I recently completed the “Process!” by Mike Paton and Lisa Gonzalez, subtitled “How Discipline and Consistency Will Set You and Your Business Free.” The book is part of a series focusing on the six elements within EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System).
I have always considered the Process element the toughest to master. (The other five are Vision, People, Data, Issues, and Traction). It is easy to see that it is crucial to have a process for how you go about getting your work done, but it is always hard to know where to start and what level of detail to go to.
The bottom line of this book is that it is awesome. It was so good that I got extra copies for several people within our organization to read and apply.
It is an efficient book.
It comes with many samples and case studies for you to use within your firm. None of the samples fit perfectly because the readers come from different companies within different industries. But with some minor modifications, anyone can find something to put into place with little time and effort.
I found it reassuring when the authors wrote that we shouldn’t expect 100% coverage of all our company’s processes. They use the 80/20 rule to inform the readers that getting clarity for roughly 20% of the different things each company does will cover about 80% of the work they do.
They outline a brainstorming process to help you develop critical processes to help you find your 20%.
I was also reassured when they pointed out the level of detail we needed to get a satisfactory explanation for each Process. They talked about outlining a typical process, one that covers most of the situations. They acknowledge that we all need to use exceptions from time to time. But our focus should be on the typical and not the exceptions. Too often, I have been a part of capturing and recording a standard process only to get the group lost in the maze of all the possibilities.
I still felt overwhelmed when I finished and wondered where Willmar Electric should start. But the day after I finished the book I arrived at work, opened my e-mail, and in front of me was the answer. One of our company Rock Groups had sent me the answer.
(Please note that by Rock Groups, I don’t mean Rolling Stones or Beatles. I mean groups of coworkers working on a quarterly Rock/particular project).
A group working on investigating safety issues had written up a process for how we should follow up on an incident report. Their write-up was done as if they had read the Process! Book.
To my relief, my coworkers had gotten started without me. Now, I have to keep the ball rolling.
My advice to you is to get the book. When you finish, I would love to hear from you how you applied it and any advice you have for me in applying the book in my life.