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Process creation secrets: how to write engaging processes

Regardless of industry, finding ways to get all employees personally engaged in, and accountable for, day-to-day processes can be a challenge. Countless organizations struggle with widescale adoption of new processes, which requires everyone getting on board—from assembly line workers to top executives. It often falls upon business leaders to address this issue.

We’ll look at how to write engaging processes and get the most out of your business process mapping efforts.

Why engagement is important

According to Gallup, disengaged users have 37% higher absenteeism, 18% lower productivity, and 15% lower profitability. Translating that into cost, you’re looking at around 34% of a disengaged employee’s annual salary, or $3,400 for every $10,000 they make.

To make a long story short, a lack of engagement is bad for business. This is particularly pertinent in the context of business processes which ultimately dictate how an entire organization functions. If employees are disengaged from fundamental business processes, this will be reflected in every aspect of the company.

The good news, however, is that creating easy-to-understand and engaging processes and procedures can be relatively straightforward. In the next section, we’ll cover some insights and tips for doing so.

All processes are not created equal

Typically, great processes are those that engage the end-user. If your processes engage the person they are built for, then they will be owned, followed, and kept up to date.

This can be achieved by with the following tips:

Know your audience

Make sure you’re writing the process for the people it’s intended for. It must be easy to follow, whether the user is a beginner or an expert.

Keep it simple

Processes must be easy to understand from a simple point of view, and easy to engage with.

Have beginners in mind

This means explaining acronyms and abbreviations that more experienced users may take for granted.

Have someone else test your process

You won’t always get the process right first time. Ensure people understand your processes by testing them.

Gather feedback

You will gain valuable insights from asking for honest opinions. Tell them not to pull any punches.

Progress not perfection

This applies to the entire organization, and the individual mapping their processes. Building effective processes takes time and input from multiple people. Don’t shoot for perfection from the beginning, but look to build and improve step-by-step.

With these tips in mind, we can now move onto tried and tested techniques for how to write engaging processes.

Creating engaging processes in the Nintex Platform

There are six practical steps you can take with your process information to ensure it’s easy to understand:

80/20 rule

The 80/20 rule is about making sure that 80% of the process is what happens 80% of the time. Most processes will have variations, which are important, but by removing them from the main flow of a process you can create a much clearer overview of key steps. Remove the 20% – the variations – for a simplified process.

Group common tasks under activities

Once you’ve removed the variations or exceptions, you can then group your common ‘tasks’ under ‘activities’. This makes the process easy to understand, as it simplifies the key steps. Grouping information by what you do, and separating how you do it, makes your process user-friendly for all experience levels.

Deal with exceptions and variations

Using expandable and collapsible Notes is an easy way for users to capture information on exceptions or variations in a process. This gives variations the correct amount of prominence and makes them relevant when and where someone needs it.

You can also use ‘if’ first statements to simplify process flows. ‘If required’ or ‘if requested’ could make up part of a Note or Task to guide users towards the correct next step in a process. You can also use parallel activities to show either/or scenarios, or multiple decision points.

Importantly, if you find that you are constantly using ‘if’ statements or parallel activities, you could consider using multiple processes. In using the Process Variant Management add-on, it’s possible to define a standard process whilst accounting for variations. This means the user can centralize their variation management, and easily manage multiple versions of the same process.

Verb first rule

Use an action word (such as move, add or take) at the start of every process, activity, and task to ensure users can quickly understand what they need to do next. This raises the overall level of process literacy across an organization.

Chunking – 10/10 rule

If you’re constantly writing large end-to-end processes with multiple tasks and activities, things can get confusing for the end-user. By breaking processes down and chunking mega processes into sub-processes that can be linked together to show process flow, you can simplify the overall user experience. We recommend aiming for breaking processes down into 10 activities by 10 tasks.

Use multimedia where appropriate

Attach documents to minimize keystroke content. Any added visual aid or instruction can help simplify communication and information retrieval for users. This could include pdfs, word documents, guides, illustrations or animations.

Nintex Promapp®: For easy-to-understand engaging processes, every time

Nintex Promapp makes it simple to create engaging, easy-to-understand processes. The process management software helps organizations to understand, map, and manage their process knowledge in a central location. Our solution encourages company-wide collaboration and helps create improved processes all from a single, user-friendly platform. There’s nowhere better to get started with effective process management.



Want to create engaging business processes for your users? Why not start today? Get in touch with the team at Nintex now or start your free trial.



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