Processes – Page 2 – Process Street

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How Does a Hedge Fund Work? Inside the Processes at Bridgewater Associates

How Does a Hedge Fund Work_ Inside the Processes at Bridgewater Associates-04Processes can be used to optimize the things you do every day, and we spend most of our time telling you that!

But where do these processes come from? Really.

Maybe you just documented your steps one day and built from there? In which case, the process evolved naturally from the actions you took intuitively. When I add big words into that description I can make it sound like a good thing. But it could be put another way.

You never took the time to think about the foundations of your process.

At the very base of all processes are a series of said and unsaid principles. In good processes and bad processes. If we want the best processes we can make, we need to understand and critically evaluate the principles which knowingly or unknowingly guide our every decision.

Ray Dalio’s text, Principles, answers the question “how does a hedge fund work?” and gives us an insight into how he built the world’s largest one, Bridgewater Associates.

Bridgewater manages $160 billion worth of assets for 350 different clients. These clients range from large corporate bodies like McDonald’s to pension and wealth funds, and even to the assets of central banks. The whole company has been built around cultivating a radical company culture, and it is this radical company culture which makes Bridgewater Associates so successful and worth investigating!

In this Process Street article, we’re going to present to you a number of the ideas contained within the book and we’re going to pull out three specific company processes Dalio has developed on the back of these principles:

But be warned: it’s likely a radical break from your office!

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How One Piece Flow Can Reduce Your Operations Time by 96%

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We’ve all heard about the importance of focusing on one task at a time.

Take that idea, apply it to manufacturing, and you have the concept of one piece flow.

The concept is simple in that you have to limit yourself to working on one item at a time (you only ever have one WIP item). By doing this you can save time and money, as work is performed faster and any space you use is highly optimized.

In fact, it’s the very same concept that Toyota used to reduce the time taken to pack boxes in to help families hit by Hurricane Sandy by 94%.  In total, the aid workers were able to feed 400 more families in less than half the time.

However, there are a few vital things that you need to be careful of when applying one piece (or “continuous”) flow. It’s not a miracle cure, and while it can be used outside of an assembly line, there are a few practical elements which can’t be ignored.

So, today I’ll be diving into:

  • What one piece flow is
  • The advantages and disadvantages
  • How to implement it
  • Using one piece flow in any area of your business
  • The problems of theory vs practical effects

Let’s get started.

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8 Tips to Improve Your Company’s Shipping Processes

The following is a guest post from Henry Howlett, Junior SEO Executive at Absolute Digital Media.

Who wants to receive a parcel three days after it was due to arrive?

Definitely not your customers.

They pay for the type of parcel delivery they require, whether it is Standard Delivery, the best cheap Next Day Delivery or even Same Day Delivery — they expect it to arrive on time, safe and sound.

In fact, more people than ever shop online, and prefer to receive their goods through the post than walking into a store and paying for it at a till. The need for reputable parcel delivery is only growing, and is unlikely to settle any time soon.

So, to ensure your customers remain satisfied with the delivery service your business provides, as well as save money and invaluable time, take into consideration these tips for enhancing your shipping processes:

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The Consultant’s Guide to Process Street is Here!

You know how important documented processes are already.

They allow you to repeat successes, avoid recurring failures, and all but eliminate human error from your client’s operations.

Unfortunately, doing this with software like Office 365 is like eating soup with a fork – it’s possible, but far messier and more difficult than it needs to be.

Process Street has been built from scratch with the sole purpose of letting you easily and effectively document, manage, and track your processes, and so it doesn’t suffer from the same problems as the traditional software solutions like Microsoft Word.

With this free guide, you can become a true power user and effectively manage your processes, and even earn extra money by referring your clients.

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How to Start a Lean Process for Continuous Company Learning

The following is a guest post from Pascal van Opzeeland. Pascal is CMO of Userlike, software for website and messaging support. He and his team share tips about customer service and communication on the Userlike Blog.

In school, everyone looks forward to the day they can stop learning and start doing. But once inside hamster wheel of working life, many long back to the times in which they had the time to invest in their personal development.

At Userlike, we see this lack of time for personal learning as a serious challenge. The world is developing faster than ever, and the pace is only accelerating. To stay competitive, we need employees to keep up; to keep learning and stay up-to-date with their craft. Other benefits from  having a culture that stimulates continuous learning include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Attract and retain talent
  • The ability to grow leaders in-house and reward loyalty

The best employees have an innate desire to grow, but it’s hard to free up time when your daily tasks and duties mess up your schedule. Learning is one of those high importance – low urgency tasks that easily gets pushed aside.

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The History of Surgical Checklists: How Processes Save Lives

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We talk a lot about business processes here on Process Street, but today we’re going to do things a little differently. Instead of waxing lyrical about business efficiency, I’m going to show how surgical checklists have evolved over history, and how they continue to save lives today.

From prehistoric humans poking each other with sticks and rocks, to the Ancient Greeks, the discovery of germs and antiseptics, up to modern day medical marvels, surgical procedures make a great case for why documented checklists are vital for continued success.

Not only that, but by looking at how major theoretical and technological breakthroughs have affected surgical checklists, we can better show why documenting and maintaining your processes isn’t as hard as you might think.

Alternatively, if you’re just interested in medical history, stick around for the ride – I’ll be making this interesting for all.

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How to Use The Deming Cycle for Continuous Quality Improvement

deming cycle headerUnderstanding quality and seeking to improve it is arguably the core purpose behind undertaking process improvements.

But where did this philosophy of process improvement come from?

One key person is William Edwards Deming – sometimes referred to as Edward W. Deming. He’s principally a statistician, but one could even call him a philosopher of science.

Deming’s goal was to reapply the scientific method to business processes, and has left us with two main variants of his thinking: PDSA and PDCA.

In this article we’ll outline:

  • What the Deming cycle is, with its history
  • How to apply the Deming cycle to improve your business processes
  • The important distinction between PDSA and PDCA
  • How PDSA is employed in the medical field

Deming’s approach is not just about improving processes, but about improving a whole business.

In a recent meta-study from the British Medical Journal, researchers found only 2 out of 73 studies had applied PDSA 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.

And that’s why we’re writing this article!

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17 BPM Statistics to Help You Increase Efficiency in Your Business

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Business process management (BPM for short) gets a bad wrap. Some consider it industry jargon, others an ineffective management “hack”, and almost all see it as boring.

However, there is no better way to increase efficiency and consistency in your business than by managing your processes effectively. To prove it, this post will dive into 17 BPM statistics to show:

  • The growing trend of using BPM software
  • How common (and important) documented processes are
  • The importance and benefits of processes
  • The dangers of not managing processes
  • Why everyone in your company needs to be involved with your processes

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DMAIC: The Complete Guide to Lean Six Sigma in 5 Key Steps

dmaic headerWe all like to know about the broader philosophies behind process improvements, but sometimes we need to knuckle down and look at some of the more technical details.

One of the core techniques behind any process improvement, particularly in Six Sigma, is DMAIC.

This handy approach, pronounced duh-may-ik, is the key to employing Six Sigma and beginning your journey to being a process hero. We’re going to cover each step in the process and detail how to effectively enact every section.

This guide will lead you through from start to finish and get you ready to start employing lean Six Sigma within your business!

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Little’s Law: How to Analyze Your Processes (with Stealth Bombers)

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Simple as it may be, Little’s law is an incredibly powerful tool in the arsenal of almost any team. From performing back-of-the-napkin calculations to showing the performance of a system over time, this formula is one of the key building blocks to running an efficient business.

Without Little’s law, Lean and Kanban wouldn’t exist, and key elements of America’s nuclear deterrence would be left up to chance.

After all, you can’t fly B-2 stealth bombers into action if they’re all under maintenance due to bad queue management.
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