Do you spend a lot of your working life solving problems and putting out fires? It might be time to change the way you think about problem solving.
Most businesses spend 80% of their time on solving problems and only 20% on improving the process. This means that problems are likely to keep occurring in the future, because it’s not actually the problem that is giving you trouble, it’s the process behind it. Pure problem-solving will only ever result in short-term solutions due to the emphasis on a “fix it” rather than “prevent it” approach. If you can focus on correctly identifying changes that are worthy of the investment of both time and process in order to achieve overall efficiency you will stop having to solve those problems.
As an efficiency consultant, I have helped people in all manner of business identify which problems can be eliminated through better process and procedures. Once identified, iAuditor has proven to be a key tool when working to streamline workflows and processes.
Would you like to stop solving problems and improve your processes instead?
Using this simple method, we have successfully doubled the productivity rates for businesses as diverse as compliance teams, builders, mechanics and safety inspectors. Here are my four stages to success.
Step One: Stop, Collaborate and Listen
Having a shared understanding of the problem is crucial to improving the process. Make no assumptions and take the time to speak to all people involved in the workflow as it currently stands. Aim to understand the full journey, the pain points and where the process usually stalls or falters.
Step Two: Define the problem
Define the problem clearly so you know and agree on what needs to be improved. Once you can define the problem in detail, you will be better able to develop the objectives and desired outcomes of an improved process.
Step Three: Consider workflow
Focusing on what your revised objectives and outcomes are, rewrite the workflow. Step away from what you have always done. Look at the starting point and then work through a systematic step by step process towards the end goal.
Step Four: iAuditor to the rescue
Once you have written out your new procedure look to digitise the process wherever possible. iAuditor really comes into its own when your process is clear. The use of a dynamic and customisable checklist can dramatically reduce the amount of time taken to collect data and share it amongst the organisation.
Remember, solving problems is easier in the short term, but if you want to move away from a reactive culture and implement lasting change that positively impacts the bottom line of your business, it’s time to improve process.
Want to improve your processes? Click here to receive the iAuditor AcceleratorTM worksheet and discover how to collect the data you really need from your staff quickly and easily, save 50% time on your processes and unleash the true potential of iAuditor.
Natalie Allan is an iAuditor expert with a strong interest in Australian local government. Her work focuses on creating systems and processes using ‘Plain English’ to ensure easy adoption. Catch Natalie speaking at the upcoming LGIT – Local Government Information Technology Conference where she will detail a Case Study on her work with Shoalhaven City Council using iAuditor to improve process and stop solving problems. Want to improve your processes? Click here to receive Natalie’s iAuditor AcceleratorTM worksheet and discover how to collect the data you really need from your staff quickly and easily, save 50% time on your processes and unleash the true potential of iAuditor.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your specific needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are based on our interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. We are not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article. SafetyCulture disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article, any site linked to this article, and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.
Stay up to date
Get weekly wisdom from iAuditor straight to your inbox.
With a free iAuditor account