Five problems with your processes, and how to overcome them

How do you keep track of your processes?

You’d probably expect every organisation, especially large ones, to have a clear process map. A process map focusses on the work to be done and how that work will happen. It’s a visual tool to show an activity step-by-step and indicate who is involved at each stage of the process.

The process map makes sure work is carefully documented, departments and systems work together effectively, and clear training programmes are in place for everyone. So you might feel a little embarrassed confessing that you don’t have one.

However, you’d be surprised to discover how many of the organisations we work with don’t have a process map. Many managers, like you, have (understandably) focussed on growing their businesses and their teams, and adapting to new challenges. As 2020’s been particularly difficult for many, there’s been little time or opportunity to reflect on what work you’re doing, how you’re doing it and, importantly, why.

What problems will you face without a process map?

With the ‘what, why and how’ questions in mind, there are five issues you’re most likely to have when you don’t have a process map in place:

No clear procedures

Without a set process, team members will complete the same tasks in different ways. Though this might be manageable at times, it isn’t necessarily the most efficient way of working. What’s more, when a team member’s absent, different methods mean it’s difficult to pick-up their work successfully.

Poor use of IT systems

Smart systems make your work processes smooth and efficient. Yet if these methods aren’t carefully mapped and implemented, they’re likely to be badly-managed. You might find you’re running work by dreaded spreadsheets or using manual workarounds when things go wrong rather than maximising the benefits of the system.

Duplication of work

If you don’t know how your team are working, chances are they’re doing some of the same things twice. This unnecessary duplication costs you both money and time. For example, you might discover that your customer service department and your accounts team aren’t communicating with one another, thus repeating the same actions.

Multi-person involvement

Those ‘reply all’ emails are more than just an annoyance. Copying multiple people onto emails means there’s no clear task ownership. At best, this means too many people are getting involved

unnecessarily, wasting resources. At worst, the task isn’t completed, as everyone assumes ‘someone else is handling it’.

Bad use of resources

Without a process map, tasks often sit with the wrong people. This means your managers might be doing administrative jobs when their time would be better spent managing their teams and growing the organisation. Without a clear process, you may also find that new-starter training is done by the team the new employee joins rather than a specified person. This poor approach and duplication of effort therefore continues within your organisation.

How can you put a successful process in place?

Our daily lives are changing so quickly. With huge uncertainty ahead every day, it’s the ideal time to develop your process map.

Naturally, time is precious, and you might feel you simply don’t have any to spare. At Propolis, we typically give our clients 10 – 15% of their time back by creating a clear process map. For you, this may mean removing overtime costs, being able to take on more client projects, and giving you the headspace you need to focus on new things.

To find out how we can help you, book in for one of our Streamline Sessions. You can ask us to work on-site or remotely with a cross-section of your team. We’ll get to understand your high-level processes, identify areas to focus on, and find quick and simple changes to make so you can document and review your work with ease.

It’s a great weight lifted to know that everything in your business is running as smoothly as possible. To start to get a process map in place, contact Sarah: or Andrew: