The Secret to Scalable Business with Rich Wong (General Partner at Accel)

scalable business process managementThis article is based on a segment from Process Street Highway 2021, where Rich Wong talks with Vinay Patankar and Blake Thorne of Process Street to discuss everything about scaling a business (namely, why it’s impossible without building solid processes.)

You can check out the full segment below, or read on for highlights.

Rich is a General Partner with Accel; he’s led investments across all sorts of exciting industries and companies, including sitting on the board of some great companies like Atlassian, UIPath, and Process Street.

Here’s what he had to say about why and how process management is so important to building a scalable business.
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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 in this Process Street article, we’ll be looking at:

Let’s get started.
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Can Today’s COO Still Benefit from Hammer and Champy’s Reengineering the Corporation?

Can Today's COO Still Benefit from Hammer and Champy's Reengineering the Corporation?

I view most management gurus with the same wariness and suspicion the average person might approach a traveling medicine show peddling sparkling water as a miracle cure. Or, in this case, basic common sense as innovative management techniques.

Recently, I picked up Reengineering the Corporation by Dr. Michael Hammer and James Champy, both highly lauded as leading practitioners of their own concept. Based on their personal bios and their book, both are imminently pleased with themselves about this.

Fair enough. If I’d built an entire career on a single concept, I’d be pretty pleased with myself, too.

But is their idea still relevant nearly 30 years later?

I wanted to find out, so I asked many experts many, many questions (shoutouts to the ones who didn’t file restraining orders! You’re the best 💖) and read far too many long-winded reports.

These are the things I’m willing to do for you. That’s how much I care.

And because I care, I’ve taken all that super relevant knowledge, filtered it through my usual scampishness, and now offer you an overview of the book, the concept, and what it means for your favorite COO.

Let’s go break some stuff.
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Effective Swim Lane Diagram

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Effective Swim Lane Diagram

Burkhard Berger is the founder of awesomex™. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.

Process mapping is almost always beneficial to those working within the process, and those working outside it. Not all processes should be mapped in the same way. A simple process run by only one or two people can be easily represented by a basic flow chart; a process that involves multiple individuals or cross-functional teams is going to need something more complex.

Like a swim lane diagram.

Designing your own swim lane diagram – or even just mapping a process for the first time – can seem daunting. Where do you even start?

I don’t mean to brag, but we here at Process Street are kind of experts on this whole managing processes thing, and one thing we definitely know how to do well is map out processes of every shape, size, and situation. This post will walk you through all the basics of swim lane diagrams, including how to create your own one step at a time.

You can either read on to get the whole history of swim lane diagrams, or just jump straight to the tutorial:

So, let’s dive in! 🏊‍♀️
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11 Expert Features to Master Process Street Workflows

11 Expert Features to Master Process Street Workflows
You need a way for your teams’ processes to be done right, done on time, and documented in a way that allows those processes to be improved over time. So you come to Process Street, which enables anyone in your organization to execute each process with consistency, visibility, and accountability.

By now you’ve experimented with some of the pre-made workflows. Maybe you’ve even built a few yourself. You’ve seen what’s possible when it comes to capturing your core processes and sharing them across your company.

But are you getting the most bang for your buck?

In this post, I’ll cover the top 11 features of Process Street workflows and how to use them to optimize your own processes and become a master of modern process management.

If there’s a particular feature you’re interested in, feel free to skip ahead:

Let’s get moving!
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DACI: Group Decision-Making Made Easy With Our Free Template

DACI: Group Decision-Making Made Easy With Our Free Template

We’ve all been there: an hour and a half into a 45-minute meeting. You’re trying to reach a consensus but as one department makes a suggestion, the next disagrees.

Customer success insists the next product should be geared towards students; sales thinks their parents are a better demographic. Content marketing started out by spitballing potential names until someone brought up the latest Process Street post and they all got sidetracked discussing whether it’s better to use odd or even numbers in a post title. Social marketing is scrolling through newsfeeds and graphic design isn’t even sure what they’re doing in this meeting at all.

It should have been simple: get everyone together, brainstorm ideas, then form a game-plan and timeline to use moving forward. Except no one can agree on anything and, at this rate, the only accomplishment the meeting will have made is wasting everyone’s afternoon.

Group decision-making is complicated. Fortunately, there are processes for that.

You may have already read our post on DECIDE, which is a great decision-making process for individuals. However, what works for an individual does not necessarily translate to a group. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to one of the most popular group decision-making frameworks: DACI.

The DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributors, Informed) decision-making framework is a set of processes geared toward doing just that. As a variant of the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) responsibility matrix, DACI’s emphasis on decision clarity for complex projects often makes it the go-to framework for product managers.

That’s a lot of acronyms all at once, huh?

Don’t worry. We’ll take it slow – or you can jump straight to the point:

Let’s get some decisions made!
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Master Project Management with the Critical Path Method

Master Project Management with the Critical Path Method

Project management requires a wide spectrum of skills, organizational abilities, and attention to detail to make sure everything moves forward according to plan. A good project manager is able to keep all the plates spinning in sync while making it appear effortless at the same time.

However, the more plates you have spinning at once, the harder this is to accomplish. Critical path method (CPM) is one of the tools project managers can use to create a comprehensive plan and organize complex projects with many moving parts.

In this Process Street post, I’ll take you through the CPM process step-by-step, and then show you how our templates and checklists can take some of the stress out of your project management.

Read on, or feel free to skip ahead:

Let’s jump in!
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5 Critical System Failures of the Coronavirus Pandemic

5 Critical System Failures of the Coronavirus Pandemic

At 5 AM on August 29, 2005, the largest drainage canal in New Orleans, the 17th Street Canal, was breached by torrents of water, an hour before Hurricane Katrina struck the city.

Levees and floodwalls fell in 50 different locations, flooding 80% of the city – under 15 feet of water in some parts.

No doubt the system failed. But which system?

The Bush administration claimed the break couldn’t have been foreseen. Scientists claimed they’d given warnings about that exact situation for nearly ten years previous. The US Army Corps of Engineers blamed the city; the city blamed the engineers.

It could be said – and many have – that in this case, it wasn’t the levee system that failed that day, but the human system certainly did. Later, experts determined that budget cuts, outdated engineering, and inadequate process infrastructures are what led to the disaster.

But that was 2005, and something of that magnitude couldn’t blindside us again.

Right…?

System Failure: COVID-19
(Source)

At Process Street, we’ve been paying very close attention to the different responses to the COVID-19 outbreak. This post is going to look at seven of the most notable system failures that occurred during the pandemic, why they happened, and how they could have been prevented.

Let’s get started.
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Visual Management: How to Communicate Effectively with Your Workforce

visual-management

Click here to visually map and improve your business processes now!

Did you know that visual information is processed 60,000 x faster than text?

This explains why the average person remembers only 20% of what they read but 40% of what they see. This also explains why most companies use a form of visual management to communicate with their employees.

Let’s do a little test to see if people, in general, respond better to visual cues than text.

Look at these two depictions of a traffic light below.

One is a sentence describing a traffic light, and one is an image of a traffic light. Both traffic lights are on different colors:

1. The traffic light is on red.

2.visual-management

At the end of this Process Street post, we’ll see which color traffic light you remember! No cheating mind!

In the meantime, I’ll take you through the following topics to explain what visual management is and how you can use it to effectively communicate with your employees:

Ready?
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Checklist Dashboard: The Best Way to Keep Track of Your Team with Process Street

Checklist dashboard

Imagine your business is a car.

Whether it’s a new, sporty little number or an old, cumbersome hatchback, aside from an engine and four wheels, what does it need to run smoothly?

A dashboard.

A dashboard will advise you to slow down when you’re moving too fast. It will tell you when more fuel is needed. It will alert you when there’s a problem.

A good dashboard will save you heaps of time, effort, and money, while you’re under the hood, trying to work out why you’re not reaching your goal quickly enough.

Lucky for you, Process Street has just the ticket.

Our checklist dashboard has been designed and built to give you an instant snapshot of your team, or company’s, performance so you can stay on track and reach your business goals.

Want to find out more?

Join me on a journey, where we will accelerate through the following topics to get you up to speed with the checklist dashboard and how you can use it in your business:

Buckle up and put your foot down! Let’s go!

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