Love the Process

Process Design Tips for Success

Whenever you design a new process at any company, you will encounter some form of resistance either from upper management, outside teams or the team you are designing the process for. These psychological challenges can endanger the success of your process. Designing a process not only entails the technical implementations but also the psychological acceptance from the people who will implement or follow the process.

The greatest challenge you will face is persuading hundreds or thousands of groups and individuals to change the way they work, a transformation people will accept only if they can be persuaded that this will make their jobs easier and help the company achieve its initiatives. This may not be the case for all groups involved. When designing a Data as a Service (DaaS) process, there will always be a certain team who will need to provide the service and adding a process may add additional work or change their workload altogether. The best approach is to sell them on the value add and long-term efficiency this process will bring them.

Here are a few psychological challenges you will face whenever you implement a new process:

  • The party who always resists change – this will be the most difficult group to convince. Usually the psychology of this group is centered around routine. They like their process filled routine that they have learned and memorized for a very long time. They do not like any disruption or change. Imagine that these people are trains on a stationary track. They come and go on the same track, you can’t turn right or left. You can only stop and go.
  • The silent party – silence is golden, but with this group, silence is trouble. This type of group will not say anything, good or bad and just let you fall on your sword to sabotage your process. It will be hard to gather information from this group and they will seldom give you any inclination on whether they agree or disagree with what you are doing.
  • The yes to everything party – “Yes, yes, yes,” will be on a broken record with this group. They say yes to everything to avoid conflict, even if it won’t make their job easier or help improve the process.
  • The no to everything party – the opposite of the above, this party will say no to everything you say or suggest because they don’t want your process, or anyone else’s process. These people have usually been at the company a long time and reject any type of innovation. This person will always present a story from the past of when this was tried and failed. They usually have friends in very high positions within the company.

How on earth will you be able to get around the personalities described above? We have some simple solutions to get the ball rolling and assist in allowing the teams to psychologically accept the process.

  • For the change resisters, you will need to show them how this process will help them. Walk them through the big picture and be sure to explain every twist and turn of the yellow brick road. If this process helps them, they will buy in.
  • For the silent party, find out what they find important and explain the part of the process that pertains to those important items.
  • For the yes party, once you present the process, ask them what they think first. This will eliminate the need for them to say yes to your opinion, advice or suggested course of action. Performing this exercise will allow you to know exactly what they think and will also provide insight into their experience which can uncover challenges you did not foresee in your process, thus allowing for further improvement leveraging their experience.
  • The most challenging of the above personalities is the party that says no to everything. The best way to approach this group is to ask them what works the best with the current process and what could use some help. Find portions of your process that support these pros and cons and try to use them to persuade this group. Additionally, you can find out who their circle of influence is and get their friend in leadership to buy into the process. This group will be more open to the process if it is accepted by people whose opinions they value.Designing a process has many nuances as you are influencing and changing human behavior as well. These tips should help you with the human psychology of things. If you’d like more in depth help with your process design and implementation, Axis offers this service with many years of experience implementing this service.