Processes – Process Street

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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 a Culture of 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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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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How to Tighten Up Your Approval Process and Smash the Bottleneck

approval process headerWhether you’re submitting a draft of an article for review, collating a report for senior management, or presenting a product design, you probably need someone to sign off on your work.

This happens day in day out in organizations all around the world.

Yet, the sign off process can be slow and littered with delays.

Anyone who has worked in software development will know the pain of submitting work for review, only for revisions and changes to drone on and on. The time spent waiting can sometimes be as much as the time spent working.

And this, friends, is bad for business.

Last week I published an article on Muda – waste in production systems – and laid out the different ways poor processes create waste and damage business performance. One of those wastes is referred to as Time on Hand, or waiting.

In this article, we’ll look to cover the most common occurrence of this waste: the approval flow. We’ll look at:

  • What an approval process is
  • What common approval workflows are
  • Best practices for approvals
  • How you can use Process Street to streamline your approvals

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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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5 Employee Training Tips for Proven and Scalable Results

Nikos Andriotis. Nikos has two decades of professional experience in education, IT and eLearning. He holds a degree in Informatics and his writing has been featured in dozens of tech industry publications. Currently, he shares tips and insights about online training and other business-related topics for TalentLMS.

Do you think you’re doing a good job with your employee training?

If you do, you’re in the minority; only 38% of organizations think their training is effective, with 62% believing they aren’t doing a good job meeting learners needs.

In today’s ultra-competitive business environment, it is always the employer with the better-trained personnel who gains the upper hand.

Well-trained, highly skilled employees are much more efficient and produce better results. This kind of efficiency and productivity is what gives an employer the much-needed competitive advantage.

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