October 15, 2007

Death by Paper Cut

Are you drowning in paper? Procedures, guidelines, controls, change control, sign-offs, tracking … the list goes on. The more process maturity you seek the more paper you have to generate. Does it not feel like an oxymoron when your productivity decreases to achieve process maturity?

It is an oxymoron because we get so enamored with the process optimization concept that we sometimes forget the true intention of these best practices. Best practices are supposed to make your process more effective and efficient. Process efficiencies should provide tangible business value – less errors, faster delivery and more output.

If you are inundated with paper and process – stop! Understand the rationale and the value being gained by following the procedures. Leaders take the initiative to be vigilant against waste and impractical practices. They question the value of inefficient procedures. They propose a better and more effective solution. They merge or reduce duplicative requirements. But above all – they don’t become another clog in the corporate machinery by being a rubber stamping drone?.

Smart companies value employees who generate savings by creating efficient procedures. Lead by adding value to your business. There are plenty of order takers – be a leader by moving above the bureaucracy and creating true process efficiency.

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