How to define processes for your team

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While there is disagreement over who authored this interesting quote (sources range from Henry Ford to Tony Robbins), the message is nonetheless compelling. Too often leaders and managers ask their teams to always apply the same obsolete processes, while expecting different results.

Work processes are the glue that holds it all together and ensures that tasks are completed in a systematic, organized manner and minimizing the possibility of failure.

The important thing with processes is that they should not be defined and then forgotten. You need to constantly evaluate them to identify those that aren’t working, and use that information to build better systems for your teams. Change is the only constant in your teams; your processes must therefore reflect this.

How do you go about identifying your team’s work processes and subjecting them to adjustments if necessary? Here’s everything you need to know:

What is a work process?

The Baldridge Glossary states that “The term ‘work process’ refers to your most important internal processes for creating value. These are the processes that involve the majority of your company’s employees and produce value for customers, stakeholders and shareholders. » Your work processes are standard ways of doing things. .

Whether it’s writing a particular report or launching a completely new product, there’s usually a systematic flow of information and a standard set of tasks that your teams need to accomplish.

Why are these processes important? They help keep your team members on the same page, while ensuring that everyone has a clear idea of ​​what needs to be done,  and their role within the team, the company .

“For teams to perform their specific tasks correctly, they need operational guidelines. That is, they are looking for something or someone who will tell them precisely what to do and when,” explains Watts S. Humphrey in his article for the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute. “This is precisely the role of an operational process. It provides a simple and concise description of the steps required to complete a specific task”. However, processes are not designed to be eternal: they must evolve with changes related to your team, your objectives and your resources. However, the adjustment of your work processes begins with the identification of your current processes.

How to identify your current work processes

Some think it’s easy to identify how things are usually done. However, you’d be surprised how much is left unsaid (and undocumented), especially when your team is made up of long-timers who know how to do it (whether they’ve been trained or not).

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