Ever had the experience of someone forwarding you an email thread and having to read through fourteen different conversations to find the action item? You must be essentially an investigative journalist trying to figure out who said what, who did it again… and by the end of the email you’re frustrated with the whole experience. This is an example of bad design. And as a business owner, there are many things in your day-to-day life that are likely to suffer from similar design flaws. So today I want to share some examples of how you can use design principles to streamline your business and help your team be more productive and result-oriented.
a better way of doing things
Taking an endless chain of emails as an example, I decided to find a better way to deal with such emails. Our team has 1,2,3 email processing system. Putting the number 1 in the subject line tells me it needs my attention and that I need to do something. A2 means you must take action within a reasonable time. Depending on your organization, a reasonable timeframe could be from the end of the day to the next morning. And then 3 just means FYI. And this system saved my team from digging through fourteen conversation-heavy emails with little or nothing. Does this solution work for everyone? Maybe not. In this case, I would encourage you to create a system that is right for your company, your team, and the problem.
Another area I’ve looked at is design thinking when it comes to standardization. We can standardize how we do certain things to make our lives easier. Suppose you want to standardize a shipping list that you bring to a workshop. Maybe it started with one palette, the next year it was two and then three. It keeps increasing. Next year there will be four pallets. But with design thinking, you can streamline your process and pack it lighter by creating a checklist that you use every time. By standardizing it, it reduces the chance of losing things and makes it easier next time. You can apply the same principles when it comes to reporting. When you create a report every week or month and it looks the same from month to month, changes and patterns are easy to spot, making it easier for your team to make decisions about how to proceed. .
less is more
And the last way to apply design thinking is to apply the principle of “less is more”. Just because you can create spreadsheet reports on a hundred different KPIs doesn’t mean you should. Pick the things about your business that make the most sense and can add value to your business, and leave the rest. If you need to track those hundred things, automate them and check them occasionally, but keep the big picture , a simple dashboard for a higher level of learning.
How to Use Design Principles to Streamline Your Business Post appeared first on Inc.