Making Processes Palatable with ProForma and Jira

There are two kinds of people: process people and non-process people.  Process people set-up and follow systems. They dot their i’s and cross their t’s. They see the reasons behind the rules. They protect us from our own sloppiness. 

Process people do one other thing. They annoy the hell out of non-process people.

The feeling is mutual. Non-process people feel that process people intentionally make things complicated and bureaucratic. Process people feel that non-process people obliviously sabotage systems that are there to protect the organization.

A healthy organization needs both mindsets: people who think outside of the box and people who keep the box from falling apart. We want to promote creativity and innovation, but not chaos. Or we at least would like to see a balance between the two. And ideally, we want everyone in our organization to feel that they are on the same team. So how can we bridge the gap between process-oriented folks and everyone else?

Bridge the Gap by Creating Painless Processes

The quality of the processes themselves will address this problem. Good processes are purposeful, user-friendly, designed to ensure best practices, and efficient. Let’s take a closer look.

Good processes are created for a reason

It’s tempting, especially in tech, to do things just because we can. That shouldn’t be the driving force in setting up new processes. Instead, processes should be created where they’re needed.

Audit findings (or other areas where formal monitoring has identified a problem) and things that consistently go over budget are candidates for new or improved processes. Also look at your most frequently received support requests. The fact that these requests come in so often may indicate that a process farther up the line needs to be revised.  Regardless of the cause, the request process itself should be carefully designed (consider what you name the request type, how you collect the information, etc.) since it will be so frequently used. Finally, teams can consider their pain points to identify areas where a new or better process is needed.

Good processes are easy to follow

In fact, they’re so easy to follow you may not even realize you’re in a “process”. (Putting on 10 lbs of extra weight every holiday season requires following a process, but many of us don’t even realize we’re doing it!)  The easier your processes are to follow, the more non-process people will comply.

There are many strategies you can use to make your processes user-friendly. Using the same tool, say Jira Service Desk, across business teams will make it easy for internal customer to navigate your systems. Imagine being able to go to the same place to submit a request for HR, IT or Finance. Imagine if the questions your were asked when you submitted those requests used consistent language and consistent formatting. And imagine if submitting those requests consistently elicited the desired results. It wouldn’t feel like a process. It would feel like ask and you shall be given.

Good processes compel best practices

A well-designed process not only gets something done, it get’s it done right. Technology can really help here.  Building repeated business processes into Jira means that you can consistently:

  • Ensure essential steps cannot be bypassed
  • Track who did what, when
  • Require approvals in accordance with your business rules

In short, Jira gives teams an easy way to ensure best practices in carrying out their business processes.

Good processes balance efficiency and thoroughness

Processes need to be thorough.  But in the quest for thoroughness, they sometimes become bureaucratic. Bureaucracy is not efficient. You want to create processes that include everything needed without slowing work down to a glacial pace. Again, Jira - especially Jira combined with ProForma, is an excellent tool for this.  You can use Jira’s analytics to measure usage and identify bottlenecks.  Adding forms to Jira means teams can collect all the needed information when a request is first placed, eliminating the inefficiency of going back in forth to get the data. Likewise, ProForma can make processes more efficient for the Jira administrator because teams can collect the data they need without requiring oodles of custom fields or complex configurations.

We believe that all business procedures, large or small, are worthy of a well-designed process. Check out are blog post on how to design business processes or go to the ProForma template library and see some of the processes we’ve created for teams to use.  The library contains templates for hundreds of common business processes, completely customizable and developed in consultation with business area experts.

Processes can be more than purposeful, easy to follow, well-designed and efficient. They can be up and running quickly and easily using ProForma.