5 Ways to Tell if Your Processes are Broken

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exclamation-point-1421014_1280Broken processes leads to frustration and potential chaos for your business. Your employees end up spending time trying to patch what’s not working. Here are 5 signs that you need to fix your processes:

  1. Customers are unable to reach you

If your support channels are not able to respond in a timely manner, they are not helpful. For example, having the online chat staff respond to multiple customers at the same time is counter-productive. Poorly designed support processes equate to no support.

  1. Too many decision-makers

Inclusiveness is good but doing so just to please people is poor business practice. The end result is delay and indecisiveness. For example, it is excellent for the product design group to gather input from sales and customer service. But there is no need for sales and customer service to approve the design. Unnecessary involvement could lead the team off on a tangent.

  1. Bottlenecks

Many of us presume the cause of a bottleneck is insufficient resource to handle the workload. Unexpected demands could cause unanticipated bottlenecks. However, persistent bottlenecks are signs of process problems. For example, the data entry team has to deal with missing data constantly due to incomplete forms. Poor quality of work upstream has major impacts on the work downstream.

  1. Inconsistent practices

It is confusing for the employees when they need to go through different processes for doing the same work. For example, setting up a client for electronic fund processing is handled differently depending on the type of transaction. Worse yet, different groups are involved. This is error prone, which leads to rework.

  1. Frustrated employees

Frustration arises when effort is spent but little advance is made. This could be attributed to a variety of reasons, including unnecessary handoffs, redundant approvals, poorly designed job aids, politics, and lack of guidelines. Cumbersome practices make simple work onerous. Your customers will be exposed to the deficiencies.

Processes are the conduits where work is carried out. Don’t let them break down and cause havoc.

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