Business processes are supposed to be fairly smooth, especially when they happen all the time. But in this case, an everyday situation had a completely broken business process which upset a family and wasted considerable time and resources.
The story comes from Eric Marasco, a local promotional products expert. You may recognize Eric from past videos here on The Methodology Blog. Today, he’s here to talk about a process by which his own family decided to try to adopt a dog. Our own Robby Slaughter leads the short, two-minute video interview (direct link):
The experience for Eric and his family was quite frustrating. They went through all of the paperwork as well as the interview. They also asked their friends and their veterinarian to spend some time as well on this project. In the end, they were disqualified because of something which appeared on their paper application—at the very start of the entire process!
The technical term for this business process element is a short-circuit evaluation. Instead of running through the entire procedure (the “whole circuit”), the business process can be drastically simplified by checking for a short path. Another way to describe this workflow issue is to use the phrase early exit. In any complex, multi-stage business process, we always want to know if there are any early exits to avoid waste and frustration.
It’s not difficult to find similar business process issues where a simple disqualification could prevent hours of wasted time. Furthermore, this is a workflow problem made worse by a lack of business process transparency. Had the rescue organization explained their policy on “invisible fences” up front, the Marasco family would probably not sent in an application.
If everyday procedures like this one have significant yet simple design flaws that impact productivity, how many issues might exist within your organization? Don’t let a similar problem happen to your stakeholders. Reach out to a productivity consulting firm today!