All posts in Processes


How to Create and Implement a Brainstorming Process in 5 Steps

The following is a guest post from graphic designer and copywriter Erik Fessler.

What do you think is worse: sitting for 100 days because you didn’t know what direction to travel in, or going for 100 days down the wrong path?

Here’s the good news:

This question doesn’t matter if you have a reliable and logical process to find the right direction.

Brainstorming is the key to finding that direction, and it’s something you can implement for your team in a logical, structured way. With that in place, you can use that process as a reliable way to generate ideas, iterate upon them, and harness the power of your team’s combined creative energy to make real business change. That is, if you can build and optimize your brainstorming process…

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Why Team Alignment Should Be Your Startup’s Holy Grail

The following is a guest post by Darren Chait, Co-Founder at Hugo. Hugo is the meeting note platform that keeps your team connected with what your customers are thinking and saying. It enables fast-moving teams to make meeting insights shareable and actionable in their existing tools.

As a startup guy, my world is full of buzzwords. We’re disrupting a space, have pivoted, got our minimum valuable product (MVP) out to our total addressable market (TAM) and even had a ‘.ai’ domain name. Undoubtedly, one of my ‘favorites’ is ‘team alignment’.

While team alignment is not a new concept and certainly not unique to fast-growing technology businesses, I’m fascinated with my peers’ obsession with this utopian concept. It’s understandable. Why wouldn’t you want your team moving forward in unison with precise coordination and execution? Why wouldn’t you listen when experts warn that misalignment kills startups?

In this guest post, I’ll share our story and perspective on team alignment and some easy-to-implement solutions to achieve this ideal state with your team.

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

ecommerce processes

“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.

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.

… 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!

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Takt Time: How Ford Learned to Make WWII Bombers 24x Faster

takt time

The Ford Production System paved the way for most modern lean manufacturing, and the best physical embodiment of it was the Willow Run B-24 bomber production facility in WWII.

After intervention from Ford, Willow Run was able to go from producing one bomber per day to one per hour. That’s 24x their original output.

At the heart of the facility stood the “pacing clock”. This monitored what we now call takt time.

Takt time is the pulse of your operations – the rhythm and rate by which tasks and products are completed. By monitoring and setting guidelines for this single figure, Ford (and company) was able to build a facility which could produce the same as half of the entire German aircraft industry.

That’s why today we’ll be breaking down what takt time is, how to calculate it, and how it can be used in almost any system to reliably track your progress and provide an early warning system for any problems you encounter.

Let’s get started!

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The Harvard Churn Management Algorithm to Boost Profits 115%

churn managementIt’s an accepted reality of business that customers come and go.

This is why we’re always on the lookout for new customers – we know we can’t just rely on the existing ones to keep things ticking over.

Yet, we don’t have to accept this fact lying down. And many don’t!

This article is about fighting back against those customers abandoning ship; about stemming the tide of the churn.

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

  • What is churn management?
  • What are the different types of churn?
  • How the telecom industry pioneered churn management
  • The 4 best practices across telecom’s big players
  • The 3 critical steps to implementing best practices
  • The Harvard trick to boosting profits by 115%

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9 School Checklists for Teachers and Administrators to Bring Order to Chaos

school checklists

Checklists keep us on track and organized. They keep things standardized and controlled.

So where better to employ checklists than amidst the chaos of children?

In this Process Street template pack we’re covering a much requested use case: education.

Thomas R. Hoerr, writing for ASCD, describes how easy it is to imagine incorporating checklists into a whole range of different educational situations:

I can envision checklists that ensure that we have reviewed all aspects of a student’s progress, that teachers have incorporated all of our talking points in their presentations to parents, and that I have spoken to all the relevant stakeholders before I initiate action.

These school checklists cover use cases which apply to teachers, some for administrators, and others which could be useful around a campus.

The 9 checklists below should help users adhere to best practices, create consistency of approach, and document important information for future review.

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How to Build Better Employee Accountability with Processes

According to the American Management Association, one-quarter of workers seem to avoid responsibility on the job on average, and 21% of companies believe that the figure is as high as 30-50%. From these stats, it’s clear that low employee accountability is wasting company money on a massive scale.

At the same time, almost two thirds of employees believe their company does not have a strong culture. The link between these two factors is strong, argues management consultant and author Roger Connors. Connors blends The Wizard of Oz with now-influential writings on employee accountability in a series of best-selling leadership books including The Oz Principle and Change the Culture, Change the Game. In the latter, he says:

“Our experience proves that accountability, done the right way, produces greater transparency and openness, enhanced teamwork and trust, effective communication and dialogue, thorough execution and follow-through, sharper clarity, and a tighter focus on results. Accountability should be the strongest thread that runs through the complex fabric of any organization” — Roger Connors, Change the Culture, Change the Game

To paraphrase Connor, a business’ employee accountability depends on leaders creating a transparent culture where responsibility is clear, transparent, and owned. One way to bring clarity to the way your business operates is to use standardized processes and leverage technology that helps track activity, assign tasks, and facilitate hand-offs.

In this article, we’ll go through the links between processes, accountability and company culture, and give you tips on how to improve your business in those areas. But first, let’s look closely at the ties between accountability and culture.

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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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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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