The importance of standardisation in new processes implementation

One can put a lot of effort in changing things but if one does not standardize processes, the reality is that after some time things go back to the original process.

First reason-why is that we are humans and we tend to continue our behaviour until we are forced to. But even if we are forced to, after some time , if we are not during some time repeatedly told different or if we are not given new written instructions, we come back to original behaviors and conduct. Second reason-why is excess of self-confidence.It can be technical self-confidence but it can be also self confidence in procedures and fear to change. In this cases it is important to be a good salesman.

But no matter where the fear-to-change comes from;oOnce the wall is fallen, once one has convinced/motivated/trained/imposed/changed the current processes, needs standardisation. What would be standardisation? It means all the practises used in a process, all the documents used, all the steps done, to be put in a new written process/procedure.

Normally it is recommended before standardisation to have checked new processes in one or two important and different projects or processes so that there is a practical validation of the new process procedure. many people make the terrible mistake of re-invent a process or create a procedure without a prior evaluation in practice. Evaluations in practice allow to polish and improve a procedure before implementing or even create it by “learning by doing”.

But there comes a time that these best practises need to be put in a written way. The steps are first to create a procedure, then to validate with all the affected parts (even that these were already done in a project it is necessary to validate it with affected people if not would risk of rejecting procedure). Afterwards the final two steps are implement the procedure and monitor and follow up that people are using it.

The ideal situation is to introduce a draft of the procedure to the affected people and open a small debate on individual items or formats. Once is validated implementation is necessary, in this phase is critical for success that you spend time with the people and give them support in small details that make difficult implementation. This point is more than valid for softwares, if there a new software or change of software for the new process, it can risk the whole implementation by just not having a place to type something done in the past by hand.

Monitor is not being a police but making sure any new project or people entering your company uses the new procedure. It is recommended to make refreshing sessions from time to time or train yourself new people. Success is critical in this phase, make sure you use your marketing skills and all the affected people is aware of the existence of this new procedure. Mention it when necessary in meetings, refer to it for recommendation, etc… And be strong, after your Management has accepted the new process (here like everything management support is always crucial)  if you detect someone behaves like in the old procedure or uses a wrong format to immediate take actions to change it. People like mentioned before comes quickly to old habits.

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