At BitRip, we strive for Process Minimalism.

Does this sound familiar?

Your organization has a painstakingly complicated way of doing things; a process that requires a bunch of redundant steps or approvals from every department under the sun.

No one necessarily planned for it to be that way - it's just the way the process evolved over the years.

Every heard this common reply when someone asks why - "that's just the way it's done!"

And then there's this doozy - "that's the way it's 'supposed' to be done, but no one does it that way ..."

So, what really is the ideal process?

If you had to summarize, many would boil it down to two fundamental criteria.

The process needs to be extremely effective (i.e., do what it is intended to do) and very easy to implement (i.e., actually gets used).

Sounds pretty simple, right? But this is rarely the case in construction.

Look at the diagram below from a study done by “Get It Right Initiative” (GIRI). GIRI focused their study on the construction industry. (NB - you don't need to read what's inside the boxes)

Diagram showing how effective some processes are in Construction
How Effective is your current Process?

Y axis is how effective the process is, and X axis is how easy it is to implement. You want to be at the top right of the graph.

Look at where various construction entities self-identified - pretty far away from the top right sweet spot. The bigger the organization, the worse it gets.

At GIRI, they explain why.

The human tendency, especially in large organizations, is to add more to the process when they encounter problems.

"We have an issue! Add a process to alleviate that issue".

Here is it in real life ...

“Hey, we keep losing materials when they get dropped off at the laydown yard. Let’s buy inventory software and add spreadsheets to the process.”

Now a foreman, who already works a 12-hour day, must add another step to their day to day.

Something gets dropped off, they sign for it, copy it down, return to an office, and transcribe it to the spreadsheet software.