We have a culture of “more is more.”
We struggle to let go of things. The pet processes that we so carefully designed. Tasks that we have made our own.
If we want to let go of things that no longer work or are outdated or didn’t need to happen in the first place, we hesitate to go through the grief of dealing with all of the people impacted by the change, nevermind our own grief and feelings of loss.
Lisa Bodell provides a compelling argument for simplifying processes, a recognition of the challenge in front of us, and some instructions for how to go about doing it.
For the how-tos, all you need to read is Chapter 8, then use the Appendix of 50 questions. She has tools throughout the rest of the book, but the last chapter really talks about the process. Because, when done right, any business process improvement NEEDS to be a process itself.
The rest of the book is also worth your time.
She provides exercises for teams and organizations, as well as structural and hiring strategies.
She describes characteristics of both leaders and staff, as well as supportive behaviors that will help with creating a simplification culture and discourage the development of complexity.
Bodell talks candidly about the struggles she encountered when providing simplification consulting. What worked and what didn’t. Where she found the most resistance and why that resistance appeared. I get the feeling that this continues to be a work in progress. As it should be.