Pittsburgh Business Times

Why doesn’t anything work … at work?

Have you ever been frustrated when things just don’t seem to “go” properly at work? Maybe you are just trying to complete a simple, day-to-day task and for some reason it is just way harder than it needs to be. Sound familiar? Computers and information systems are supposed to help, but guess what – they don’t. As a matter of fact, since they’ve been installed and upgraded, things have just gotten worse. I see this all of the time. Many companies’ business processes are not well defined and to make matters worse, the chaos has become automated. The interdependencies and expectations are misunderstood, leading to waiting, errors, rework, frustration and a litany of other non-value added tasks.

There is hope!
Using a simple technique, it may become easier to understand the issues. Try these steps:

1. Assemble a small team of people who are part of the process, including those “upstream” of you.

2. Define the problem you are experiencing.

3. Map the process sequentially and, as a team, look for those things that influence the problem, both positively and negatively.

4. Eliminate the negative and do more of the positive. Simplify the process.

5. Look within the team for solutions. Many times the answer is there.

6. Once the team has fixed what it can, reach out for any additional help.

This is a good first step to at least understanding the problem and getting input from the other stakeholders involved in the process. I hope this helps and thanks for reading!

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