The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Process

Glazed & Confused

When Ruth and I talk about what we do (in case you are new, teaching and facilitating teams undergoing change, specifically using process improvement tools), we tend to get one of three responses:


Glazed & Confused.

1.  A glazed over and confused look, followed by “That’s nice!”.

2.  I love process!!!! [Insert riveting story about how they have improved their processes]. I/We/I know someone who SO needs you guys. [insert dorky six sigma and lean lingo here]

*Note #2 is our favourite client! Or, our personal favourite…

3. Oh ew. I hate process.

Ruth and I, being the masters of the open-ended question, usually follow up #3 with, “Oh really? Tell me more about that!”.  The responses are varied, ranging from having a poor experience to just plain weird.

Top 3 reasons people THINK they don’t like process.

  1. Process is too bureaucratic, we need to be CREATIVE.  Ok. I know
    images (1)

    Process Kitty

    at first glance, processes seem to lock you in to a singular way of doing things.  In reality, by preventing yourself (or your team, or clients) from re-inventing the wheel for every simple task, you can focus your time and effort on the value add parts, and that’s where you can be creative.  Also, mapping a process isn’t something that is carved in stone?  Great process improvements have a strategy built in to monitor, assess, and update on a regular basis -there’s always room to be flexible.

  2. Oh, that’s for big companies, not an solo-preneur like me. Process is best described as how you do what you do. Even if you are a sole proprietor, you at some point have to interact with someone else in your organization or the client themselves to deliver your product or service. Do you consistently get what you need, when you need it, in the form and format you need it, from your client? Unless one or both of you are clairvoyant, there must be some “conscious intervention”, and that conscious intervention is process.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  It’s a process, it’s a process, it’s a process!! Everything is a process, and if you want to grow your business, take on more clients, and surprise and delight your clients, be efficient, and effective – you need to look at how you do what you do. With a critical eye.
  3. Process stuff is super expensive, I couldn’t afford it. Okay, this one isn’t weird. It can be true.  The big guys charge big per-diems to come in, ask alot of questions about a business they aren’t familiar with, and then send you home with some binders and reports full of charts and diagrams and arrows.  What if you could learn the basics of process improvement, pair it with your expertise, and make real dramatic change?

Unglaze your face.

The secret is out.  Process isn’t that hard.  GASP.  It’s quite simple really.  A few tools from the bible of process improvement (Lean Six Sigma), some post it notes, and a marker – and I think you can already start to make some change.

My gift to you is an old blog that will get you started, and then if you want to know more, see how we can teach your teams to THINK LIKE CONSULTANTS.  Save money, be amazing, all that jazz.

Let us know how it goes @whiteboardcons #processisntthathard.

Until Next Time,