When The Tool Becomes A Blocker For Processes

Anytime an organisation introduces a new process or way of doing things, there are bound to be challenges that they face. This can make you feel hopeless or lead you to abandon the process entirely, costing you financial, time, and other resources invested in designing and introducing the process.

There are many causes that can lead to such blockages to process success, including the selection and use of tools. Below, we will explain what a process blocker is, how a tool can be a blocker, and tips to deal with this difficulty.

What Is A Process Blocker?

A blocker is any event or condition that leads to the stagnation or halting of a process, project, or organisational initiative. It can stop the continuation or implementation of a process for as little as minutes or hours to months on end.

Blockers exist in various forms including people, task dependency, communication, technical, and feedback blockers. Your tools can also become blockers and hinder the progress of processes.

 

The Impact Of The Tool As A Blocker

When introducing new processes, it can be tempting to seek perfection in all aspects of the design, implementation, and execution. That extends to the tools chosen and utilised as well. Instinct will make you want to find an ideal tool for specific uses in the process, which can waste time and resources and bring everything to a halt. The blockage experienced in searching for a suitable tool becomes one example of how a tool impacts processes as a blocker.

Another is when tools do not fit the process itself. You may have designed the best policy and have the best team to execute it, but without a good tool to support both, your process stops short. 

The reality is that no one can possibly anticipate all the features and functions needed for the process. They may only end up opting for a tool with advanced and complex features that the end-users (employees) cannot and do not use. 

You can only hypothesise about necessary features in a tool. Knowing if a tool is a blocker or if it doesn’t make the process more competent requires experimentation, awareness of your organisation’s needs, and observation.


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How Is It Visible?

But how can you see if a tool is a blocker? What indicates if you have encountered a tool that leads to delay or halts your process aims?

Malfunctions & Technical Issues

technical issues. If you regularly experience problems with software or other issues this is a sure indication that your tool is a contributor to the stagnation of your process

Downtimes

In addition, software downtimes and crashes are linked directly to technical obstacles and reflect clear halts in your process. When you face system downtime, none of your staff can complete the necessary tasks to move your process forward.

Employee Confusion

Another indicator of a blockage arising from organisational tools is employee sentiment. Employee confusion halted productivity, and poor adoption rates should indicate that you may have blockages down the line. When tools do not support the functionality and work of your staff, they cannot sustain your process. Confusion amongst workers also points to a lack of understanding of the tool or may imply that the tool is not suitable or usable.

 

4 Tips To Avoid Tools Becoming Blockers To Processes

To avoid this blocker, focus on the basic features needed first and look at how to implement that into field observation reporting.

1. Focus On The Core Features Needed

We’ve already discussed how trying to find the perfect tool presents itself as a blockage. Instead of looking for one that can fit all the process aspects you think you will encounter, find a tool that works for the introduction. Focus on getting your process off the ground and doing that the best you can. Choose a tool that will help you set up a brilliant foundation to grow.

Once you have a tool in place initially, you can observe its efficacy and decide how to adjust it or whether to use another as the process matures.

2. Prioritise Onboarding

Another consideration to make at the onset of process implementation is onboarding. The compatibility and usability of your tool will affect how well employees can use it. Onboarding gives employees the confidence and skills they need to navigate the system. It also gives them the insight to know how to deal with difficulties if they do arise or identify potential ones before they lead to productivity halts.

3. Set Up Employee Feedback Platforms

Your engagement with employees on the tool doesn’t end with the onboarding step. You have to keep tabs on them to gauge how they feel about the tool and its role in their work and efficiency. They are the ones who use it daily and know best how it affects the process. Establish feedback and communication channels to get this insight from them.

4. Keep A Constant Eye

As with your employees, it is important to also monitor the tool’s performance constantly. Observe data and metrics on performance, efficiency, productivity, and more. Track and record when there are issues, what caused them, and the consequent solutions. You want to have a comprehensive view of the tool every step of the way.

With this data, you can make informed decisions that help you avoid blockages and general delays. You can also use it to decide whether to keep using the same tool or divert to another.

 

Final thoughts

A good tech stack has become an essential part of running an efficient and prosperous business today. Tools give your team a means to fulfil various tasks including communication, administration, feedback, and much more. With good tools in place, you can hope to have processes in place that work.

With foresight, careful planning, and flexibility, blockages are an issue you don’t have to face. Be open to changes and adapt your strategy based on feedback, observation, and data and you can make sure your tools support rather than harm your efforts.

 

If you're looking for a platform to collect more data to monitor your organisation's incident reporting practices, Falcony | Observe have you covered. You can find more information on our website or test out our 30-day free trial: 

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We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.‍

By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.

More information at falcony.io.

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