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How to make sure your processes are YUMMY not CRUMMY

Malcolm Pitcher - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Take 2 eggs, whisk until frothy, add milk and flour. Mix together and bake for 20 mins, the result? YUMMY Yorkshire puddings.

Imagine if you forgot the eggs, yes you’ve guessed it; your creation would be a disaster …..more crummy than yummy.

Creating the perfect Yorkshire pudding is all about following a process one step at a time. Process following delivers perfection in the kitchen and it can deliver perfection in business as well.

What do we mean by following the process?

Following the process means using a document that has been written, to show someone how to follow the correct procedure to make sure a task is done properly. Imagine if you were half way through a fantastic recipe, to find the key ingredient is no longer available. You would be pretty miffed, huh!

Processes are important in any business, no matter how big or small!

They are important in many day to day tasks, for example: making cakes, you wouldn’t follow a recipe and leave out an ingredient. You would use each stage and do everything that is written, this is the same in business, and following a process properly means the task gets done correctly.

There are 3 key steps you need to follow to write a process

  1. First somebody does the task and writes out exactly what they did to complete the task
  2. They then have a second person come in and follow that process to make sure it works 
  3. Once the process is seen to be working, anyone can use it. 

Once a process is established it needs to be kept updated regularly.

Why should they be kept updated?If a specific task is changed and nobody updates the process relating to that task, then the result is not YUMMY anymore. The next person to pick up the process and do the task is going to do it incorrectly, and depending on what line of work you are in could be costly. You wouldn’t expect to pick up a recipe and find it no longer applies to what you are making. A recipe is there so everyone can use it.

Can processes be used by anyone?

YES, a process is made so that anyone person can pick it up and complete a task without having to ask anyone for help. Gordon Ramsey doesn’t sell you a cookbook and miss out half the tasks on a recipe because he thinks everyone can do it like him. The process should always be “an idiots guide in how to”, it should be easy and simple to follow.

But I have done the task a couple of times now, surely I can forget about the process now?

NO, the process could be updated at any time by a different member of staff, meaning the next time you go to do the task it could go completely wrong. Imagine working in a Michelin starred restaurant and unbeknown to you the signature dish has been changed. You make it in your normal way and the chef explodes with rage, because you did not follow the updated process.

Processes are important in any business and should be followed to the letter. They should always be kept updated and made simple so anyone can follow them, otherwise you could end up with the equivalent of a disastrous Yorkshire pudding instead of a nice crispy YUMMY one.

Next step:
So now it is the time to blow the dust of your old processes and get them updated. Why not try a quiz with your colleagues to see who knows what about your current processes. If you get different answers it may be time to update.

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