Process Changes and Improvements

We’re tackling the idea of process changes and improvements this month on the blog and there will likely be a wide variety of topics and viewpoints. While reading, keep in mind that what we see and view as essential might not be right for you and your organization at this given time. Take what you read this month and try implementing it as close to your situation as possible.

For my article, I want to focus on the change management aspect of developing a new process or improving on one that exists today.

One article I really like and have referred others to is this one from Morgan Galbraith in the Harvard Business Review. The entire article is about explaining why things are changing to your employees. This is the absolute most essential thing one can do when creating change and then communicating it downward.

“Inspire people by presenting a compelling vision for the future.”

-Morgan Galbraith

Inspiring others is such an integral part of developing any new idea into an actuality. Scott Berry wrote about using downtime to evaluate software in his article from December, 2018. The idea of changing software is itself a process change. There are an incredible amount of steps from the idea phase to the end stage of choosing a vendor. You have to manage the process upward and across to key stakeholders, but then you’ll also have to get people involved down and across as well.

This process is all about presenting that compelling vision, like Morgan Galbraith mentions. Take time to really think through your vision from the high level to the depths of the details. Take time to develop communication plans, contingency plans, backup, and then, of course, the change management that will need to be put into place.

When you’re able to explain everything to other teams as well as your own, you’ll be able to communicate effectively across the organization. An important part of this is getting to know your team, something Jenn Arevalo wrote about in detail in her article from November, 2018. The ability to explain your vision will make things clear and powerful so that the team not only sees the change as good but as a strong indicator that things are moving in the right direction.

The last thing I want to touch on relates to Ryan Moline’s final point in his article from October, 2018. “Not every oil leak is created equal.” There are going to be improvements that you view as absolutely necessary, but if you look at the cost/benefit analysis, you’ll see that it’s really not that big of an issue. I personally see individual contributors get frustrated at a process that could be improved, but it would take a massive amount of work for a programmer or new software that costs an employee’s salary. Remember that any process change means a shift in the business. It needs to be beneficial and have a clear return on investment in the end and it needs to inspire.

Joe Huber is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Customer Success Podcast. He is currently a Customer Community Strategist with Sprout Social.


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