One of the scariest things in business: your processes not working. We highlighted some red flags this may be the case in your business.
We can’t emphasize enough the importance of keeping spreadsheets away from your processes. If you hear that employees are using spreadsheets to track something here or there, that’s the first red flag your processes aren’t working efficiently. We recently covered the horrors of relying on spreadsheets, so we won’t go into all the details, but it’s important to be aware of how limited and time-consuming they can be. Without company-wide access, employees likely have their own respective processes, which not only creates holes or errors in data, but also poses the risk of potential roadblocks if that employee were unable to work one day.
Another real concern is when you’re in a meeting looking at reports, and people start saying, “Well, I know that’s what the report says, but the system is really not tracking that correctly, so here is what is really going on with that project.” An important reason that processes are in place is so that business owners can utilize real-time data to make decisions based on the reports . Without processes, it’s difficult to determine where a business stands at any given moment.
With appropriate software in place, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the first two points. Software keeps manual work at a minimum and prevents deviance from the process. As your company and processes evolve, software can also help prevent any growing pains by supporting you with process update enforcement and employee understanding of processes.
If you have good processes in place, you have software supporting those processes. – Derek Sommer