As companies continue to grow, processes become more and more important. There just isn’t time to rethink how to do each task. As a small engineering firm, we knew the details of each and every project and constantly communicated as we worked. Now that we are twice the size and with multiple offices, it is all about the Process Workflow.
We needed to have procedures on how to do the important things that deliver a consistent and quality product to our customers. To help we have business management software that requires us to follow standard processes in completing just about any task. The workflow standards require that we work together as a team and have manager approval at specific steps along the way.
The example diagram above is our process workflow for issuing an Engineering Change Order (ECO). As an engineering firm, this is a primary function to ensure engineering changes are done effectively and efficiently. ECO’s are now easy for us because we have a standardized best practice, train team members using a flowchart and rigorously follow the process. We have the ECO workflow built into our system because it is critical to our success.
Now, truth be told, having standard process workflows, working as a team, and having sign-offs does slow the ECO process down. It was a good thing we did it sooner than later because habits are hard to break and making it up as you go along will only get you so far. We now work with larger companies with more complex projects and taking the time to be more precise is exactly what is required to satisfy these types of clients.