Even the most mundane activities in life or in your business have many behind-the-scenes policies, processes, and procedures that guide and govern when and how they’re done. Take for instance a road trip to from Syracuse, New York to Boston, Massachusetts. Just jump in the car and go, right? Not quite. That five-hour trip actually has policies, processes and procedures that will affect the drive.
Policies that govern the trip are first of all the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law which says: S 1180. Basic rule and maximum limits. (a) No person shall drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the condition and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.
Those potential hazards are whether the road surface is paved or dirt. Construction and weather conditions will also contribute to hazardous driving. New York State has legislated that drivers observe and comply with those conditions as well as others such a speed limits or a traffic lights when the roads are without hazards.
The process of driving to Boston is from a high-level view. I need to map out the route and the tasks involved within the overall process. The car needs a full tank of gas before departure. Water and a few snacks need to be ready along with a suitcase packed with the clothing and technology needs. Leaving at 7:00 a.m. and taking the NYS Thruway should get me to my destination around noon.
Procedures get the trip underway. They are the detailed steps to perform the activity. Make a left hand turn out of the driveway. Then left onto Main Street, left onto Route 5 to the NYS Thruway to Massachusetts Turnpike to the Boston exit.
It’s the same with most business activities and backroom processes. I just completed a project improving backroom processes for a relatively large organization. We initially brainstormed significant processes with 80/20 thinking to ensure we selected significant processes. I had eliminated this step before and spent a lot of time chasing small issues down a rabbit hole. Begin with elimination in mind. We then looked at the current state with a value-stream maps of the processes. We took the policy, process, and procedure approach to developing and documenting each process.
This documentation process can be arduous at times, but final product can be awesome. The documentation process also creates ideas for improvement. In the project I just wrapped up, we not only created team synergy, we estimate the company eliminated over $300,000 in annual cost and created additional value for the business.
Can I help YOU with your policies, processes and procedures? Contact me.