People & Processes: Your Most Important Business Assets

When we think of business assets we think of real property, buildings and vehicles and hardware - the kind of thing that your accountant puts on a depreciation schedule.  But what if we reframe the idea of an asset? What if we consider anything of value that your business has to be an asset? It might turn out that your great assets aren’t real property at all. Your greatest assets might be your people and your processes.

Business_assets_ProForma_ThinkTilt.jpeg

People

You’ve invested in attracting and cultivating the best talent you can find. Now that you’ve got it how do you take care of it? After all, one of the ways your human capital differs from real property is that a good employee’s value increases over time. So how do we ensure that employees have the opportunity and motivation to perform at their full potential?

No one likes doing “busy work”. Making repeated processes more efficient means that your employees will spend less time doing repeated tasks and more time looking at the big picture, problem solving and using the expertise you hired them for in the first place. Having the opportunity to focus on more interesting and more challenging problems will keep employees engaged.

Another way to make the most of your human assets is to facilitate collaborate. Together we are more than the sum of our parts. When employees can collaborate on developing a product, solving a problem or articulating a message, they build on each other’s creativity. They compliment each other's strengths and weaknesses. They divide the labor so everyone can do what he/she does best. You can bring out the best in your employees by empowering them to work in teams.

Processes

The other pool of intangible assets is you business processes. Your processes are key to making your business efficient, innovative and competitive.  So it’s worth considering what state your processes are in and if they could be improved.  

One of the first things to consider is to what degree the processes are separate from the people who carry them out.  When an organization is blessed with staff longevity, business processes may only be documented in the minds and habits of the workforce.  This works fine until, sooner or later, key staff members leave the organization. Then all of your processes along with rationale for creating those processes, walks out the door with them.  Preserving institutional memory is a key reason for getting business processes out of people’s heads and into…something else.

Consider the advantages of having that something else be JIRA. A workflow is essentially a map of a process. Thus moving a process into JIRA simultaneously automates the workflowand documents the process. And of course, JIRA’s audit tracking also documents each time that process is carried out.  

Moving processes into JIRA is also an opportunity to make them more efficient. Handling service requests, be they internal or external, via phone and email inevitably leads to delay. Messages get lost in overflowing inboxes. The right information isn’t collected the first time so repeated contacts are needed before the interventions can get underway.  Then anxious customers have to choose between waiting in frustrated silence or calling to check on the progress of the process and thereby distracting the person(s) who should be working on it. 

Converting requests to JIRA issues alleviates all of this. You can use ProForma to create and deploy forms that attach to JIRA issues. This ensures that the right information is collected the first time. All of the data stays attached to the issue so nothing gets lost or bottlenecked in an inbox. And anyone associated with an issue can check on its status at any time.

Building better processes and empowering your employees to perform at full potential are key strategies to optimizing your business’s most important assets. ProForma and JIRA can help you do both.