Achieving and maintaining team alignment on processes can be challenging for any organization, regardless of size or industry. Many misunderstandings exist about what it takes to get everyone on the same page. In this blog, we’ll dispel five misconceptions about maintaining team alignment on processes to set your team up for success.
As part of the EOS Model®, the Process Component™ is one of the Six Key Components™ to operating a successful business. A business strong in the Process Component is systemized with identified and documented core processes. These core processes define the unique ways a business runs.
An organization needs to have documented processes in place as a first step to getting everyone on the same page. Only then can a business build consistency and scalability with everyone following the same essential procedural steps.
Misconception #1: Owners Need to Dictate Processes for the Entire Company
Many believe owners or leaders alone must determine the approach to get everyone aligned on a process. When people at the top of the organization dictate rules and expect everyone else to fall in line, they (un)surprisingly experience issues. Rather than achieving alignment, it can often lead to resistance and resentment from employees who feel micromanaged.
Instead, leaders should try taking a more collaborative approach. This way, they work with their team to develop processes that make sense for everyone involved.
Misconception #2: You Need a Perfect Process from the Start
Another common misconception is that an organization needs perfect processes in place from the start. No one can realistically accomplish this, though. Processes will inevitably change over time as an organization grows and adapts to new challenges.
Leaders should strive to start with a foundation they can build on as needed. As long as everyone understands the basics, they can make tweaks and adjustments down the road.
Misconception #3: You Can Only Have One Right Way to Every Aspect of a Process
Closely related to Misconception #2, some people believe you can only have one “right” way to complete every small action in a business process. Subsequently, they feel any deviation from that rigid, very specific way will result in chaos.
Too much detail in a process document makes it difficult to follow. Plus, it quickly becomes obsolete with every small change to the process.
Rather than trying to outline every single aspect, leaders should, in the words of Four Seasons Hotels founder Isadore Sharp, “Systemize the predictable. Humanize the exceptional.”
This means that while the major steps should follow a consistent process, leaders can empower their people to determine the minute details of how they complete some actions.
Misconception #4: It Will Take Too Much Time Up Front
Leaders commonly assume that getting their team aligned on processes will take too much time and effort. So they never even bother to begin documenting them.
Sure, documenting processes and getting everyone on board may take a bit of time initially, but not nearly as long as you’d think. In EOS®, we teach a 20/80 approach. This way, you only document 20% of the major steps to lead to 80% of the results. Process documents should be no more than three pages.
A solid system in place saves teams time and hassle down the road. The benefits of having a well-oiled machine far outweigh any temporary inconvenience caused by documenting processes and ensuring they’re followed by all.
Misconception #5: It’s Not Worth the Effort
Some hesitate to get their teams aligned on processes because they believe it’s not worth the effort. They may not see the point of trying to get everyone on the same page when things already run smoothly.
However, they may not see the small day-to-day adjustments their team makes to accommodate differences. These adjustments mean tasks take more time to complete and ultimately provide inconsistent results. They also affect team morale and hamper communications.
A well-aligned team is essential for any organization, no matter how big or small. It makes things more efficient and organized. Putting in the effort necessary to achieve process alignment will definitely pay off in the long run.
Don’t let these common misconceptions about process alignment discourage you from getting your team on the same page. With a little effort up front, you’ll be reaping the rewards of increased efficiency and productivity in no time!