All posts in Management


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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6 Tips to Remotely Manage a Team Better than Most Offices

remotely manage

Remote teams can be a nightmare to manage.

The distance (and potential time zones) between each team member mean that everyone has to be trusted to work on their own without constant supervision. To successfully do that, they need to have as few roadblocks as possible.

To remotely manage a team effectively you need to overcome the communication and availability issues that regular offices don’t have.

Automation is a must, especially with marketing, but if your core practices are running aground no amount of automation will help you.

During my last 3 years with Process Street I’ve learned a lot about both working in and organizing our remote marketing team. We’re constantly striving to be more productive and keep a consistent output of high-quality work.

In doing so, I’ve come to realize the key elements which decide whether your remote team is going to run like clockwork or become an untrackable mess of blame-passing.

Let’s get straight into it.

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Purchase Requisition: How to Get Finance to Buy You New Software

purchase requisitionModern business is a fast paced game and there are always new ways you can discover to improve your operations and output.

One of the easiest and simplest ways to improve the day to day running of your business is to supply your team with better tools.

With the array of modern SaaS products available on the market there are specialized tools for a host of use cases.

We use Close.io for our sales team, Intercom for customer support, and Process Street for our business process management throughout the company.

But if you’re a department within a larger company, or a team within a department, how do you convince top management and finance to sign off on a new software product to boost your team’s performance?

In this article, we’re going to give you a step by step guide of how to make that happen. Including:

  • What is a purchase requisition?
  • The difficulty of bureaucracy
  • 3 important factors to convince finance
  • How to write a proposal for a new software purchase requisition
  • Create or improve a purchase requisition process

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The E Myth Summary: How to Create a Business That Won’t Fail Immediately

E Myth Summary

When Michael E. Gerber gives you advice for starting a business you listen to it.

With a career spanning over 40 years and working with hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide, Gerber’s expertise is invaluable to anyone looking to start their own venture. Lucky for us, he’s written several books on the topic, the most famous of which I’ll be summarizing in this post.

This E Myth summary will take the core business tips from Gerber’s work and condense them into a single post. It’s all of the value, proven with examples from companies like Facebook and Zenefits, and doesn’t need you to spend 40 years to learn it.

In particular, I’ll be covering:

  • Balancing your business personalities
  • Creating a business, not a job
  • Working on your business, not in it
  • Why your business needs systems
  • The idea of your business being your product
  • Motivating employees with the idea behind their work
  • Make topics human to make them interesting

Let’s get started.

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How Was Linux Created? The Processes Behind Managing 13,500 Developers

You have probably used Linux today — especially if you don’t have an iPhone. And if you browsed the web today, there’s a big chance that the website you visited was served by Linux, too.

Linux is an operating system, but unlike software like Microsoft Windows and macOS, Linux was developed by a self-organized community of volunteers.

Over time, with the effort of over 10,000 developers and evolving processes to manage the scale of work, the Linux kernel has grown to over 20,000,000 lines of code in total. It forms the stable foundation for…

  • Every Android phone and tablet on the planet
  • 66% of the world’s servers
  • 100% of the top 500 supercomputers

This technology didn’t come from an orchestrated team with a thick policy book and layers of management. It came from a few carefully-chosen and culturally-embedded policies, and a shared mission.

In this post, I look at how a technology so essential, complex and important could have been produced so effectively without traditional management structure. But first…

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Process Flexibility: 4 Key Approaches and How to Use Them

process flexibilityWriting perfect processes is a dream all Process Street users share.

But a perfect process isn’t necessarily a process where all the steps work perfectly all the way through.

In real life, processes come up against external forces and unforeseen circumstances. A perfect process doesn’t have to predict all these external influences in advance; it needs to be able to adapt to them in real time as they arise.

Fortunately, there’s a concept for this: Process Flexibility.

Process flexibility helps keep our processes working even when everything else is going wrong.

In this article, we’re going to outline what process flexibility is and the main approaches to managing it:

  • What is process flexibility?
  • What are the main approaches to process flexibility?
  • Flexibility by design
  • Flexibility by deviation
  • Flexibility by underspecification
  • Flexibility by change
  • How Process Street is designed for agility

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Digital Democracy: Improving Communication and Trust in Your Business

digital democracyOne of the impacts of technology on how we do business is a greater ability to structure our companies differently and to leverage advantages which would previously have been difficult.

At Process Street, our team is based remotely. Which means we’re able to draw on a wealth of talent based all over the world.

Technology means that communication between remote employees can be as effective as it is within an office; sometimes conferring extra advantages.

I wrote for AppCues about how our internal systems are so robust precisely because we’re remote based and we need to take every step possible to make sure we don’t suffer any information loss in our communication. This has given us internal processes which are much stronger than many brick and mortar firms.

Being remote is not the only benefit technology can bring. New tech can flatten organization structures, effectively delegate more responsibilities while retaining accountability, and help to create cultures where everyone feels valued.

One of those factors is the ability to bring multiple stakeholders into decision-making processes; a shift which holds a fundamentally democratic ethos.

In this article we’re going to look at:

  • What is democracy?
  • What are the positives and negatives of incorporating democracy into an organization?
  • The democratic ethos in practice and how you could use it
  • 5 suggestions for how technology could facilitate democratic input

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Kaizen: How to Deploy Continuous Improvement to Rocket Your Success

kaizenWe always seem to be caught up in a never-ending mission to make our businesses better.

You have to ride out crises, fight through external problems, and still improve your performance week on week, quarter on quarter, year on year.

So how do we approach this improvement to get the most from it?

The key is about making improvement part of the daily process.

This approach falls under the umbrella of continuous improvement; what Toyota call Kaizen.

This is the art of taking a million steps forward. Compounding every success and safeguarding against every failure.

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

  • Why Kaizen is important
  • What are the other Toyota Production System concepts?
  • Things to consider when implementing Kaizen.
  • How Samsung use Kaizen selectively to optimize production

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How to Make Software Rollout Easier for You and Your Team

The following is a guest post from Ryan Gould, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services at Elevation Marketing. An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan leads Elevation Marketing’s digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion.

software rollout

Without software, you’d be hand-writing purchase orders, using a Rolodex for a CRM, and doing your newsletters via smoke signal.

Alright, maybe that last one is a little far-fetched, but there’s no denying that in the business world, technology is absolutely necessary and enables amazing things.

…But not everyone on your team gets enthusiastic about the prospect of learning a new tool. Even if that tool will help them improve productivity, do a better job, and escape the white-collar equivalent of hard manual labor.

IBM research on the barriers to software adoption (Source)

Your goal when rolling out software is always the same: to help your business improve operations, boost efficiency, and enable sales. These days that means staying up to date on technological trends as well.

Deciding which tool is right for you will always hinge on fundamentals, like whether it can automate your vendor payments, purchase orders, employee onboarding, lead management, etc. However, there are other considerations, such as whether your solution integrates with cloud software and is responsive on mobile devices.

But, even after you’ve selected the solution perfect for your operation and your employees – after all the sales demos, comparison docs, and review reading – you’ll find it’s that the human element that trips you up.

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