Workflow: The importance of understanding process

by MPA13 Aug 2015
On the August 2nd episode of my Lykken on Lending radio show, I had the opportunity to discuss innovation with Terry Wakefield of The Wakefield Company. Oftentimes, the area in which innovation is most direly needed is in our processes. In discussing innovation in process management, Terry revealed an idea he uses in his practice called an "infrastructure blueprint."

The problem with process is that, most of the time, individual parts of the process can't see the whole. Each employee or third party vendor makes decisions on a case by case basis that they see best, but they can't really see how those decisions fit into the whole. The "infrastructure blueprint," just like the blueprint for a home, provides a map of the organization's workflow so that everyone can see how they as individuals fit into the overall process.

If organizations do not have one agreed upon process that everyone can clearly see and operate within, each individuals will make up their own process to get their jobs done. And an organization being run on dozens of processes all at once is bound to lead to chaos. Having a map of how your organization process is structured and where everyone fits into that process, will provide each member of the team the clarity necessary to understand how their work fits into the big picture. When each team member has a high level understanding of your organizational workflow, you will become a well-oiled machine, capable of moving with the speed and precision necessary to be competitive in the industry.


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