The list is long and ignominious, but my top three would be the following as they are endemic to every large org I've ever been in -
1) Annual budgeting
3) Vendor management, procurement
An inefficient process is not a bad process as long as it does what it promises.
So to me the worst processes are the ones that deliver results nobody needs. Those processes that go by 'we've been doing that since ages and to be honest, I don't know why'
(btw, you know 'worst' is also a Dutch word? Still thinking about a bad joke)
Hmmm... What about the average IT servicedesk related processes? And I'm refering here to this:
It's 5 minutes before 5pm and I need to send out that really important mail, which could make the difference between that order of 1 million $ or zero... Then my computer comes to a grinding halt... Ouch! So, I call, obviosuly in distress, the servicedesk:
Servicedesk: "Ok, what is the CI number Sir?"
Me: "Excuse me?!"
Servicedesk: "That yellow little lable at the back of your PC"
Me: "Oh... erhm, ah, it reads #54403-CL-551100-6"
Servicedesk: "Hmmm, odd..."
Me: "What do you mean, odd? Listen, I'm in a hurry!"
Servicedesk: "We understand Sir, but that device doesn't belong at that location."
Where the accounting system takes over where process should complete the outcome. E.g. an invoice is only a report on the specific customer process outcome and can be the invoice created the second the transaction completes. Generically where accounting systems are positioned to run the business?
Nomination for the "worst process"?
Evidence? (The word "process" appears 15 times in this article . . . )
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CRM software is mostly not very good, and for systematic reasons. And process is at the core of what CRM software is about as a technology. I have written about this problem elsewhere.
Briefly, CRM software does not help the sales rep do the front-line job of sales, which is about personal productivity, low-latency task management and narrative or story. Most existing CRM is concerns low-transaction volume deal management and contract tracking -- which is important, but which is really just a version of an SOR (system of record, per Geoffrey Moore) or ERP software application. The SOE requirement (system of engagement) on the other hand, which is what CRM should be about, is typically a much higher transaction volume process.
And for multiple reasons including sales governance and sales research, it is a huge opportunity waiting for a solution.
Salesforce is vulnerable I think.
By far the worst process is the one for evolving processes.
Imagine that you've done the perfect process.
You start it rolling. Generate oceans of useful data - process times, latency, utilisations, redundancies.
Suddenly you have 10 times more data than you had when you first designed it.
With ten times the data, you'll design a better process, surely.
Then start doing some AB testing to clear up all those areas where you weren't sure what was best.
And some load testing to make sure you have capacity and resilience, without wasting resource.
But our process for evolving processes is broken.
A hangover from the Time and Motion days.
Hire a guru, make a best guess and impose it whether people like it or not - that's the process.
What we should be doing is creating a number of MVPs (minimum viable process) to generate that data.
Then rapidly re-iterating, testing all the possibilities in a short, sprint to a process you can introduce to users.
Then a system for encouraging, generating and quantifying their feedback to ensure process-market fit.
Last, but definitely not least, we should introduce visual management so everyone can see how to improve further.
And embedding this in the management systems so it continues to happen long after the project team has gone.
Think SaaS - not Sale and you'll automatically create a better Process process.
Those involving the design, development, testing, and implementation of Information Systems. Why? Analysts and programmers, who are supposed to be the agents of change, are the most resistant to it, not to mention discipline, organization and accountability.
Since the question is so general, I will focus on the worst process in a small business.
For SMEs one of the most critical processes is the sales process. The reason is that selling is essential for any company but more so for a small business. Most SMEs cannot afford a CRM program to store the information of the clients, so they use spreadsheets and emails and files. This causes major difficulties:
This difficulties lead to missed opportunities, customerdissatisfaction(because of delays or mistakes) and endanger the company's future.
No one process in particular is most frequently the worst. If you're looking for the worst process in a given organization, look at the one that is at the heart of that company's business. Often, this process is highly specific to that company: there are no packaged apps or widely accepted practices to follow. The process has grown with the business, but unevenly, so it is largely manual, and not every participant is on the same page. The whole thing relies on institutional memory, but employees move around or depart and memory weakens. Participants may find themselves running errands for their computers: rekeying information, using spreadsheets to calculate sums, etc.
Example: my brother, may he rest in peace, was in the car business. Once, when I was getting a car from his dealership, I asked him if the one I was purchasing was a Wednesday car. In ancient times, for those of you too young to remember, it was widely understood (though I can't attest to the veracity of this theory) that factory assembly lines experienced higher absenteeism early and late in the week (due to weekend recovery and anticipation, respectively). Thus, at either end of the week, various employees had to be reassigned from their usual jobs to different ones, and quality suffered.
But my brother replied (and this was already quite some time ago) that automation had eliminated this problem. Employees didn't have to keep specialized processes in their heads: automation kepts things standardized, removing the need for specialized knowledge not easily transferred from one worker to another. The first car built on Monday and the last built on Friday were of the same quality as any other coming off the line.
That's the power of automation. In knowledge work, automation means BPM. BPM helps you make every process a Wednesday process.
Hi all !!!
I agree with the point of view of Emiel Kelly when He says that "worst processes are the ones that deliver results nobody needs"....means the process is not aligned with strategy, do not delivers value and just adds cost to the business impacting the efficiency and general results.
An worst "business process" will exist when high level management is not able to understand the capacity of his Chain Value and is not able to translate the strategy for his people in a manner that is reasonably understood and with meaning for them.
An worst "business process" will exist when people are not able to understand what is expected from the processes, how the process should be executed to support the strategy and which value must be delivered for Customers and stakeholders.
An worst "business process" will exist when the systems are not able to act as enabler and supporter for the execution of business process as expected and required by the business.
An worst "business process" will exist when the base managements are not able to coordinate the execution of processes and the resources available and needed for its execution.
So, the worst process can be any one.... but specially those that does not deliver what is expected as value by Customer and results for Stakeholders and organization.
Let me consider this through the soundbytes of leadership and competitive advantage, and the yawning gap between rhetoric and repeatable excellence
"People are our greatest asset" - recruit2retire processes
"CX is the only competitive advantage" - Customer Experience quote2cash2service
"Change is the new normal" - process of process improvement
The one no one uses because it's too complex, or it's cousin, the one you need to have a personal SME walk through the process with you (in real time) because it's so complex. Of course, I'm thinking of the "TPS Report" variety of processes, which should be outdated by now, but we all know they aren't.