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Two Different Approaches to Processes Leaders Take That Don’t Work

Over at StarSpring, we work with visionary leaders to provide them the tools to get the clean, actionable data they need to make Data-Informed decisions.

At the heart of that is that the type of leader we need to engage with is visionary: they know where they want to go in their business, realize they’re at a crossroads and can’t get there yet, and understand that change needs to happen in order to grow.

Many of the clients we’ve worked with in the past five years especially have always had a small amount of clients, so they were able to get by with paper-based processes. That worked well for their client load until they started to see growth and wanted to expand. Then, they realized their manual processes were now error-prone due to more volume. Everybody actually doing those processes was working hard to deal with the increased client load, so things slipped through the cracks.

When we start working with a client at StarSpring, we’ll start out by drawing a picture of every step in the entire process. I sit down with the client and have them explain the process to me like a child. When we gather all the groups involved in the process to discuss the steps, we usually uncover a few reasons why there are issues in the process and what the miscommunications are.

Usually, these are manual processes where people either use a mishmash of systems, literally handing paper from one department to another, or send a flurry of emails. When we document the process, we identify all the points of failure as well as the places where digital handoffs might simply work better.  This is critical because we can’t choose or build a system for anyone if we don’t know what they’re trying to do and why.

So when we engage with folks, we look at everything they’re doing as a business from the minute they take in a new client or order all the way through to completion and post-completion support. I find more often than not that leaders have taken one of two approaches with their manual processes:

  • “We’ve gotten by with them for so long. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  • Buying tools and software piecemeal to deal with parts of the process but haven’t thought about how those tools interrelate with each other, and haven’t gone through the process of defining what types of data KPIs they’re looking for along the way that will tell them whether the tools are doing a good job or not.

When leaders take the latter approach, we look at all those different pieces to make sure there’s fluidity between the steps. The handoffs need to be clean, so we ensure the data pieces collected along the way string together to tell decision makers exactly what’s going on. Then, they can make accurate decisions about how to course-correct or whether things are going the right way.

So, are you a leader of a small to medium-sized business who knows you have a good business, wants to grow, and needs better tools to do that? Are you open to change and understand change is necessary to scale and be more profitable? If you really believe in the work you’re doing, know some tweaks and investments in tools can provide great benefit and ROI, are willing to work collaboratively and allow your people to be heard, and understand that investment is necessary every once in a while to get to the next level in business — give us a call. Let’s get you to that next level together.