I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who once said “Life is a perpetual instruction in cause and effect.” Boy…is that ever true.
I am someone who is pretty strong in the area of both efficiencies and effectiveness, but I appear to be disorganized at times. I always get the job done, but to an outsider looking in, I can sometimes look like a complete mess.
I took my daughter, Katie, shopping over the week-end, she saw my car, and she said “Mom…you are getting so organized. Your car is spotless.” You see, I have been trying to keep my car clean as a practice in organization. So, at least she noticed. Good…I’m on the right track.
The process management question is one that I seem to always get from my clients. They come to the call and say “Well, I had a great week. We got a few new clients, but I am now in overwhelm and distracted.” I go through a series of questions with them to find out what’s really going on, and the bottom line is that they don’t have their multiple projects in a project planning system. The projects are all over their desk or rolling around like marbles in their heads.
So, today, I would like to provide you a small coaching lesson in process management.
Here we go.
If you are striving to achieve success in managing a process, first, define the word process. According to Dictionary.com, a process is “a systematic series of actions directed to some end.””
Okay…that’s easy enough. To be someone who is strong with managing a process, you should be
1) Figure out the process and the steps necessary to achieve the end result
2) Put the best people on the right tasks so that you achieve the result with excellence
3) Simplify the complex process into manageable steps
4) Separate and combine tasks to improve work flow
5) Use a minimal amount of resources to save time, money and energy without sacrificing quality
If you are someone who wants to improve your process management, I highly recommend these tools and steps
1) Mindjet Software: A Mindmapping tool can greatly improve your process thinking and systems management.
2) Gather a group of 5 people together to map out the process. Don’t leave it up to your own brain or imagination to get the job done.
3) Study other companies who are strong with process management. Just know that there is really never a straight line to an end result. There are twists and turns, and by studying other organizations who are successful with process management, you will learn volumes of information which you can apply to your company.
4) Hire a coach to help you talk through your process. I did this with a client yesterday. He had 4 projects, and we went through a processing system together on the phone, and his overwhelm went down (not away but down.)
5) Set monthly goals and measure your success along the way. A simple spreadsheet can be used for this, OR if you have software to monitor your process and results, please, please use it!