Creating an Effective Process:
Every business is faced with Four Decisions® to scale their growth and maximize their revenue, profit and time. Execution is one of these critical decisions, encompassing the transition from forward-thinking to forward-moving. One of the essential components of the Execution Decision is an effective process.
We sat down with Gravitas Impact coach Mike Mirau to learn more.
“I’m an old I.T. guy,” he explained, “so a process to me was always the steps involved to get your computer to do something. It’s not any different in a business. Think about process as a series of steps to create a particular outcome. It’s just a matter of getting it out of someone’s head and onto a piece of paper.”
By this definition, any action can have an associated process. However, not every process is an effective one. Mirau walked us through the three steps necessary to build an effective process, one that anyone can follow to achieve the desired outcome.
1. Create Your Process: Start with a high-level outline, then fill in the details. Be as thorough as possible.
2. Test Your Process: Walk through your process and modify your steps as needed.
3. Track Your Process: Evaluate your process through associated metrics and tracking.
Create Your Process
“One of the examples I like to use with clients is, ‘How do you brush your teeth?’” Mirau shared. “It’s easy, right? Everybody brushes their teeth every day, without even thinking about it. But if you stopped and were to create a process, a working document, most people would say:
‘I grab the brush, put toothpaste on it, brush my teeth, rinse and I’m done.’
Did that accomplish what they wanted it to? Yes. Did they miss some details? Yes.
Do we wet the toothbrush? Do we take the cap o the toothpaste? What are the things that are missing so that somebody who doesn’t know the process could follow this checklist and get the same outcome?”
Mirau recommends starting with a high-level outline, then filling in the details. “Come back and ask, ‘is there anything I need to do before this or after this, before I can do the next step?’”
Test Your Process
Once you have your initial process, Mirau suggests that you walk through it using only the working document you’ve created. “Follow your checklist and ask yourself, ‘Did I forget something? Do I have something in there twice?’ Then modify it and do it again.”
Mirau shared a personal case study from his coaching practice to illustrate. “I had a client that had an ‘order to cash’ process. We systematically walked through what we call the ‘order lifecycle.’ We drew this out on the board. What was happening is sometimes they would get the wrong product, so we asked, ‘How do we verify that they are getting the right product?’ We went in and implemented a barcode system. Our errors were almost eliminated by putting that in place.
Working through that whole process allowed us to find out where those problems were and fix them. We drew out on the board how it should work, then we went out and physically tracked it all the way through. We found a few things we needed to modify, a few things we needed more information on. Then we went out and we implemented the process.”
After you’ve worked through your own process and modified your steps as needed, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Track Your Process
Referring his cash process case study, Mirau said, “We trained on the process and then we started tracking the outcomes. Metrics and tracking are really important, so we know what’s working and what’s not.”
Why is creating an effective process such an essential part of the Execution Decision? In his coaching practice, Mirau often reminds businesses that, “It increases the value of your business.”
“You can’t guarantee anything without a good process,” he explains. That success rate you measured? It’s a guarantee that the process will create the desired result, a guarantee that translates directly into customer trust and brand loyalty.
Mirau also reminds businesses that, “The efficiency gained translates directly to the bottom line.” Any actions that fall through the cracks of an inefficient working document, or underdelivered at the end, translate directly into a loss.
Processes are a necessity in any business, and an effective process is a key factor in scaling your business’ value and growth.
About Michael Mirau
As the founder of The ProActive Leadership Group, Mike strives to empower and inspire business leaders to achieve the greatness that lies within themselves and their organizations and to ultimately fulfill their purpose with passion and excellence.
His experience working with senior executives in large corporations, as well as small businesses, brings a unique combination of perspective, experience and education, to help his clients get improved results and performance personally and with their organizations.