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Tip of the Week: Improve Collaboration With Process

Tip of the Week: Improve Collaboration With Process

Like a well-oiled machine, any business needs its internal components to line up correctly, interacting with the others to accomplish the ultimate goal of the device. This is more or less how we always describe collaborative processes in the context of your IT. Here, however, we’re going to focus our tip on ensuring these processes are directed by employees who are ready to collaborate as well.

The key to accomplishing this goal is to make sure you establish a few additional policies designed to encourage this intercooperativity. These policies are as follows:

Defining Roles and Assigning Responsibilities
In order for true collaboration to be possible, your business needs to work like the machine we discussed, each person with a clearly outlined responsibility based on their role that contributes to the end result of the process. However, you must also ensure that these roles don’t result in redundancy over efficiency.

Your processes need to be firmly outlined, clearly delegating responsibilities across teams and departments and defining the exact order in which tasks need to be completed. An entire process can be undone by the wrong activity taking place at the wrong time. Collaboration can quickly dissolve into confusion without a comprehensive awareness of the process in each team member, including their given role and where it comes in.

Let’s review a hypothetical scenario:

Department A begins a project based on a business need. Once that department’s contribution is completed, the project should move along to Department B to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with any of the business’ existing implementations, which could cause a greater issue. However, without the knowledge of the entire process and how his contribution will impact the end result, a mistake made by someone in Department A could derail the entire project. Let’s say an “A” employee, Billy Scapegoat, decided to just send the process to Department C for implementation. As a result, the project is enacted, but because it was never reviewed by Department B, it creates a fatal flaw in another business process. After business is derailed for a few hours, the cause is identified, but there’s no retrieving the time spent to do so. What’s worse, this all could have been avoided if Department B had just been involved as procedures dictated.

In this scenario, the true importance of a procedure really comes into view. Chances are, Billy Scapegoat had no idea that his actions would cause so much downtime, but because he deviated from the process, the downtime occurred.

Your employees need to be aware that a process is in place to make sure that issues of all kinds aren’t missed or generated. While collaboration is key in today’s business world, it only benefits you if it is done correctly.

Keep Your Goals, But Be Flexible
On the same token, the goals that guide your processes need to be designed to drive these processes from step-to-step, without making these leaps. This means that these goals must be specific, removing the ambiguity that would ultimately generate the kind of complications and deviations that would undo the benefits of the process.

This is not to say that once a process is in place, it can never be changed, of course. In fact, you should regularly examine your processes to see how they might be revised and improved. Technology is always establishing improved ways to go about your business procedures, so a policy of never attempting anything new by principle will ultimately lead to your business becoming obsolete.

Of course, this is a lot to worry about, on top of everything else your business requires you to consider. Try collaborating with us instead! Computerware has the solutions to make your business processes run smoothly and successfully.

Call us at (703) 821-8200 to learn more!

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