40 questions to ask when creating new processes
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New processes are created for a reason—often to drive change, establish best practices, or encourage a continuous improvement mindset in your organization. Asking the right questions is part of building accountability and discovery into process implementation.
Why ask process questions?
Establishing a process, even for straightforward tasks, helps everyone track expectations and achieve goals at work. Many people are comfortable with their jobs and know how to complete their tasks and projects, but formally documenting a process streamlines communication and standardizes results.
Asking questions about your processes offers significant advantages, including:
- Building buy-in: Getting your team and management on board with your process and planning is important for successful adoption. Questions help you get essential support and gauge potential issues with implementing the process.
- Adapting training: You likely have new team members to onboard every so often. There may be knowledge gaps to fill and new tools or resources to acquire in support of your process that you don’t realize until someone new is training.
- Communicating value: Change management in organizations can be difficult and may even be controversial at times. Asking process questions allows you to work on communicating value and crafting your messaging around the process.
In other words, asking the right process questions can provide tangible benefits for your process while helping you establish its legitimacy in your organization.
Team member and stakeholder questions
Organizations that are highly effective at helping stakeholders contribute to project success can reap the benefits of interdisciplinary contributions and connecting departmental silos. By asking the right questions, you can empower your team and improve upon the productivity of your processes.
Those who are involved in your process should be invited to provide input. Stakeholders and team members bring a greater potential for objectivity and balance when they represent different departments, roles, and backgrounds.
Consider asking these initial questions when implementing new processes:
- Who should be involved in the process?
- Do we need a detailed stakeholder communication plan?
- How will stakeholders receive updates and new information?
- In the past, how did stakeholders respond to our communications, and what can we learn from those past experiences?
- Should our engagement strategy change?
- What are our stakeholders telling us right now?
- If there are meetings, what cadence will they follow?
- Which departments should be involved?
- Does a particular department own the process?
- Are there any departments that don’t need to be part of the process?
- Could particular departmental strengths be especially beneficial?
- Do other departmental processes have influence or impact?
- Whose approval will be needed?
Time is one measurement you don’t want to ignore as you manage your process. Anywhere you can reduce or save time, you can often increase your process efficiency. Try asking these questions about the timing of your process:
- How long will each part of the process take?
- Where will the most time be spent?
- Where will the least time be spent?
- What are potential bottlenecks?
- Which steps are necessary? Which are extra?
- Can any steps be automated or made more efficient by software?
Documentation is key when implementing new processes. These questions can help you create your documentation and keep it maintained through updates and adjustments.
- How will this process be documented?
- Where will it live for accessibility?
- Who will have access to the documentation?
- Who will be responsible for updating the process?
Change management incorporates aspects of organizational culture, which can influence the overall outcome of implementing a process. Process change isn’t immediate. Often, change management requires additional work, patience, and awareness.
- Do we understand our need for change, and are we willing to devote the appropriate resources and effort to this process?
- Why is this change necessary right now?
- What should we start, stop, and continue?
- What change management models, if any, should we look to for guidance?
- Who are the change agents, and what are their roles?
- Who are the sponsors of this change?
- How will our company culture adapt to this?
- Will milestones and success be celebrated?
Hybrid team questions
Hybrid teams are becoming more common, and you’ll need to plan accordingly to ensure that no one is left out in the midst of process changes. Ask yourself:
- How is knowledge transferred between remote and in-office workers?
- Are expectations for remote workers appropriately documented and communicated?
- Are remote and in-office roles clearly delineated?
- Are processes handled the same way whether remote or not?
- Do both in-office and remote teams have access to documentation?
As you enter the implementation phase of your process, you’ll want to establish clear measurements and standards for success. Consider the following:
- What are the first steps in implementing the new process?
- How long will implementation take?
- What training and support is available during implementation?
- How will implementation success be measured and verified?
How you answer these questions should help you guide your process creation implementation. Using your answers to adjust your planning and process management helps ensure that your process is on the right track.
Once you’ve implemented a new process, be sure to create documentation for your team to reference.Learn how
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