All posts in Project Management


Airtable vs Trello: The Best of Task and Project Management

airtable vs trello

Airtable vs Trello. Which is better?

Our team had been using Trello for years and had only recently undergone a transition to Airtable. We were having a tough time adjusting (old habits die hard), and my Process Street colleague Ben Brandall was trying to get to the bottom of why.

We love improving our productivity using everything from business process automation to focus music, and this case was no different.

Trello is a powerhouse of task management but Airtable is a masterful mix of database, spreadsheet, task and project management app. How are you supposed to choose?

That’s why I’m writing this post. After having used both apps personally and professionally for more than three years, I’ve been able to get to grips with who these apps are designed for and what makes them useful.

Most of all, you can learn from this to see which app would suit you instead of spending years testing them out yourself.

Let’s get started.

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14 Essential Workflow System Features to Make Your Team Into Superstars

workflow system features

Whether you’re writing a blog post or building the world’s largest commercial aircraft, you need to be able to rely on your systems. To do that, your platform has to have a set of basic workflow system features.

That is unless you want to follow Airbus A380’s example and waste massive amounts of time and money because of a few simple oversights.

Building the Airbus A380… required production facilities from across the globe to build individual parts of the airplane… During installation, they discovered the parts designed by different teams didn’t fit together.

This cost the company $6 billion to put right and set the project back two years.” – Greg Bailey, 4 Famous Project Management Failures and What to Learn From Them

Here at Process Street we’re no strangers to what makes workflow and bpm software effective. That’s why we’ve collected a list of the 14 essential workflow system features that every team (and individual) needs to be useful.

Let’s get started.

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Waterfall vs Agile: Which Methodology Is Right For You?

 The following is a guest post by Uwe Dreissigacker. Uwe is the Founder of online invoicing software InvoiceBerry. InvoiceBerry helps small business owners and freelancers to create professional looking invoices, get paid online and keep track of unpaid invoices. In his free time, Uwe travels a lot, explores new cultures and loves trying new spicy dishes.

agile vs waterfall

As a business, if you want your operation to run smoothly, managing productivity and your workflows is one of the best ways you can stay on track.

Before you even get started on a project, you should first take a step back and plan out your approach.

What methodology will you use? How will you manage productivity and stay on track? SCRUM? SWOT?

Decisions, decisions

The choices can be overwhelming. Not to mention, over the course of the actual project, you’ll have to make hundreds of other choices.

If you’re not sure where to begin, it’s best to think about your project as a whole and then select the right methodology you’ll follow – Waterfall or Agile?

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Don’t Micromanage: How It Destroys Your Team and How to Avoid It

micromanage

It’s hard watching someone make mistakes, especially if you already know how to avoid them.

Staying silent while they slip up (or even do things in ways you would not) is harder.

That doesn’t mean you have an excuse to micromanage them.

Micromanagement is the ultimate controlling management style. It’s demoralizing and counter-intuitive, as the desire for control to make sure everything goes to plan only creates more problems in the long-term.

That’s why we here at Process Street will be going through:

  • What micromanagement is
  • The pros and cons of it
  • How to spot a micromanager
  • How to replace micromanagement with OKR
  • Using processes to remove the need for micromanagement

Let’s get started.

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DFSS: How Design For Six Sigma can Supercharge Your Business

dfss design for six sigmaAs we build businesses, we strive to make them successful in what they do and efficient in the way they carry that out.

Six Sigma is framework with dual American and Japanese origins which helps companies achieve both of these aims.

We want to take company processes and make them better, smoother, faster, easier – it’s what Process Street does. But having a complex process optimized to the highest degree, as Six Sigma advocates, is tough.

That’s why we’re going to look at Design for Six Sigma.

This will take the Six Sigma lessons and apply them to creating new processes or products. Importantly, it will help us set up these processes or products in a way which makes them ready from the start for further Six Sigma-inspired analysis.

According to Quality-One:

…[U]tilizing Design for Six Sigma methodologies, companies have reduced their time to market by 25 to 40 percent while providing a high quality product that meets the customer’s requirements.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • What is Six Sigma?
  • What is Design for Six Sigma?
  • What is DMADV?
  • What is the difference between DMAIC and DFSS

We’ll run through the best practices of creating new products and processes in a way that they can be improved and optimized from the very beginning.

Don’t waste your time with poor processes. Start right and continue properly.

Read on to see how it works!

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Project Scope: How to Meet Deadlines and Keep Stakeholders Happy

project scope

Have you ever had a project which never seems to end? One which you either underestimated or kept adding tasks to as you went along?

That’s exactly what setting out your project scope will prevent.

By analyzing the elements of your projects before starting, you can set out the scope of the work in order to prevent extra work getting added (without adjusting the necessary resources) and avoid taking on projects too large for your team to handle.

Not to mention that the principles behind project scope can be applied elsewhere in your business too.

“I call this the Scopi-locks principle.

Don’t make your product too big, because no-one will adopt it. Don’t make your product too small, because it’s not worth adopting. You have to [get it] just right such that it’s worth poor people pulling it into their lives and, when they do, that they get some value out of it.” – Des Traynor (co-founder of Intercom) on product scope

Let’s get stuck right in with project scope by breaking down what it is, what you need to know before creating it, and how to use it in action.

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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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How to Use Conditional Logic: 8 Ways to Simplify Complex Processes

conditional logic

Documenting processes is great in theory, but creating and following them can be a pain.

Your processes need to be standardized so that everyone’s performing the same tasks consistently. However, that often leaves you with either a large, complex and unusable process which covers every situation or lots of smaller, specialized processes which become difficult to manage or track.

Conditional logic saves you all of that trouble by letting you create processes which change to suit the situation at hand.

By setting rules for your processes to follow and update based on their outcome, you can simplify your processes and make even the most complicated task list easy to navigate. All optional tasks can be automatically hidden from view until (and if) they are required to keep your dashboard clear and encourage teams to avoid taking shortcuts.

Nobody wants to work through a horribly complex process that you know you won’t need half of to complete your task.

However, as with business process automation, conditional logic’s power is best shown through examples, so today I’ll be showing you both how to use it and giving eight example processes which take advantage of it, including client onboarding and user support.

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9 Lean Manufacturing Principles to Kill the Jargon and Get Quality Results

lean manufacturing principles

If the following benefits sound like something you’d like for your business, you need to use lean manufacturing principles:

  • 80%+ waste reduction
  • 50% lower production costs
  • 80-90% reduction in standing inventory
  • 90% lower cost of quality (it’s 90% cheaper to make quality products)
  • 50% increased labor productivity

Lean is a system, method, school of thought, and even a way of life, all focused on reducing waste. Although it’s usually applied to manufacturing (hence “lean manufacturing principles”), the methods to achieve it can be used to reduce waste while maintaining high quality no matter what operation you’re running.

The key is knowing what each principle involves and how to use it, which is exactly what we’re going to cover today!

Keep reading to get the full rundown on the following lean principles (with two techniques for good measure):

  • Eliminate waste
  • Kaizen (continuous improvement)
  • Respect human elements
  • Heijunka (level production)
  • JIT (Just In Time) production
  • One piece flow
  • Quality built-in
  • Poka-Yoke (mistake proofing)
  • Jidoka (detecting defects through automation)

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How Were The Pyramids Built? Inside The World’s First Documented Processes

How were the pyramids builtWe talk a lot about processes here at Process Street and we try to give insight into not only how to make current processes better but also into how processes have evolved over time and why.

We’ve looked at case studies, poor processes, optimized processes, and technical guides to business process management.

But we’re no stranger to going back in time to explore the development of processes and where they came from. In this article, we’re going to follow up on the theme established in our post on surgical processes and look at processes and organizational systems in history.

This is the story of ancient Egypt.

The Great Pyramid is considered one of the wonders of the world. But how did it come to be?

We’ll look at a number of the classic discussions surrounding the construction of the pyramids, but focus on how a society which existed nearly 5000 years ago was able to construct some of the greatest and most iconic monuments known to humankind.

We’ll explore:

  • What was the Great Pyramid and how was it built?
  • Who built the Great Pyramid and what was labor like throughout the period of construction?
  • How were things organized in ancient Egypt?; Or, how to count from one to ten.
  • What do we know about trade in ancient Egypt?
  • Who were the scribes and why were they important?

Ancient Egypt is one of the first civilized societies for which we have an understanding of their perceptions of organization and management.

Spoiler alert: they used checklists!

Let’s dive in!

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