Every good process needs three things:
Failure to address any one them and your process will fail.
Processes are fragile things. Easy to describe, easy to put on paper, but when real humans get involved, watch out!
When it comes to process, everyone likes to break the rules. But without expectations you don’t know what success looks like, without accountability you communicate a lack of importance, and without visibility you can’t see how things are performing.
Here are three things you can do to set any new process up for success.
Define your goal
What are you putting the process in place to achieve and who will be impacted?
Answer this question, put it on paper and make sure that it is understood by all process participants.
In the absence of alignment on the goal, your process will be misunderstood and ignored.
You need to be able to monitor how the inputs in your process are being transformed to accomplish your goal. You need the proper inspection mechanism in place to identify bottlenecks and problem areas.
A weekly report, a dashboard or a kanban tool all can help with visualizing your work in progress.
Build in Accountability
Someone must own the output of the process.
Who cares about the work?
Make sure that the owner of the output has a mechanism for checking in on the work. In the absence of an ask for “how it’s going”, the importance of the process will be deemed…unimportant.
Humans will revert to whatever is easiest or serves their need the most. Process fail.
Humans have a love hate relationship when it comes to process, everyone likes to break the rules. Your processes will fail unless you have expectations, visibility and accountability in place.