful workflows are one critical ingredient which makes teams smart.

Teams that use workflows don’t set goals and simply hope to reach them; they create checklists (workflows) to make sure they reach their goals.

No wonder 50% of businesses that use workflow management systems say the results are substantial.

It’s incredible.

Teams that use workflows are super organized and able to perform daunting tasks — no matter the long processes involved.

But what types of workflows should you be using this year?

It’s different for every organization; workflow systems are not always one-size-fits-all. But these nine Process Street workflow examples should give you inspiration for how you can build important systems to run your business with.

Our workflow examples:

  1. Employee onboarding workflow
  2. Customer support workflows
  3. Customer onboarding workflows
  4. Content marketing or writing workflows
  5. Podcast publishing workflows
  6. Request and approval workflows
  7. Travel workflows
  8. Content promotion workflow
  9. Standup meeting workflows

Continue Reading

9 Task Automation Tools You Should Be Using Right Now

Task Automation Tools You Should Be Using

Overlooking task automation is losing you money

According to Harvard Business Review, marketing executives are losing 10-15% of their time due to not automating simple tasks.

Task automation should already be saving you huge amounts of time and effort.

If it’s not, I can only assume that’s because you’re not using it!

If you’re a heavy user of different SaaS platforms, you’ve probably grown tired of having to jump back and forth from one to another to perform simple tasks.

Would it not be easier if you could click one button and the different platforms just spoke to each other and got the job done for you?

Yes, it obviously would be.

In fact, according to Chui, Manyika, and Miremadi writing in the Harvard Business Review, not only could a marketing executive be automating activities which account for between 10-15% of their current time using existing technology, but for 60% of existing US jobs, 30% of their time could be reduced by automation.

You can read the full report, Four Fundamentals of Workplace Automation, at McKinsey.

Note, that this important study is already over a year old, and the speed of technological advancements in available automation software has likely caused those given percentages to rise even further.

Task automation is where you doing one task results in multiple tasks being done. Bit of a mouthful, but let me give an example…

Or, if you want to watch a step by step example, check out this Process Street video about automating client onboarding.

Continue Reading

How to Write Process Documentation That Helps Your Business Scale (in 5 Steps)

ALT: How to Write Process Documentation That Helps Your Business Scale (in 5 Steps)

We love process documentation.

But what is a process, exactly? Technically speaking, you can boil just about anything down to a process. Here are a few examples of some processes that you might find in your everyday life.

  • Hiring or firing someone
  • Conducting a meeting
  • Creating a weekly blog post
  • Cooking a meal
  • Pouring a glass of milk

Everything is a process, but some are certainly more straightforward than others. Either way, document all of them! Well, maybe not the glass of milk one…

For the rest, let’s look at some process documentation best practices:

Continue Reading

Email Workflows: Best Practices and Examples that Turn Leads into Sales

Alright, so your most recent marketing campaign has generated a ton of interest among your target consumers.

You’ve seen a huge spike in web traffic, mailing list subscribers, and your social media following.

But, despite all this, you still aren’t seeing much of an increase in the area that really matters:

Sales numbers.

It’s a disheartening feeling, for sure – especially considering how high your hopes were after seeing such a huge spike in traffic and engagement.

If it’s any consolation, you’re not alone.

According to data collected by HubSpot, 79% of marketing qualified leads never end up converting. In other words, nearly four of every five people who show a genuine interest in a given brand end up walking away without making a purchase from said company.

Now, one of the main reasons this number is so high is because many companies implement sub-par strategies for nurturing these qualified leads – if they implement lead-nurturing strategies at all.

On the bright side of things, this means that if you focus heavily on nurturing your qualified leads, you’ll almost definitely be doing more than your competitors are in terms of providing value to your target customers.

In this article, we’re going to focus on how to use email workflows as part of your marketing strategy to nurture leads and increase their probability of converting into paying customers.

Before we get into the best practices for creating automated email workflows, we first need to explain exactly what email workflows are, and how using them can benefit your company.

Let’s get started.

Continue Reading

What is Business Systemisation?

what-is-business-systemisation 1

Business systemization gained notoriety from the bestselling book by Michael E. Gerber, published in 1986, The E-Myth – Why most businesses don’t work and what to do about it. In 2011, this groundbreaking book was named the number 1 business book of all time by The Wall Street Journal. In The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) Gerber explains how businesses are usually started by those who know the content of a business – so-called “Technicians”, people who know how to do the technical work involved in an enterprise – rather than by those who know business itself – so-called “Entrepreneurs” – and why start-ups are therefore by definition prone to failing.

In order for a company or business to thrive, it must move beyond relying on the so-called “Technician” who is now also the company owner. Gerber uses the franchise model to demonstrate how a business does this: Franchises are prototype businesses that are operated in terms of well-documented systems, i.e., there are manuals describing in minute detail how to run the business. Gerber argues that the entrepreneur should spend time creating a business that can run by itself, without the presence of the entrepreneur, and this is achieved through business systemization.

Continue Reading

Take control of your workflows today