Is Process a Dirty Word?

People think “process” is a dirty word. Yet we’re all used to process. Without it, nothing would get done and when things aren’t done, people might riot. Okay, maybe not riot but people usually do get paid every two weeks or once a month, go to lunch around the same time every day, and most go through a process to get their vacation and time off approved to be with their family. Without process, we mess with people’s money, their food, and their family time. If you ask me, that may all be just enough reason to start a riot.

So process isn’t the problem. It’s “too much process” that is the problem. How often have you talked to an automated system and after just the third or fourth prompt been frustrated you were getting nowhere? It’s no different than trying to quickly wrap up something at work, only to be stonewalled by bureaucratic red tape and having to wait for days for a decision.

We need process but not too much process. The right amount of process makes our lives easier. In fact, it’s very much like communication.

Nobody would argue how crucial effective communication is within an organization. We must communicate effectively in negotiations, when giving direction, to foster good working relationships, all of which improves morale and positions us for greater success. In the absence of communication, employees are frustrated and morale is low.

Now contrast that with someone you know who might talk a bit too much. Perhaps they’re very verbose in all forms of communication. Their emails are long winded and they monopolize everyone’s time with chatter. Get my point?

Effective communication is critical, too little or too much however and things begin to go awry. The same can be said about process.

“We need process but not too much process. The right amount of process makes our lives easier…It will fuel efficiency taking your organization to the next level.”

The right amount of process with the right amount of communication fuels efficiency. And efficiency is a key factor in delivering projects on time and within budget.

I cringe when I hear organizations complain about process. Process has a bad stigma but without it, organizations would be in a world of hurt.

So the next time someone complains to you about how they hate process, ask them specifically which process they’re referring to. Remind them that process is everywhere and that process itself isn’t the problem, it’s “too much process” that is the problem. Effectively communicating while continuously challenging strategies towards finding just the right amount of process positions your organization for success. It will fuel efficiency taking your organization to the next level.

Author Matt Vegas

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