When thinking about process design, workflows, standardization, simplification, and automation capabilities, one aspect of all of these becomes arguably the most import: is the solution scalable? Sure you and your team may have designed a really clever solution to a very complex problem. While commendable, large-scale impact on workflow optimization comes with scalable solutions. Without scalability, we have probably just created a customized process.
When designing workflow solutions, it is very important to keep the big picture in our minds. How can your workflow solutions be leveraged by other projects (how can you leverage solutions from others, as well, your answer may already be out there, after all)? A scalable framework is one that is able to be reused in other areas and in other projects. This means, when taken alone, scalable solutions are often quite deliberately designed as solutions for multiple problems.
Often, when I am put on a workflow project I find that someone is designing a solution that is too complex for the problem at hand. Additionally, these projects are encountering seemingly irreconcilable barriers. My perspective in these situations is usually the same, let’s take it back to the essence of the problem, and let’s keep it simple (I usually leave out the stupid part, but it does drive the point home). In my designing a workflow blog post I stress the importance of learning the as is process at a nuanced level–this would be the time when I would maybe re visit the as is process.
A scalable solution is usually a solution that will drive a great deal of standardization. This seems so obvious when written out, but again, we as intelligent, hardworking folks tend to overdesign and overcomplicate things. In the context of a workflow design, this can mean that standardization is not achievable. When designing or improving a process, determining what standards you want to hold your output to is important, and can help drive clarity around what the right solution may be.
Finding solutions to workflow business problems is not an easy feat. Creating a solution that solves workflow problems, and increases standardization is an ask that involves finding scalable solutions. While the problem may be difficult, often the scalable solution is an easy and obvious (always in hindsight, of course) solution. Thanks for reading, subscribe!