All posts in Business Processes


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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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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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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Choosing a Lean Software Stack: How to Avoid Multiple Systems Chaos

software stack

We all depend on technology to solve the majority of the problems we face each day. For business owners, this is perhaps more true than for anyone else.

A recent study indicates that almost 48% of business owners believe that being able to run their business with mobile device was of high importance to them.

From the same study, an average business owner uses some kind of software application at least 21 times a day to conduct business.

Additionally, 41% of small business owners use four or more separate apps or technology systems to run their business.

The question is, at what point does this technology begin to hinder rather than help us?

As an entrepreneur, your task is to grow your business, and one of the key decisions you have to make is choosing which technology tools are right ones to use.

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7 Ways to Use Dynamic Due Dates For Enhanced Process Flexibility

dynamic-due-dates

You’ve just closed a major deal.

It’s taken months of hard work to successfully convey the value of your product and negotiate a solid agreement. The sales team are pumped, managers have a big smile on their faces, and the customer success team are readying themselves to take on a high-value customer.

Ensuring a smooth handoff from the account executive (AE) to the relevant customer success manager (CSM) is now the priority. This critical process cannot be overlooked if you are hoping to build a trusting, long-term relationship that keeps both parties happy.

There are numerous tasks that need to be completed during the handoff, and they must be done efficiently or the customer could get the wrong impression.

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Implementing Processes: How to Boost Success Rate by 70%

implementing processes

On September 23, 1999, NASA’s $193 million Mars Climate Orbiter was obliterated 57km above the surface of Mars.

What caused such a catastrophic event? Badly implemented processes.

“The problem here was not the error; it was the failure of NASA’s systems engineering, and the checks and balances in our processes, to detect the error. That’s why we lost the spacecraft.”
Edward Weiler, NASA associate administrator for space science

Despite all of NASA’s precautions, preparatory research and technical developments, the deviation from standard procedure for making sure their units were consistently imperial or metric was what resulted in the disastrous calculation error responsible for the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter, and in turn huge amounts of time, money, and material resources.

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Process Street Best Practices: How to Name Your Form Fields

form-fields

There are numerous features of Process Street that make the platform as useful as it is for managing recurring workflows and processes.

Beyond the ability to create process checklists, features such as form fields, rich media, conditional logic, real-time tracking, and the ability to set up automation with 1000+ other applications, provide a huge amount of value.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at one feature in particular: form fields.

An essential component of our software, form fields allow users to safely store important data that can then be automatically passed to and from other tools in your tech stack.

The goal of the post is to show you how you can name your form fields so that they are as effective as possible when used by other team members, as well as suppliers and customers who may be interacting with your checklists.

First, I’ll run through a brief overview of form fields, the various different types, and what value they provide. Then we’ll take a quick look at some typical use cases that will give you a better idea of when they are used, before going through a set of naming best practices with examples.

Let’s get started.

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