An issue that should concern every manager is how to keep a team aligned, focused, motivated and committed to their goals. If you think a good leader will do it, think again. No individual superstars can achieve this goal; it’s a job for collaborative teams. Margaret Heffernan explains why in her video “Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work“.
Hundreds of techniques have been investigated to ensure collaborative teams. But most of these initiatives suffer from the same problem: it is very difficult to sustain them over time. They work at first, the team is motivated and strong, but after a while the motivation, commitment, and performance decline. The efficiency of collaborative teams doesn’t depend on a single individual. Such teams are valuable because their members know who to turn for help.
Collaboration exists when:
- Each team member knows the goal of the entire team.
- Everyone knows what their individual contribution to the group goal is.
- Each member can use their expertise to improve team performance.
Modeling a business process is a great task to foster collaborative teams, as all contributions are essential and they share a common goal.
Sharing a common goal
When a team models a process, they inevitably share, discuss and agree on the main drivers:
- What is the aim of this process? What does it bring to the business?
- Why is this process important? What happens if this process goes wrong? What competitive advantage does it provide?
- How do we know if it’s working well? What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are useful for this process?
Knowing the individual contribution
When defining the stages of a process, each one will be associated with participants (called assignees). In particular, it’s good to discuss:
- If all stages are equally important, and for each one, clearly identify its value to the whole process.
- What happens if one of the stages is not performed correctly?
- Recognize that if a stage is delayed, the whole process will be too.
In Flokzu these decisions should be made when identifying the assignees of each User Task.
All opinions are important. You can use several techniques to find creative process improvements (Recommended reading: “inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity” de Tina Seelig). It’s important to consider:
- That any process allows improvements. There’s no sense in trying to model a final version. There should be always room for improvement.
- To find these improvements, you should regularly review the process and the KPIs defined. We recommend regular meetings (e.g. once a month) to analyze the overall performance of the process.
- Always remember that the person performing a task may provide useful tips to optimize it. Listen to everybody’s opinions, but pay special attention to those who perform the task.
For example, when defining the form template in Flokzu, it’s advisable to consult those who perform the task. They can help you identify useful information that you are missing, or suggest removing fields that don’t add value.
Better processes foster collaborative teams
To sum up, for business processes to be sustainable, it is necessary to set up meetings to evaluate and redesign them. This, in turn, generates the habit of collaboration, because organization members spend time together and help each other. In conclusion, better processes ensure better teams.