When Solving Problems, Start at the Beginning of Your Process
Written by Jon Bowerman, CTO, and Co-Founder
In a perfect business process, there are no problems. Here’s why you want to start solving the problems in your process at the beginning. If you don’t solve the problems at the beginning, you’ll constantly have to be reworking the middle and the end.
What do steps in a process have to do with each other?
The Simple Process of Delivering a Website
Not all steps are shown in the diagram, just major ones for illustration. Let’s pretend the tree is our company and we’re trying to grow it. The product is perfect, the sale is executed perfectly, then the design is executed perfectly, then the build is executed perfectly.
Each step in the process depends on the step before it. What happens with the Sale has an impact on the Design and so on down the line.
Every time you change a step, it affects every step after it.
Why should we focus on solving problems at the start of the process, before solving problems at the end?
Fixing a problem at the start may fix a problem down the line. Now we have fewer problems to solve.
Fixing a problem down the line, will NOT fix a problem at the start.
Everything done to solve a problem down the line is subject to change as soon as a problem is fixed earlier on in the process.
Let’s look at our perfect process and introduce some major problems:
We’ve got many problems! Oh no! Which ones do we solve first?
What happens if we solve all the problems but the major one at the top.
Have we solved the problem?
No. I wouldn’t drink the water from any of the bowls. Why did we put so much effort into solving those other problems if once we finally solve the top problem, it may mean a lot of steps after it has to change which introduces a bunch of new problems.
What happens if we work down the line solving the major problems?
We’re getting there!
Now we can work on the last major problem because we have clarity that removing this major problem will result in a complete working process. Plus, we won’t have to go back and rework everything in the process before it.