People, Processes, and Tools
Pick up the phone, and someone is asking for a brochure of Model X. After writing down their information on a notepad, you navigate your company’s hard drive to find the Model X brochure. An Outlook email is created with a quick note and the brochure attached. You login to your CRM and make a note of any important information about the potential lead. Finally, you send a quick message on your internal messenger app to other sales team members for potential follow up.
Over time, tasks can grow in complexity along with the number of users and systems in an organization. However, the key components to getting things done are just the same: the people, the process, and the tools. Without each piece working together, frustration can grow in the organization.
Every person plays a vital role in moving the company toward their goals. However, people do not work within a vacuum. They depend on one another for help and desire an understanding of how their function adds value to other functions in the organization. In a cohesive, collaborative environment, information that is shared properly is used, not duplicated.
Tools are the medium that helps people to gather, store, create, or modify information. But it’s not just about getting tasks done, but also about efficiency and transparency within the organization. For example, two people are working on a proposal to a customer, and use email to communicate and store the document. As time goes by and another customer could use a similar proposal, time is wasted looking through emails to find the latest version. Also, any people outside of the email thread do not have access to the conversation, leaving areas of the business opaque to the other team members.
Without processes to navigate the tools and people, their effectiveness begins to wane. If the instructions aren’t clearly communicated to team members, or the capabilities of a tool haven’t been fully discovered, inefficiencies will continue to exist. A common solution is to bring in new people or technology systems, but that may amplify the issues. Properly defined steps ease the use of tools, and foster an open and learning environment.
One such streamlined process is the use of a case management system to provide support for customers. By linking a generic company email address to the system, customers can email the company directly for any issues or requests. The communication is available to the entire company, but only those required are notified. Employees are able to assign the cases to themselves or other employees as needed, alerting those involved. As the case is resolved, it is closed and archived, allowing everyone in the organization to view it for future reference. In this example, the people, processes, and tools work harmoniously to increase efficiency and institutional knowledge.
Simply knowing a lever is used to lift the rock is not enough, and understanding the mechanics without having the physical lever in your hand won’t move the rock either. It is only when the person applies the correct amount and direction of force to the lever will the boulder move.
Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get everything done in the day. We can provide the framework that gives you the strength to lift those immovable tasks.