I worked in process management for ten years, some with the federal government and most of it in the telecommunications industry. I’m a supporter for having processes because:
* Avoids reinventing the wheel
* Ensures you don’t miss a step
* Helps others know what to do
* Simplifies improving the process
But there’s such a thing as having too much process that instead of being effective, it strangles employee time. Such processes may have too many steps or too much detail that the employee spends too much time trying to get the steps right and loses sight of what’s important.
For example, I search for high quality Web articles to put in newsletters. The process involves how to handle entering an article as well as how to handle an approved article for a later edition. I love digging for inspiring and informative articles. Lately, however, it feels like having little energy left to find enough first class articles because I’m tied down by the process.
Perhaps, it’d be better to create a higher level process so I’m empowered to spend more time on article hunting while satisfying the process requirements. For example, state that if an article is approved, but not for the next issue — put it in reserve and indicate its approval.
Coincidentally, I was searching for articles when I came across this quote from a Fast Company article:
There are formal processes for everything, with well-intentioned manuals, training programs, hierarchies, and corporate jargon that mostly keep employees from really communicating. We typically assess a colleague’s work, for example, via online surveys, psychological tests, and language that strenuously shuns direct criticism. Anything to avoid taking a colleague aside and telling him what he’s doing wrong.
But lack of communication isn’t a problem in my case. In fact, this client is considered more of a colleague and friend that he’s the first person I feel like I can be honest without fear of negative results. In fact, when we talk about an issue, things get better.