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How process management solves your business pain

by | 12 Dec, 2018 | Process

What’s causing you pain at the moment?

Perhaps it’s recruitment and not being able to find the right people to fill the skills gaps in your business. Or maybe your marketing channels aren’t working as effectively as they once were so your pipeline coverage is diminishing. Or it might be that customers are losing interest, looking to penny pinch or no longer rave about your brand.

We all like to think of ourselves as special and different, but the reality is that every business is the same. We all feel the pain, we’re all affected by the market, competitors and customers, and the root cause of all our problems is process.

The problem with process

If you have an effective way to manage process, your business runs like clockwork. But what if this management layer is missing?

Imagine your customer onboarding process. How would you like the process to run?

At Process Bliss, Alister (CEO) wanted users to request a demo and then send a book afterwards as a little thank you. But Simon (digital marketing guru) thought this didn’t make sense: “Process Bliss is meant to be simple and if we tell people they need a demo we’re telling them it’s complex”. He wanted users to just sign up and get started. So he updated the website to offer both options: users can just sign up online, or request a demonstration.

BUT…after the demonstration Jo isn’t sending the book out. In the beginning, Alice was tasked with posting the book to new prospects, but when Jo joined the organisation the responsibility fell to her. But because Alice didn’t think it was a particularly important task, she forgot to tell Jo about it, so now it never gets done.

How do you think Alister is feeling now?

Not a happy bunny

Once upon a time he may have been frustrated: “Why aren’t things being done the way I wanted?”

Then he would have started spot checking trivial things to make sure they were being done. He’d feel the need to put mechanisms in place for tighter control…and then he’d probably despair that his best staff started leaving his organisation, while others rejoiced at the prospect of it being Friday with only 2 hours to go until they could sack off work and do something they actually enjoyed.

But now life is bliss

The reality is that Alister is actually pretty happy. He’s happy because Simon knew the way Alister wanted it to be done, but he had a great idea. And because Alister is a great boss who gives people the freedom to change things and do things differently, Simon felt comfortable changing the process. And this makes Alister super happy because he knows that by empowering his team to just get on, his business is constantly improving without him needing to do a thing.

And Jo?

Well, apologies, but that bit was a lie. Jo absolutely sends a book to each new prospect after a demo but not because Alice told her to. She does it because Process Bliss reminds her. We knew that it’s the sort of thing that may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things and as a result be forgotten – a bit like putting a new employee’s favourite biscuit on their desk on the first day, putting the sandwich board outside a shop, or changing passwords when an employee leaves. By using a tool to help manage our processes, we know that the book will be sent every time (a step that is actually pretty important because it’s these touches that make us special).

The importance of process management

Everyday we complete hundreds of processes. It would be impossible to run them all and remember every step every time without some form of process management, yet crazily that’s how most businesses run. Process management – whether it’s a simple checklist written down, spreadsheet or software platform – make us feel reassured that everything is working properly, so we’re safe to get on with what we really enjoy.

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