Thursday, February 2, 2012

Blue tape - Masking processes

"Blue tape is the start of something new." --Craig Jarrow

There is an excellent blog post at Time Management Ninja talking about red tape and using the comparison of "Blue tape" (painters tape).

[You should read that article first...I'll wait here for you to return]
[Ok, back to my comments]

I really like this analogy. Painters tape is exactly the analogy that we should be striving for as a goal for our processes and policies.

We use processes and policies as a way to provide consistency, repeat-ability and quality control. However, what often happens is that these documents become handcuffs for our staff. They stop them from being creative with their problem solving.

I am not suggesting that we should get rid of processes and policies. Processes are a necessary evil and most organizations need them to maintain regulatory compliance, best practices, quality control and good service. Without any processes or policies I think we would lose some very important qualities.

The other advantage of good policies and processes is that they can remove unnecessary decision points from peoples jobs. If staff aren't repeating the same decision points over and over they can focus on the new problems at hand.

If our policies and processes are used as masking agents they can provide the security required but still leaving the staff room for creative problem solving.

What do you think? How can we maintain processes but keep productivity and staff engagement high? Comment below.

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