All posts in Business Processes


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

The following is a guest post by Aidan DiPrima, the Writing Vertical Leader at Leverage. Leverage is an outsourcing platform that gives you access to a team who can complete any task or project.

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
  • Making a pot of coffee

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…

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How to Ensure Compliance When 23% of Employees Don’t Understand Their Job

Ensure Compliance with Employees

In a study of 400 businesses in the UK and US, global analyst firm IDC established that 23% of employees don’t understand a core part of their job. Combined with the potential damage that human error can cause, it’s easy to see why it’s important to make sure that your processes are being followed to the letter.

Still, nobody enjoys hearing the term “ensure compliance” when it comes to their team. It’s cold, impersonal, and conjures up images of school students being sent to detention or prisoners under strict watch, and if your team feels the same then their morale will quickly plummet.

Here at Process Street, we’re well versed in the problems with documenting, managing, and deploying your processes. That’s why this post will take care of those compliance problems by giving you some killer tips to make sure your team sticks to their methods without alienating them with harsh policies.

Let’s dive right in!

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Jidoka: Why Automation Plus Intelligence Equals Best Results

jidokaAutomation is all the rage right now.

We at Process Street can’t stop going on about it.

Automation can save time and money while taking the monotonous tasks out of your employees’ days.

It’s a win-win.

But, in order to approach automation properly, it’s best to understand the development of automation over time and what best practices are used in order to deliver effective automations in your business.

That’s why this Process Street article will look at the core Toyota principle of Jidoka, including:

  • What is Jidoka?
  • What are the related concepts within the Toyota Production System?
  • 3 examples of Jidoka in practice

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How to Move from Business Analyst to Business Architect

As an analyst, you spend your day designing your organization’s processes, measuring their performance and ironing out the fine details. You focus on the “how”. You’re very good at it, but maybe you’re more interested in the “what”? If you want to move past the nitty-gritty of processes and devise end-to-end models and strategies instead, then you’re looking make the leap to business architect.

The necessity of architects is a byproduct of digital transformation.

There’s a growing need for talented pros who can reduce complexity, establish solid technology processes and ensure tech’s used consistently across business units and functional areas.” — Sharon Florentine, CIO

What is a business architect?

As a business architect, you will design the structure of the business as a whole by looking broadly at systems design and requirements. Your aim is to improve the business’ operations in line with goals and strategy. Architects do this by theorizing and testing the components of a system (the technology, the flow of work, the deliverables) and overseeing the implementation of the systems by someone in a business analyst role.

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Taylorism and The History of Processes: 6 Key Thinkers You Should Know

taylorismIf you want to employ approaches like business process management in your business it’s best to have a solid understanding of how these theories work.

One crucial aspect of using these theories correctly is understanding their development.

It’s common for managers to want to employ cutting edge ideas in their business, but without a deep understanding these methods can be misapplied.

These errors will reduce the effectiveness of your process management and hold your business back.

It’s not just business where process improvement efforts are regularly being undermined! In a recent meta-study from the British Medical Journal, researchers found only 2 out of 73 studies had applied the PDSA process improvement methodology 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.

In this Process Street article, we’re going to look at some of the fundamentals and pick out key historical thinkers whose work we can trace from in order to better inform how process improvement methods should be done. Including:

  • Who is Frederick Winslow Taylor?
  • What is Taylorism?
  • What W. Edwards Deming can teach us about continuous improvement
  • Why Taiichi Ohno helps you cut waste in your business
  • What Ludwig von Bertalanffy tells us about systems
  • How Bill Smith changed the way we view defects
  • What Ray Dalio can show us about company culture

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What Continuous Improvement Is (and How to Use It)

continuous improvement

No process is perfect; there’s always room to improve. Unfortunately, many teams have no way to identify, test, and deploy the changes they make, meaning each tweak is a roll of the dice.

The savings can be massive, but you need a continuous improvement program to make sure that the changes you make won’t make your operations a whole lot harder.

1 in 10 improvements save money… [each saving, on average,] $31,043 in its first year of implementation.

1 in 4 improvements save time… [each saving, on average,] 270 hours in its first year of implementation.” – KaiNexusThe ROI of Continuous Improvement

Most successful changes will also make your employee’s jobs easier (or more pleasant) to perform. You’ll be saving time and money, but you’ll also be getting far better value out of your current efforts and operations.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start from the top.

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3 Enterprise Automation Examples: Achieving End-To-End Efficiency

automation examples

Research indicates that inefficient workflows can cost up to 30% of your total revenue every year. That’s a third of your enterprise’s earning being wasted on everything from a single missed email to a stock of excess inventory.

Imagine what you could do with that money. You could hire new employees to scale your business even further. Department budgets could be expanded to allow better equipment to be used.

All of this and more can be achieved with business process automation.

To demonstrate, let’s go over three core automation examples for processes which often include many of those typical inefficiencies, such as:

All of these processes will be given in full, and by the end of this post you’ll know how to eliminate inefficiency by using basic, process, integration, and robotic automation.

It’s time to take back that 30% of your revenue.

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Enterprise Automation: How to Make 100 Employees Feel Like 1,000

enterprise automation

About half of all the activities people are paid to do in the world’s workforce could potentially be automated” – McKinsey Global Institute, Harnessing automation for a future that works

For many, enterprise automation is a complex and scary topic. Many team leaders believe that it takes too much work to set up your automated systems, and a huge number of people are worried that doing so will let robots take over their jobs.

It’s not true.

Those who understand automation for what it is – a powerful tool which lets your team massively increase their value output – quickly find themselves ahead of the curve. Using it lets you quickly and accurately hand off all of your menial tasks so that everyone can focus on more important items.

Here at Process Street, we know how difficult it can be to get started with enterprise automation. That’s why this post will take you through:

  • What automation is
  • What types of business process automation there are
  • Why you should be using it in your enterprise
  • Methods to let you get started with automation

It’s not complex, it’s not scary, and it certainly won’t be putting your team out of a job. If anything, automation is entirely designed around letting people perform their jobs better than ever before.

It’s time to join the newest revolution in enterprise efficiency and accuracy.

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What is Muda? The 7 Wastes Every Lean Business Needs to Combat

muda what is muda

One of the key parts of driving your business forward is being able to identify and tackle waste.

Is a process taking too long? Is it creating a bottleneck? Are your workers struggling to be productive?

In this Process Street article, we look again at what managers can learn from the Toyota Production System about how to improve your business processes.

The specific concept we’re tackling is muda. Muda translates roughly as waste, and refers to the inefficiencies within processes which you can seek to reduce or eliminate entirely.

As Rene T. Domingo outlines in his paper Identifying and Eliminating The Seven Wastes or Muda for the Asian Institute of Management:

The elimination of waste is the primary goal of any lean system. In effect, lean declares war on waste – any waste. Waste or muda is anything that does not have value or does not add value. Waste is something the customer will not pay for.

We’ll look at the core 7 types of waste Toyota see within processes and production systems and consider the claims for the addition of an eighth.

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7 Customer Success Integrations That Let You Focus on Retention

It’s thought that a high-touch approach to customer success does not scale.

Here are the common objections:

  • There aren’t enough hours in the day to personally oversee 10,000 users.
  • Even if there were enough hours in the day, there aren’t enough of us to do it and still be profitable.
  • Even if there were enough of us, there’d be no way to keep track of it all effectively.

Zapier, a SaaS middleman for app integration, thinks differently.

The idea is simple: connect your SaaS app to Zapier, and Zapier will connect it to over 1,000 apps. The formula is one programmers will be intimately familiar with since it’s basically an if/then statement. For example: if a user submits a Zendesk ticket, then post the ticket to a Slack channel.

Apps can create actions and triggers, controlling each other and automating frustrating admin work behind the scenes so you don’t have to bother with it.

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