People experience process

I’ve always been a big believer that timelines, documents and due dates don’t deliver projects: people do.

You only need to ask my former boss, Andy Jamieson (Co-founder of Switched On Media), how unfamiliar I was with process. But I, like a lot of people in the discipline, think process is something that less creative, less enjoyable and all together dry people enjoy and enforce.

No one wants to be process driven: it’s stigma. A fear. When maybe it is just a lack of diligence or professionalism.

Then suddenly your faced with the fiscal, people and client management circuses of agency land. And suddenly, process becomes all that allows you set expectations, manage egos and deliver results.

It was only until recently that I truly appreciated good process.  That’s because I suddenly really I was inadvertently in the change management game: digital is new, and it’s unwieldily, and lots of people make it hard.  And Gavin Heaton was kind enough to help me understand change is really about positive experience – especially lots of short term experiences.

People experience process

People are not machines – and therefore they experience processes. Rather than just perform them.  It’s just like eating: we must eat, but we experience what we eat, and develop tastes favourite sand guilty pleasures. It’s not just for nutrition, because we can’t avoid taste, smell and texture. And just like eating, process is hard to avoid.

What I’ve learned is that process is about delivering results, and most importantly, it can allow success to be sustainable. If the process experience is bad, then chances are people will call it out and the results will decline.  However, if we focus on good experience during process, then the opposite can be attained: long-term and sustainable results, time and time again.

All these beautiful gant charts and timelines don’t deliver projects: PEOPLE do.

We always sell “experiences” to our clients. Whether they’re digital and or in the flesh.  So why do we fail so often to sell experience internally for our colleagues and staff?

The outtakes

If you’re a manager, leader or it’s your first day on the job: approach process with a positive attitude.  It’s about designing people’s experiences to achieve results.  Process (and positive experience) allows you to manage expectations.You’ll start designing and experiences process as a person.

So while I still believe people deliver projects: the tools they use and experiences they share can be just as critical.

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Hannah Law at 1:35 pm

    Love your food analogy – that really brings this idea to life for me. I think a big part of making process/experience work is to let people own it. Ownership means they understand it’s importance (therefore are more likely to do it!), see how the process/experience fits into the big picture and recognise it’s impact on business objectives.

  2. Phillip Ohren at 8:46 am

    @Hannah, I couldn’t agree more, process ownership also gives that person a sense of responsibility – whether it be with themselves or another team member – which in my book ultimately leads to improved job satisfaction & timely projects.

    Question to all: When do you draw the line with processes? Can you ever have too many?

  3. Jye Author at 8:58 am

    When they’re a bad experience or create true inefficiencies.