Discovering Pain Points

A first step in creating better processes is to find out what’s not working. That may seem obvious, but repeated problems and annoyances can become so customary that you can forget that it doesn’t have to be that way.  Rather than just creating an ad-hoc work-around or avoiding a task all together, systematically identifying your pain points is a first step in creating a better process.

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Identify Your Pain Points

Start by making a list of your pain points.  Indicators that something’s a pain point may include:

  • Little Things that end up taking up more time than Big Things
  • Forms and processes that people (internal/external customers) always get wrong
  • Things that you (or the customer) find annoying, every single time you have to do it
  • Things that you dread, avoid and procrastinate doing
  • Things that strike you as absurdly wasteful (of time or resources)
  • Things that get stuck in people's inbox and you always seem to be chasing someone to clear it or move it on 

Write all of these things down.  It may feel like your focusing on the negative, but bringing these pain points will ultimately result in improved business processes.

What’s Hurting Everyone Else? 

Now check in with everyone else, your team, your boss, your suppliers.  Share your list and find out if they feel the same pain. Perhaps a particular item is a thorn in everyone’s side. Or perhaps the thing that annoys the heck out of you doesn’t impact your team members at all. 

As your investigating how others feel about your pain points, you can also collect their pain points. You may have to hear about item that you didn’t identify, but that relate to your area. That’s okay. Develop a thick skin and collect all the information you can, even if you think that addressing the issue is beyond your control.  As you talk to people, a clear picture will emerge of common issues and shared impact.  The fact that you’re showing interest in other’s pain will be appreciated and will result in greater buy-in for the improved processes you’re going to create.

Beyond the Band Aid

Now that you know where everyone’s pain points are, you can start designing better processes. You may want to implement small changes to address some of the pain points.  However, you also have the opportunity to prioritize the items that have the greatest impact. What would it mean to your team, even your customers, if that pain point went away? Many times, you can make those pain points go away.  By developing sound business processes with input from the teams who will actually be doing the work, you can create pain-free practices.

We built ProForma, a powerful form builder and an extensive library ready to use forms and templates, because we know that combining the convenience of online forms with the power of JIRA can help any team streamline their processes. But we know that we don’t know everything. We don’t know your pain points. That’s why all of our forms can be easily customized to meet the needs of your individual business teams. Business doesn’t have to be painful. We’re here to help.