Thursday, 14 May 2015

Why your people need to understand your processes

We often encourage people to re-examine their business processes to ensure they're still working the best way they can. But that's very different to trying out something new based on little more than a gut feeling.

There was nearly a serious rail crash in early March. The cause isn't certain yet, but evidence suggests that the train crew ignored an alarm and signals warning them to stop. Then they seem to have turned off the train's safety systems.

Fortunately, they appear to have realised the danger in time and stopped the train before it crashed into another train.

If the safety systems were working as intended, but the crew decided to use their own judgement to override them, that suggests they didn't trust the processes that were in place. And instead of assessing the potential risks when the alarm went off, they went ahead and made a decision that could've been fatal.

It's safe to say that when you're in the engine room, it's hard to see the bigger picture - whether that's driving a train or working in a certain part of your business. It's difficult to stop and think, take a step back and properly explore the possible consequences of your actions when you're at the coal face.

That's why we recommend getting an outside consultant to come in and help you understand your business processes. We get a thorough understanding of how they work so we can be sure that we can suggest suitable changes. Analysing and testing thoroughly in a safe environment is the only way to be sure that big changes won't cause problems.

If you find that your business processes aren't being followed properly, maybe we can help you make them more user-friendly. After all, if the theoretical process doesn't match up with the practical experience, it's valueless and it needs to change.

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