Business process consultant Ian James (@fixesprocess)
provides lots of great advice on his website, theprocessconsultant.com
I recently discovered Ian’s article “Teamwork and Process Management
” in which Ian advises employing 6 key concepts to improve teamwork and process management
for your business:
+ Establish clear goals
+ Obtain necessary skills
+ Obtain necessary resources
+ Communicate and establish trust
+ Hold team members accountable
+ Manage conflict
All of these concepts add up to success. However, putting them into practice can be challenging. The first step is to view teamwork as a process (structured and unstructured). According to Ian, starting with these concepts means you’re far more likely to create positive business change.
How are Teamwork and Process Management Interrelated?
Teamwork is a key part of any small- or medium-sized business team, and process management improvements can help efficiency, streamline work, and reduce errors leading to more successes. Business processes are about automation, workflows, and improved team procedures that make the best of your business resources.
Ian’s article is a great source for understanding the interrelationship of teamwork, processes, and workflow
. Online services like TeamworkIQ
can help streamline both structured and unstructured processes in support of many of Ian’s key points: Establish clear goals; Communicate and establish trust; Hold team members accountable.
Let’s take a deeper look at Ian’s key points and how they can help your business.
Teamwork is a Process
Successful teams know how to act, when to act, and how to interact with others.
As Ian notes, unspoken “rules of engagement” often define how a team works together. A team that works well together can take on new internal tasks or processes quickly. Culturally such a team is ready to act together. However, goals, communications, and accountability still need to be clearly defined and managed. TeamworkIQ can help
. It enables teams to quickly define the process and who is responsible for what without getting bogged down in excessive process definitions or cumbersome software. Teams can use TeamworkIQ’s smart checklists
to coordinate the process and create accountability from start to finish. To create a process, simply type up an outline of who needs to do what. TeamworkIQ’s smarts turns the outline into an automated checklist and coordinates the process for you, start-to-finish.
Improve Teamwork Through Unstructured Processes
Ian notes that defined procedures and structured processes are “predictable and repeatable,” which is great if you’re not looking for innovation or increased efficiency.
If you are looking to improve or innovate processes, unstructured or loosely structured processes may be best. Your team will thrive with flexible processes guided by high-level guidelines and “fall back on default behaviors”. Doing so leads to new ideas and can give everyone a clear view of what works and what doesn’t with your processes. In support of unstructured processes, TeamworkIQ’s flexibility and ease of use lets you adapt as you go, or evolve templates
for your standard procedures as you go.
Both Agile and TeamworkIQ work on this idea. With a simple checklist, your team can guide itself through a process while completing tasks efficiently with flexibility.
Combine Structured & Unstructured Processes
Of course, structured processes are a necessary part of teamwork. We can’t simply do away with all structured processes; our business would fall apart without them. However, unstructured processes provide a way to adapt and handle change when needed. Good teams and good business process should incorporate both. The combined structure, yet flexibility of a checklist to guide the process combines the notions of structured and unstructured for maximum benefits. Everyone knows how to create and use a checklist. Creating a workflow process by using a collaborative checklis
t is just as simple with TeamworkIQ.
In addition to saving you time and money, TeamworkIQ makes your business processes and teams more flexible and adaptable to handle the changes that inevitably arise.
As quickly as you can think about a business process or assign work to your team, you can create a smart, automated checklist to guide whatever process you want to follow.
Change is inevitable in business. Good business strategies embrace adaptation. TeamworkIQ supports the structured and unstructured processes needed to help drive efficiency and success through an evolution of teamwork and process management.