I was saying earlier (using the work of GDS as an example) having a platform to do work off is important, defining how we work is important.
Places of work like to talk about the way they work as a Really Important Thing.
Process is such an Important Thing in Agency Land, those marketing/comms agencies tend to go out of their way to devote a Whole Page - or even a Whole Section - on their website to Their Process.
Usually Their Process is a variant on Everyone Else’s Process. Variations on a tried-and-tested theme, usually only differentiated by some Branding (that they’ve come up themselves) to give an idea of separation from a competitor’s Pretty Much The Same Approach, but, y’know, the words and graphical treatment makes if Stand Out. (Agencies are all about the Stand Out.)
But, tongue out of cheek now, the fact they openly recognize a Process For Doing Work gives the impression the Process Is Important.
And they are quite right. It is important.
Defining how work should be done allows people to know what they should do to get work done. It’s about defining the frame of mind and giving permission to go about stuff in a certain way.
Usually this is for spelt out openly for the benefit of clients, usually potential ones. It recognises, it shows openly organisations have thought through how to get something intangible in, and then out of the door as something tangible.
And, again, quite right.
Increasingly the Process has become as important, if not more important, to the employees of organisations, again usually potential ones.
To repeat: It recognises, it shows openly organisations have thought through how to get something intangible in, and then out of the door as something tangible.
Recognising and acknowledging An Actual Process is the least praised part of the (and bear with me here) Making Process — and often the most neglected, the bit taken for granted.
Process has always been Something Acknowledged – but now in the industry/sector I work in it is used a comparator, a differentiator.
There are different ways of working. Of course there are.
Even when The Process is a variant on Everyone’s Else’s Process, there’s different people in each of those organisations, irrespective of whether they are working on similar problems or facing different problems.
Different people always means a difference.
Now, more so than ever, people can move and will move between companies because there’s a genuine chance to work differently, in a way that isn’t just about working with different people.
And it’s not different for difference’s sake.
Sometimes people move because they want to go somewhere that understands how to get work done.
Sometimes people move because they just want to try something different.
Whether you’re a “client” or an “employee” there’s a line.
Spelling out process on your website, in your pitches to potential clients in your decks, and in interviews to potential employees in handbooks is just a promise.
Doing it is another.
“Uncertainty” is a very human trait.
We instinctively fear the unknown and create logical (albeit not always rational) reasoning to create assurance.
We try to avoid uncertainty. Habit, structure, anticipation are all alleviators of uncertainty.
Think of how you start the day. Think of the order within that day, so you know you get to “the end”, go to bed knowing you’ve done whatever was needed. And think of the different forms of order within that order.
It’s about managing expectancy, creating certainty, and a sense of “job done”.
That is Process.
Recognise a Way Of Working that can provide consistency (if not uniformity) for your people.
Ensure it right for your organisation.
Ensure it right for your people.
Ensure it right for your work.
And be open and honest about that.
In the “new way” of working, honesty and openness about where you are with the Job, where you are going with the Job, and exploring how you will get the Job Done are cornerstones of working. Teamwork, eh.
Know what your Way Of Working is. Share it. Use it. Tweak if you have to as you go along – sometimes circumstance requires that. But make sure you are honest and open about it. You want consistency, if not uniformity.
But, don’t pull the wool over the eyes of the people who do your work and who you do the work for.
Don’t say you do it One Way, but actually do work Another Way.
Don’t say you do it One Way, but actually have No Way.
Even worse don’t just make it up as you go alone. That road leads ruin.
Don’t sell false hope.
Don’t snare work and people in on a false promise.
It doesn’t take long to realise they’ve been sold a lie, or a dream there’s no way of realising.
Because if you fuck it up, there’s always somewhere else to go. That’s how work goes these days.
Have a way, and do it that way.
To quote Wham:
If you’re gonna do it, do it right - right?