If you struggle to identify and complete the core processes for your business, you’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs approach completing a process with the same amount of enthusiasm as a trip to the dentist for a root canal. However, you and your business benefit from well-defined processes that provide consistency. With 6 to 10 core processes documented and everyone in your organization following them to the letter, you can scale your business. But without solid steps to each process, your process won’t work as it should – like a broken ladder. Are you using a broken ladder to run your business?
Why You Need to Define Your Core Processes
At a high level, a process clarifies:
- All major steps and the correct sequence to complete them
- Deliverables and metrics for each step
- The “seat” in the organization that’s accountable for the process
- The acceptable time frame from start to finish
In a recent client Quarterly Meeting, we worked through one of 10 core processes together as a team. As expected, this announcement was met with a general lack of enthusiasm.
Documenting processes often becomes one of those tasks that get kicked down the road. Why? Mostly because leaders think it will be too time-consuming, boring, onerous, and of little value. They dread getting sucked into minutiae. But after discussing the value this exercise adds, we dug in, closely examining how to document each process.
We identified seven steps in one particular process and clarified the items listed above. The entire exercise took an hour. That’s it. One hour invested by six leaders got them on the same page. Ultimately, we knew what needed to happen in the right sequence to deliver the desired results.
It also revealed a glaring weakness in the first two steps of the process. Although steps three through seven were solid, steps one and two were broken.
A Broken Process Ladder
As a visual thinker, I couldn’t help but picture a ladder with the first two steps broken. How well could you do a job around the house without the first two steps of your ladder?
It makes getting the job done that much harder. Now think about all the people in your organization trying to use that ladder – or trying to do a job without any ladder at all.
So, slow down a bit. Take the time to complete your core processes and ensure each step is solid for your team. Then make sure those core processes are followed by all. Doing those two things will improve consistency, reduce frustrations, and lead to more predictable results.