How to Achieve Workplace Accountability-Step 2 of 4

Processes: Enablers or Obstacles?

Please read the first two posts in this series before continuing.

For reference:

Employees > Tasks > Processes > Work Products > Goals

The Business of Accountability System™

How to Achieve Workplace Accountability – Step 2 is about Processes. Processes can either ensure success or create obstacles to overcome. The exemplary Barista who produces the best latte doesn’t just “wing it.” He or she follows a well-defined step-by-step proven process. We can learn a lot from exemplary performers. They are quite adept at creating their own processes, or “work-arounds,” for missing or poor processes.

If you are actively participating in this blog series, you will want to have your ranked Work Products list handy for our next step. Start with the number one, highest value, Work Product you identified in the Step 1 exercise.

Does each Work Product rely on the use of a process to produce it? Next to each Work Product on your ranked list make a note about the process used to produce it. In the Step 1 blog post, I used the example of a sales manager’s Work Product list. When I add processes, the list might look like this:

  • #1. Territory Forecast Report – uses a Funnel Management process
  • #2. Pipeline Report – uses the Lead Generation process
  • #3. Sales Activity Report – uses Salesforce record update and data entry process
  • #4. Sales Presentation – uses Marketing template and process for customizing
  • #5. Sales Product Demonstration – uses product management’s process for sequencing steps

Starting with the #1 Work Product, managers should ask themselves two questions: 1. Is there an existing process in place to produce this Work Product? 2. Does that process work as expected or does it need improvement? Ask these same two questions for each of the Work Products on your list.

  • If there is no existing process, secure resources to develop one. If your #1 Work Product is dependent on a specific process then it is worth the time and effort to develop one.
  • If there is an existing process in place, but is not working as expected, then secure the resources to improve it.
  • Make sure everyone is trained properly on the use of all necessary processes.

Managers, make sure your processes are enabling success. It would be unfair to hold people accountable for results when there are obstacles, such as non-existent or broken processes impacting performance.

You may not have as much direct control over processes as you do for the other components of The Business of Accountability System™. However, now you are armed with more information. You can articulate the value of each Work Product on your goals, and the importance of the processes that produce them. You are much better positioned to make a solid business case for additional resources. Use process improvement as a leadership opportunity. Set up cross functional teams and make things happen!

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