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[VIDEO] Routine Process Gone Bad

Saturday, January 28, 2012 by Slaughter Development

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!

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

The Buzz: Video Interview - Robby Slaughter was interviewed on The Buzz, an internet video show. Check out his conversation with host Tony Scelzo.
Read on »
[VIDEO] The Future of Productivity - A new six minute video clip predicts how we will work in the near future with incredible embedded technology. Although the visuals are impressive and futuristic, many of the improvements in the video are possible today.
Read on »
The Dying Process - The local marketing scene has been discussing the fate of printed handouts.  Last month, mediasauce predicted the death of the brochure. Firebelly Digital insists (strong language warning) that the brochure will never die. Advertising pro Matt Gonzales sees both sides. Read on »

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