I worked with a teacher recently, and they described how they made their class accountable for setting homework. They did this by taking advantage of the school merit system, awarding five points to the young person who reminded them to set the homework. What great processes!
Was this bribery or a great process created in partnership?
Much of my work around neurodiversity is about helping individuals build processes that enable them to amplify their strengths and manage the things they find difficult. It’s rather like taking your car for a service. Yes, your car runs fine, but could it run better…probably?
Well, that’s very much like human beings and the processes we use to do everyday life.
It could be how:
- You manage your workload
- Relationships with colleagues
- Relationships with customers
- Project delivery
- Or just how you manage to get to work.
All these things are processes, and as we learn how to do them well, we must write them down or record them to reflect on what’s working and what’s not.
Could you write the process down?
Once we’ve written it down, it allows us to evaluate what’s working when our metaphorical wheels come off the rails.
Once we have a process recorded, we can evaluate how well it works and manage how we can improve it.
Sounds a bit like a project?
I’d argue that this is a project that helps us and our team’s function more effectively. But we can only do this successfully if we understand where we’re starting, and to understand where we’re starting, we need to record our starting point.
As with all good projects, scope creep* can make them undeliverable. For individuals, that’s about adding too many tasks and creating too much complexity in their processes. The same is true for teams who create overly complex ways of interacting and communicating with each other.
Add change control to processes
Consider a change control process to help manage this situation to stop you and your team from becoming overwhelmed. This is as simple as not introducing new tasks until you have tested the existing ones, ensuring they have a benefit. Testing is particularly relevant to technology and applications.
We live in a world where many things can potentially solve our problems. Still, in doing so, they often add additional complexity that can negatively impact us in ways that far outweigh the original problem. ‘It’s vital that we consider this before implementing new working methods into our processes.
In my first CDT (Craft Design and Technology) lesson at school, a rather large man with a beard stood up and said K.I.S.S., to which we all looked utterly perplexed.
He then explained that K.I.S.S. means Keep It Simple Stupid (not sure he could get away with this saying in a school these days), but ‘it’s particularly relevant when relooking at our processes. We must keep things simple and replicable so they will ultimately be helpful for us, including taking processes away that are no longer useful in the drive for simplicity.
P.P.P. = P.P.P. – the secret source to making processes work
Piss Poor Planning equals Piss Poor Performance. We need to plan what ‘we’re doing and build usable, simple and robust processes.
If ‘you’d like to know more about building processes for yourself or your team, ‘I’d love to work with you.
Contact me here.
*Scope creep in project management refers to changes, continuous or uncontrolled growth in a project’s scope at any point after the project begins.