Top 5 tips about process design...

...and implementation too!

Posted by hossg on December 14, 2023 · 2 mins read

I’ve been meaning to share my own heuristics and tips for running a tech organisation for some time now, but have never quite got around to it. A post last week from Penny Hubbard-Brown finally pushed me into action however, (thanks Pen!).

I guess these are not only relevent to tech organisations, but given that’s where my experience lies, that’s what I’m focusing on.

First up, today’s tips are all about process - whether that’s the processes of the tech team, or the wider business processes that tech and #transformation folks are trying to change or influence.

  1. Process exists to help organise people and their activities. Processes not developed by the people who use them rarely work well, if at all, so make sure you involve them in the design and implementation. Give them agency.

  2. Design processes to make it easy for people to make the right choices and decisions. People are inherently lazy and will take the easy path to achieve their goal. Take advantage of this.

  3. Structured process is important: repeatable activities can help ensure quality, and share knowledge and experience. They can also create ‘brain space’ for higher-value activities when adherence to the process becomes habitual. This is the key: process helps to build habit, and habit is what is most valuable.

  4. Find a way to measure the efficacy of the process (i.e. what you want to achieve by following it). Do not be afraid to experiment with changes to optimise this, but allow enough time to make and then measure the change.

  5. Sweat the small stuff. Having high standards in the small stuff ensures the bar remains high for the bigger and more obviously-impactful stuff. Just as important, the cumulative, compounding impact of small issues, or simply the butterfly effect in complex systems, means that minor aberrations can one day cause significant disruption to product and process. Detail is the lynch-pin of operational excellence.