I am a process guy, a large percentage of my work experience has been in manufacturing environments where I grew to love to power of Lean tools. Kanban isn’t the only resource that can be utilized in the Information Technology sector, Standard Work and Kaizen are equally as adaptable!
The basic premise is this, your team needs to execute the most effective and efficient process possible. That means being able to quickly adapt your standard processes when a member(s) of your team find a way to improve a process. This is one of the ways that you can incorporate continuous improvement (Kaizen) across a team or organization.
On the back end of Kaizen is the ugly business of updating your process documentation. Currently that means manually updating/reformatting an HTML table every time my team makes a change and then manually updating a flow chart diagram to match the change. This is time I should be spending training my team on the new process, not manually formatting a document.
Thanks to Airtable - I don’t have that problem anymore! This base can be used to easily create and share PDF Standard Operation Procedures, Visual Process Flow Charts and a shareable Process Document with training videos, gifs, and/or images attached.
Here are the shareable resources this base creates:
Process Flow Diagram: https://airtable.com/shrOPQlMKkCszA7JY
PDF Standard Operating Procedure: https://airtable.com/shrXD243WpFzCorPq
Standard Work: https://airtable.com/shrvwGeH29nWmr6E7
The really neat thing about this setup is that I can create “modular process stages”. Many of our standard processes are variations on another process. Using the Stages section allows me to string together a new process, without having to manually recreate each task or stage.
- The Org Chart Block will start using dotted lines as your dependencies get more complex.
- You need to use the “Formatting Block” to add a return to the “Task Detail” rollups.
Hope you guys can find some use for this in your own work!
I’d also like to point out that I scoured google for an application that could create a pdf SOP, Flowchart and a shareable Process document/training tool and I couldn’t find anything suitable on the market. Airtable continues to impress! If we ever get more options on the Org Chart block, then things will get really interesting!