Process is a lot like a Rooster. One can draw a diagram of how to lay an egg, but the rooster isn’t equipped or even interested in executing on your command.

It’s easy to dream up a set of circumstances where the problem at hand will be completely solved forever. The challenge is what lies on the fringe of all the rules created to fix a single simple problem. Many times those rules or processes will stand at odds to solutions to new problems and overall productivity.

Not every problem needs solving. What we have to decide is, “What is the true cost of NOT solving the problem?” It’s easy to chase simple, superficial problems with seemingly easy fixes without regard to how the problem affects the big picture. Easy fixes lead to shallow thinking. What’s most apparent on the surface isn’t always the root cause of your issues. We have to go deeper and keep asking “why?”

It’s also very important to take emotion out of the equation when assessing which problems to fix. If problems can’t be statistically validated, it’s impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of the solution later. We borrowed the chart below from the Six Sigma Institute it makes a lot of sense.

Notice the importance of putting value to the problem with data. Not only will data help identify the problems that are most important, but will later determine the effectiveness of the solution over time. Permanent change requires continually evaluating solutions with data. If we continually evaluate the solution, we will be better equipped to make the right decision for the next problem.

In summary, if we create a new business rule that gets blasted out every few weeks (probably over an email that tired employees probably aren’t reading anyway) with no ability to track effectiveness, the rules have built a house of cards that are not sustainable and doomed to be ineffective.

In the end, people will become frustrated with continual rule changes birthed by knee jerk reactions and will eventually stop listening and even trying to conform to policy. The performance will continue to tumble, eventually, new employees will be needed so the cycle can begin again.

Tim Briggs-2019

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