Business processes and … toast!

In an earlier post we talked about the importance of business processes in efficient communication. This blog post will introduce a fun talk on a few methods of optimizing these very business processes using simple visualization.

Workflow processes often stem from long-formed habits over an initial need to get something done. So these processes aren’t built with efficiency in mind but with a singular task in mind. Add on that people working together making unspoken assumptions and this leads to misunderstandings and energy lost backpaddling and adjusting direction.

Visualizing processes and aligning understandings is very powerful in making your team run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Take something as simple as making toast. Something we probably all do in the morning. You may assume there is only one way of making toast and your colleague making toast will look the same as when you do it. But think again! There are so many variables. What do you do first, how long do you toast the bread for? What do you put on it? What kind of toast do you use?

In this inspiring and fun Ted talk, Tom Wujec shares his findings of the many methods of identifying the toast making process through visualization using real life examples.

It’s all about breaking down complex processes into simple steps and re-assembling them in the right order into a good process. Be this by using simple drawings or in a team using sticky notes.

Making toast might be an easy everyday example and you can easily see how this gains relevance and importance to business processes.

How many different interpretations of the same process are in your team?

What angles can the individual team members bring to enrich the process?

Does everybody aim towards the same outcome?