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Process management principles and tips for identifying solutions to process failings

July 11, 2018

Process management is essential to the operation of companies everywhere and ensures optimal results and efficiency. Process management best practices advise following specific steps and guiding principles for the strongest results. Businesses that use process management solutions that honor these principles find that they are able to satisfy internal needs and the needs of their customers. Without these principles, it’s easy to lose sight of goals, miss important benchmarks, and inefficiently allocate resources. Quickbase offers a unique, low-code platform that allows you to design business process applications that will perfect your process management systems and help you stay on task while adhering to these principles. In order to develop your process management framework, it’s helpful to understand these principles and do business accordingly.

10 key process management principles

  1. Business changes must be motivated and inspired by performance.
  2. Business changes must be based on stakeholder needs.
  3. Decisions regarding business changes must be connected to stakeholder criteria.
  4. The business should be segmented along process lines to synchronize change.
  5. Holistically manage business processes.
  6. Renewal initiatives must offer shared insight.
  7. Process renewal initiatives must be conducted from the outside in.
  8. Process renewal initiatives must be conducted with an iterative, time-boxed approach.
  9. Recognize that business change is focused on people.
  10. The process is a journey, and the journey should be the focus rather than the destination.

Performance-driven change

This principle guides the process to make sure that all changes are made for a reason. It reminds the business that there should be constant evaluation of processes and performance with adaptations made that aim for improvement. The measure of success doesn’t always mean meeting a financial target. Other important factors to be considered include customer loyalty and satisfaction, and a knowledge of people, customers, and suppliers. Developing a targeted measurement system will inspire change and progress with a purpose that makes the best use of available resources.

Stakeholder-based changes

A stakeholder is anyone who is affected by the organization or project’s performance. Stakeholders have an interest in the successes of the business or influence the project or organization in some way. Following the guiding principle of stakeholder-based changes reminds an organization that it doesn’t exist for its own purposes alone; it affects a larger pool of people. Every business exists within an ecosystem, and aligning goals with stakeholders helps that ecosystem to thrive.

A business stakeholder can be:

  • Owners
  • The community
  • Customers/consumers
  • Staff
  • Suppliers

Stakeholders vary for different companies and industries, but those are some of the most common. When making stakeholder-based changes, companies should consider success factors, expectations, interactions with the stakeholders, business events, and workflow.

Traceable business changes

This principle may seem like basic practice, but it’s often overlooked. This principle should be the foundation of the decision-making process so that you can be certain that changes are justified.

Businesses make decisions and changes visible by agreeing on criteria before a change occurs and then publishing those changes. By making changes accessible and understandable with clear criteria for their motivation, you can be certain they are being made for the right reasons and the transparency will build trust with stakeholders.

Segmented business process lines

Having a segmented process means that every event will trigger a response. Business analysis will occur once all actions are complete and aspects of the processes can be identified as a problem. Segmenting along process-value lines allows businesses to increase process management efficiency and prioritize changes. Effects can be measured in a way everyone involved can understand.

Holistic process management

A business applies either a structural approach or a mixed-function process management structure. Using a holistic management approach means that all staff involved can receive daily feedback on their results. It provides incentive for staff to do their best instead of doing what’s most convenient.

Initiatives with shared insight

The best way to take advantage of a group’s experience and knowledge base is to encourage the sharing of ideas and insight. You can share ideas by hosting workshops, creating records, participating in trust-building activities, and discussing team strengths.

Conducting top-down process renewal initiatives

Successful process management solutions involve focusing on tasks at hand that interact with other tasks. The ability to manage multiple tasks is essential to process management best practices. Identifying and analyzing each level of a process without getting bogged down in minutiae will save time and keep work focused.

Time-boxed approach

Time-boxing means scheduling activities and determining what tasks will be performed within a time frame. A time-box cycle will track some of the following major activities: reconciliation of findings, knowledge-gathering, analysis, and results validation.

People-based change

This principle reminds us that change should be motivated by people. Changes should only be made when they are supported by the humans involved in the process or project. Communication is emphasized when using this principle as a guide and can increase the level of trust between all involved in a process.

Journeys, not destinations

The most basic principle to remember to avoid frustration and keep things in perspective is that process management is about the journey, not the destination. Your end product is dependent on all of the steps it took to get there. If you focus on perfecting the process, you’re sure to be satisfied with the results. You should view process management as constantly evolving. With change comes growth, so continuously monitor processes for chances to make positive changes and adaptations.

Identifying process failings

Following these process management tips will ensure strong results and positive communication with stakeholders. This doesn’t mean that there may not be bumps along the way. A large part of process management is identifying and remedying problems within the process. Here are a few of the most common problems to watch out for:

  • The process is rigid and follows a by-the-book approach
  • The process is viewed as a one-off project
  • The process is used to address problems rather than avoid them
  • The process or project has an isolated focus
  • The process does not allow for employee participation
  • Process plans and publications are written using language used by experts
  • The process is over-engineered
  • Technology is only considered or used as an afterthought, rather than as a key part of the process

For your process management system to be trusted and successful, it’s important to abide by solid principles and address problems as they occur. Remember that a good process management plan will be convincing in its ability to incorporate principles that will have positive outcomes. This will include looking at the big picture and the finer details. That may sound daunting, but remember, principles are key to success in organization and time-saving efforts.

There are many strategies that will help you make sure that you can abide by key principles and follow best practices. The best way to do so is to use reliable process management software. There are many options available, but the most convenient and effective solution is often to customize software to your specific business and processes.

Design a custom process management app

Quickbase offers an accessible low-code platform that allows those within a business process to customize their own process management apps with limited or no coding knowledge. You’ll be able to place technology in the hands of your stakeholders and employees, allowing them to add input as to what would make the application the most useful and efficient.

Quickbase empowers employees and businesses by turning ideas into action using easy-to-learn, point-and-click technology. With Quickbase, you can improve workflow and provide solutions in the areas of project management, human resources, financial management, training management, customer service, business process management, marketing, CRM and sales management, IT management, and more.

A customizable process management app can help your team align their plans and processes with all the principles of good process management. Using the app will allow you to make opportune use of technology and simplify traceability. Because our app-building software is so accessible, you’ll be able to involve all team members in its creation. This can help you enact people-based changes to your processes as well as strong accountability and visibility.

Quickbase has been able to help thousands of customers save time, increase productivity, and solve a huge variety of business challenges. Many have used our dashboards, automation and workflow applications, and other options to help their business to thrive. Try Quickbase for yourself to see the ways we can help you increase productivity. Explore the options and you’ll quickly see that our platform will help you create an app that integrates the principles of process management to the fullest extent. You can give it a try with no risk: Start a free trial today and start designing your own apps for process management and more.