5 reasons process fails

Alister Esam
Mar 2022

This article is part of our Process 101 guide.

Process within your organisation exists within three forms:

  • There’s the way it should be done
  • Then the way people want to do it
  • And ultimately, the way it actually gets done

So why aren’t these three things the same?

Need to centralise and optimize business process?
Need to centralise and optimize business process?

1) People have great ideas

You hired clever people into your team, so it stands to reason they’re going to have some good ideas.

You’re only one person, limited by your experience, so you can’t think of everything. But within your team you have multiple people from different backgrounds, with different experiences and with brains that think in different ways.

Your team naturally wants to bring all of this to their current role so they can improve things and make them better. And you want to capture those great ideas.

However, in most places you also want consistency. Your clients want a service they can rely on. They want to know that every time they use that same great experience will be repeated. If everything gets done in different ways you lose that.

That’s where beSlick allows you to capture all the feedback and divergence from process so you can design consistent processes that benefit from everyone’s collective brainpower.

People have stupid ideas

2) People have stupid ideas

We can’t be a genius all of the time. And ok, ‘stupid’ is perhaps too harsh a word. While some of the ideas may be completely left-field, there’s probably some essence of truth in all the ideas. And again, it’s come from a good place of people wanting to improve the way you do things.

The problem with these ‘stupid’ ideas, is that while your team is trying to change things for the better, it’s not how you want it changing. And there could be a perfectly valid reason for this – for example, if your process has already been refined to mitigate certain risks, or to accommodate a particular control within your industry.

People forget things

3) People forget

“Sorry, I forgot.”

People are human, they will forget to do things. This isn’t always a failing because we know humans can’t remember everything unless they have a process.

Accept that their fantastic powers of recollection are not what you hired them for and provide them with a process or checklist to follow for those complex tasks. That way you can be reassured everything gets done and you won’t need to check up.

Can't be arse - panda chilling on a rock

4) People can’t be arsed

It can be easy to coast through a job and have lazy as your default state – particularly when you know one of your colleagues will pick up the slack. But you need to delve a little deeper to unearth the reason why they can’t be bothered.

Sometimes people don’t see the importance of a particular step…

Other times they don’t have time…

Or perhaps they don’t have the resource.

Whatever the reason, the end result is always the same – the job isn’t done how you want it to be done.

The important bit is to be aware the steps are missed and understand which of the reasons above apply because if it’s important to you, you can do something about it. beSlick captures where process isn’t followed and why so you can do this.

No one told me

5) No-one ever told me

And finally:

“I didn’t know.”

You see this process failure happen a lot, typically when a role passes from one person to another as people leave and join your organisation.

The problem is that we can’t capture the perfect transfer of information; we’re not computers able to just send a file between programmes for a seamless handover.

I can tell you how to do something, but you’re listening with preconceived ideas about how it should be done based on your previous experiences. And when I’ve gone, you start doing things a different way, your way.

Need to systemize your business and make growth easy?
Need to systemize your business and make growth easy?

Failure 1 – Great ideas

People genuinely want to, and succeed at, improving process in your organisation. That’s great!

Within beSlick, your people can feed back on any step on the process as they go through and beSlick collates this feedback for you and shows it to you when you edit the template process.

Failure 2 – Stupid ideas

People have the best intentions but they’ve missed the mark. But you still want to capture their thinking, let them know it’s ok to be ‘wrong’ and create a culture where they feel safe to contribute ideas again in the future.

Within beSlick, user feedback on how to add/change/improve your process can be captured at every stage, ready for you to review and extract the positive elements of their idea.

Failure 3 – People forget

Stop accepting excuses and hold people to account for their actions. Process management software makes process, and those responsible for completing it, more visible in your organisation.

beSlick makes processes more visible in your organisation, so you can see what needs doing, by when and how to do it. Forgetting is no longer an issue.

Failure 4 – Can’t be arsed

By discovering the route cause of their apathy, you can see whether there’s things (time/money/resource) you can change to support your operations, or whether it’s time to consider changing the person.

beSlick allows users to by-pass a step while capturing the reason why. Now you can identify the route cause of any issue that’s preventing your team being the best it can be.

Failure 5 – No one ever told me

Again, this is where process management software really comes into its element, because you’re no longer reliant on verbal communication for knowledge transfer. By documenting everything within a platform, all the information you need to follow the process is there at the new employee’s fingertips.

beSlick can be used as a training aid for new employees. By documenting all your processes, and including all the information they would need to run those processes, your new employee can’t help but follow them.

Need a better way to track team tasks & workflow?
Need a better way to track team tasks & workflow?