All posts in Business Processes


How To Write Follow Up Emails: Templates, Processes, and Guides

In 2018, we saw more than 3.8 billion email users worldwide. 3.8 billion and increasing. That is almost half the worlds population on email.

From this statistic, Process Street gives to you both good news and bad news. The good news is that you have a fantastic method to communicate with your customers.

The bad news?

Business and consumer emails sent and received per day will exceed 293 billion in 2019, which is forecast to grow to over 347 billion in 2023.

Email after email multiplied into the billions loses your line of communication to the spam folder.

How do you make sure your emails are noticed and stand out from this crowd? The answer, by sending follow up emails.

In this Process Street article, we will look at the basics of follow up emails. We provide email templates to help you get started and processes for follow up email campaigns.

We will help you stand out.

In this article you’ll find:

  • Who needs a follow up email?
  • How to write a follow up email.
  • Why do you need to write follow up emails?
  • Five follow up email templates.
  • How to write an email campaign.
  • How you can use Process Street to help your email campaign.

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ISO 19011:2018 Basics (8 Free Management System Audit Checklists)

internal audit

What exactly is an “audit“?

The International Organization for Standardization defines it as:

“[the] systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining objective evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled.” – ISO, from ISO 19011:2018 – Guidelines for Auditing Management Systems

That’s another way of saying someone takes a look at what you’re doing, gathers some evidence, and compares that evidence to what you’re supposed to be doing (in other words, a set of clearly documented requirements).

In the case of ISO, these requirements are known as standards. ISO 9001 is a standard. ISO 14001 is a standard.

Importantly, this understanding of audit implies that there are a few main things being considered by the auditor:

  • What’s documented by the company (e.g. internal processes, policies, and SOPs)
  • Evidence gathered to support how these policies, procedures, and SOPs are implemented in practice
  • The requirements defined by the ISO standard being audited against (e.g. ISO 9001)

Audits performed by companies to assess and analyze their own management systems are known as internal audits. Many resources for guiding companies on how to perform internal audits exist, and foremost of these is the ISO 19011 standard.

For most management system standards, internal audits are an important requirement. Even guideline standards like ISO 26000 for social responsibility depend on reports to evidence the success of their implementations.

As such, ISO 19011 defines a set of guidelines; a framework for companies to plan, implement, and improve upon their audit programs, for auditing the implementation of management systems.

Since the first edition of ISO 19011 was published in 2002, many new management system standards have been published.

These standards often share a common structure, including certain requirements, terms, and definitions being used. That means ISO 19011 can be used to devise highly economic audit programs, wherein knowledge and processes can be shared and applied across various management systems.

By considering how they might take a broader approach to management system auditing and integration, companies implementing ISO management systems stand to save time, money, and confusion when preparing for and implementing internal audits.

The goal of this post is to provide a spring-board for understanding ISO 19011, and how to get started with internal ISO auditing. In this post, I’ll cover:

  • What is ISO 19011
  • 7 principles of ISO auditing
  • Different types of ISO audit
  • Key elements of an ISO audit
  • 8 free ISO audit templates

If you just want the free ISO audit templates, then here they are:

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Project vs Process: What’s the Best Form of Management for Me?

project vs processWhen it comes to managing what work gets done, we’re often faced with a choice: is this a project, a process, …or both?

Different tasks need different approaches.

You need multiple techniques in your skillset and understanding the difference between projects and processes, and how this impacts on work, makes for a very useful tool.

In this Process Street article, we’ll look at:

  • Project vs Process: What’s the difference?
  • What is a process?
  • What is a project?
  • The principles of process management
  • How projects can become processes
  • Get started with process management today

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Basics of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM): How to Get Started

risk management framework

Organizations exist to create value for their stakeholders. By setting objectives, developing strategies, following through and continuously improving processes, value is created.

That’s the ideal situation, at least. In reality, it’s not always as simple as making a plan and sticking to it. There’s always the risk that certain events could affect the success of these plans.

It’s the job of management to make adequate preparations to ensure that systems are in place to continue hitting objectives, even when the beast of unforeseen circumstance rears its head.

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is a direct solution to these kinds of uncertainties, allowing management to oversee the continual creation of value on a complete, integrated, organization-wide level.

By utilizing an effective ERM system, you can rest assured that the organization will see a consistently high success rate in terms of hitting objectives and KPIs.

Stakeholders of all kinds, from customers, suppliers, government and regulatory bodies are all increasingly interested in how businesses are implementing ERM. A well-implemented ERM system could set the foundation for many high-quality, long-term client relationships.

Equally, not having a proper system for enterprise risk management could mean your business is perceived as less competent, and could even result in loss of clients and damage to brand image.

In this post, I’ll discuss:

  • Introduction to and basics of enterprise risk management
  • Benefits of a well-implemented ERM system
  • Core ideas of ERM
  • Examples of different ERM approaches
  • The enterprise risk management process
  • Implementing ERM
  • Automating ERM

To begin with, I’ll start by breaking down the full scope of an ERM system, and some basic definitions.

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What are Maturity Models in Business? (Capability Maturity Model, AIMM, and More)

maturity modelWhen you’re building a business, a team, or any kind of system, you need ways to understand how well you’re doing.

You want to be able to look at your performance and set base standards which have to be met, and be able to contrast those standards with an understanding of what best practice looks like.

You want to understand where on that scale of performance you are at.

It’s why we use things like KPIs, OKRs, or other goal/objective driven metrics.

But those metrics, as useful as they are for some things, are often hard to apply to qualitative data.

This is where maturity models can become an incredibly useful tool.

One model we’ll discuss here is the Capability Maturity Model, and the CMMI Institute alone appears to have about +8500 accredited users of this model (interestingly, in 2018 ~80% were pairing it with agile methodologies).

The problem, though, is that maturity models are often shrouded in complex terminology and overly-convoluted systems. How am I supposed to implement one in my business if people can’t understand it?

In this Process Street article, we’ll tear through the jargon and look at:

  • What is a maturity model?
  • What are the current limitations of business process maturity models?
  • Which are the best business process maturity models?
  • What is a Capability Maturity Model (CMM)?
  • What is the Agile ISO Maturity Model (AIMM)?
  • How does Process Street fit in your maturity model?

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ISO 13485: Basics and How to Get Started (QMS for Medical Devices)

iso 13485 checklist

In today’s business world, owners are constantly grappling with concerns and surmounting obstacles, the least of which is actually staying afloat financially in what can be an unforgiving economy.

However, the struggle to turn a profit pales in comparison to some of the harsher consequences of failing to comply with certain regulatory requirements.

Take HRIS broker Zenefits for example. Failure to comply with several licencing regulations issued by the California Department of Insurance landed them a $7million fine.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg; more severe penalties extend to include government bodies compelling you to dissolve your company, and ultimately the endangerment of the lives and well-being of individuals your organization is servicing.

“On a global scale, we are all being asked to do more with less—and for less. At some point soon, the current internal systems will not be able to hold back the deluge, and companies will be faced with a stark decision—consistently improve or perish” – Erik Myhrberg and Joseph Raciti, Practical Field Guide for ISO 13485

Often, these kinds of requirements take the form of the ISO 13485 standard for medical device manufacturers.

In this article, I’ll break down the ISO 13485 standard, from a basic introduction to suggestions and resources for implementing it in your business or organization.

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5 Major Business Process Automation Benefits You Should Know About

business process automation benefits

The following is a guest post by Billy Lucas. Billy is a passionate blogger sharing business tips on behalf of EngageBay. He writes primarily on SEO, email marketing, CRM, marketing automation and covers the entire gamut of marketing.

Every business wants to get the most out of its resources. Apart from making more profit, companies constantly strive towards reducing overall operational costs.

Technology has helped us in solving some of the most difficult problems where human power is just not enough, and for every big problem that is solved using technology, a number of other small problems are also solved.

Surviving in today’s competitive world requires businesses to efficiently utilize available resources and take appropriate strategic decisions. In order to prevent wastage of resources, many organizations are turning towards process automation solutions.

Business process automation has emerged as a way to carry out a number of tasks without the need for any manual input. IT departments in companies extensively use automation to efficiently provision technology resources, cut operational costs and optimize overall utilization.

The benefits of IT process automation are limitless. If you run a business or are thinking of setting one up, you should definitely consider incorporating process automation.

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How to Assign Tasks Dynamically: Role Assignments in Process Street

Role Assignments

Assigning team members to their tasks is a duty which is as vital as it is tedious.

Everyone pretty much knows what they should be doing, so there’s no need to directly assign them to everything when you could be spending time on more important tasks, right?

Wrong.

Human error (of which memory plays a huge part) affects 1/100 routine tasks where care is needed. This means that the people responsible either makes a mistake or forgets what they need to do (hence why documented processes are so important).

That’s why we here at Process Street have a role assignment feature in our checklists.

Role assignments let you dictate who each task in your process checklists needs to be assigned to without fail every time. All you need to do is set up the role which will have the task assigned, then Process Street does the rest.

Ready to assign your tasks without fail, fuss or tedious fiddling? Then let’s dive right in.

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What is HRIS? The Best Software for a Human Resources Information System

hrms

Employees are the vital force driving any organization, and as such making sure that employee information is properly stored and managed is of utmost importance.

Despite the importance of employee data, many HR departments are still filing away paper forms and documents. This is not only inefficient and cumbersome, it is also not the most secure option available.

Organizations must turn to software solutions for managing the efficiency of their internal HR procedures, while being sure to maintain the integrity of dealing with sensitive employee data.

In HR departments, poorly established and implemented policies and procedures directly impact the quality of life of employees within the organization. By tracking HR performance in a reliable way, businesses can improve efficiency and effectiveness of their business practices.

In this article, I’ll take a look at the reasoning for implementing a human resources information system, or HRIS, in your business, and break down:

  • What is a HRIS?
  • HRIS or HRMS?
  • Benefits and solutions offered by a HRIS
  • Key things to consider when looking for a HRIS
  • HRIS features
  • Best HRIS software
  • More tools to streamline your HR department

What is a HRIS?

HRIS stands for human resource information system. This is a wordy way of saying that it’s a tool to help keep employee data in order.

Think of it as using a combination of information technology and HR software to improve processes to achieve more goals and objectives in a HR department.

“The key goal for Human Resources is to lead the rest of the organization in creating an open, honest and high performing workplace” – HRM Handbook

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Business Process Optimization: What, How, Why? (Free Templates)

process optimizationAt Process Street, we’re all about processes: creating, implementing, analyzing, mapping, improving, and automating.

There are a lot of layers to processes and it’s easy to get caught up in the complexities.

But really, it’s quite simple.

You need to document your workflow and then follow it, making improvements where necessary over time; continuous improvement.

All of this can be summed up by the concept of process optimization.

In this Process Street article, we’ll give you a quick actionable overview of how to optimize your processes with some tips and tricks of what to look for and how to do it.

We’ll cover:

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