Complex Processes = Organizational Laziness

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars


All companies should strive to do things right the first time and always look for new ways to improve the customer experience. When it comes to organizational processes, this means you must continually strive to simplify.

So many times, in both huge companies and small ones, processes evolve to the point that they’re inscrutable. It makes sense. As a company evolves, it’s natural for processes to evolve to comply with changing demands. Growth, expanding or contracting divisions, and updated services can all add steps to “the way things are done.” However, if no one takes the time to examine processes regularly for redundancies, red tape, or unnecessary zigs and zags, processes can become complicated and convoluted.

When everyday processes become cumbersome, the result is generally frustrating. New hires struggle to learn illogical systems, time is wasted, and energy is consumed for no good reason.

Building and maintaining simplicity isn’t easy. In fact, the direct opposite is true—when something is at its simple best, a tremendous amount of effort was usually devoted to that single streamlined process or idea. Simple means eliminating waste, getting rid of extras that don’t add to the whole, and making every single component meaningful. When something is simple, everything counts for something, and what’s there was added for a purpose and earns its keep.

Perhaps it’s not entirely fair to say that complex processes are a sign of organizational laziness. They might just be a sign that your organization has grown over time. Getting to the core of what needs to happen—and why—is hard work. Everyone who uses the system has to have a say and participate in cleaning house. It’s a task many people don’t have time to do, don’t feel empowered to start, or both.

Running a business is incredibly complex, and there are a lot of factors to take into account for even the smallest choices. Change can be frightening, and it’s easy to let systems stay as they are even if there might be a better way of doing things. Even if a process is tedious, it can be more tempting to keep the status quo intact than to tempt fate with new ideas.

No matter how simple your processes may be initially, they’re going to develop over time to adapt to customers, growth, and changing technologies. The best thing any business can do is to regularly ask employees for ideas on how processes can improve. Though updating and improving processes will create a learning curve in the short term, in the long term it will make employees and clients happier and lead to a better bottom line through less waste.