If your team spends its days asking for permission, taking hours to complete expense reports or time sheets, attending redundant meetings, or answering irrelevant emails, you’ve got a problem.
Processes are supposed to help organizations scale up, improve efficiency for new hires and existing employees, and so on--but they can quickly get out of control.
In a study of U.S. and European companies, The Boston Consulting Group found that “over the past fifteen years, the amount of procedures, vertical layers, interface structures, coordination bodies, and decision approvals needed...has increased by anywhere from 50 percent to 350 percent.” What’s more, in the most complicated organizations, “managers spend 40 percent of their time writing reports and 30 percent to 60 percent of it in coordination meetings.” No wonder people feel like they can never get any real work done.
Why do we love process so much?
It offers a way to measure progress and productivity, which makes people feel more efficient and accountable. When used correctly, processes should standardize and simplify the necessary tasks that keep business running smoothly. They should enable organizations to undertake complex work, particularly as an organization grows. Expense reporting, for example, should have a process that every single employee follows every single time--that’s just common sense.
Smart processes encapsulate bundles of organizational knowledge. And that’s a good thing.
Via Kenneth Mikkelsen