There is one thing that is true in business now more than ever ... successful businesses are comprised of people and technology and the glue that keeps it all together is process.
I love reading brainy quotes and one that has stuck with me lately is the following:
“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.”
- Vincent Van Gogh
What's interesting about that quote is that it really could be interpreted a couple of ways:
The first interpretation may be if a business is chaotic with no defined business processes, then no matter how hard you work, you will never figure out how to make your business work better. Basically, you are repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.
Another interpretation of this quote might be for those of you with businesses that have well-defined and executed processes. You “put your heart and soul” in your work and if all is working smoothly, your mind drifts away from focusing on the individual parts of the process.
I would like to think that as entrepreneurs, we all want to get to this point of bliss. We all want know that all the T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted. We want to know that our staff members understand exactly what they need to do in a situation and that as long as they follow the process, they are covered.
For most businesses, this exercise of strengthening the glue that binds our people and technology is a never ending ...hmm… process. As organizations get larger, the glue required to keep these people and the organization's technology together increases. While the number of processes required to keep everything together may not increase, the importance of well documented and executed process increases.
This brings me to my next point. Processes are only as good as the people and technology that execute them. For example, any business can have a well defined process in a Visio document that sits on a file server somewhere or in a binder on a shelf. If no one ever looks at that process document and follows it to the letter, then what good is it?
Repeat after me: processes have to be documented and executed consistently to achieve desired outcomes. Process management systems like ProcessPlan, allow organizations to document and execute throughout their entire organization - the glue. As your business becomes more complex, the glue flows not only within the organization but outside its walls. You work with vendors, professional services, contractors, and customers everyday. Those resources become people and technology in your business and the glue that holds everyone accountable and on the same page is process.