Simplifying Complex Processes

Procedures become very complex because of many reasons. However, reducing the complication of your procedures is very easy. Don’t try to distribute a lot of information. One antagonist of reliability and excellence is complexity.

last updated Monday, April 1, 2024
#Complex Process #Long Procedures

John Burson     Subscribe
Simplifying Complex Processes


Here are the top ten steps to simplify your complex processes:

Long procedures

The most common type of complexity is lengthy procedures. A procedure should not be 30 pages and above. The fewer the pages, the better. For instance, if you have a 30-page procedure, try to simplify it into a 10-page procedure by removing or repurposing the information into teaching material, work guidelines, or even pictures.

Too many steps

Procedures with too many steps are regarded as complex. If you have a procedure with more than 27 levels, utilize the rule of seven, which uses seven steps to describe each procedure and seven tasks to describe an activity. Information should be broken into pieces to be easily understood.

Referencing many documents

Procedures that reference too many documents lead to drifting from the original path.

Too much terminology

Always define industry terminologies in your procedures. Don’t assume that everyone knows the definitions. Define the terms or use them so readers can easily understand them.

Too many people

A procedure that needs many people requires too much handoff. Break your procedures into distinct procedures and emphasize the accountabilities of fewer individuals in each procedure.

Too many assessments

Your procedure doesn’t need too many reviews, meetings, or inspections. Many reviews make a procedure more complicated. Structuring the complex processes will ensure that things run well.

Covering extended periods

Exclude all the delays because they allow for disturbances. Procedures that are organized into time-based essentials can be easily followed.

Including asynchronous events

It is hard to coordinate activities that occur loosely in their time frame. Activities should be tied together with highlights and have them share start times and end times. Match them.

Leaving out vital material

Leaving critical information out to save time or space increases the risks of process frustration. Do not omit significant information; just spend less and keep the procedure simple.

Too many huge words and extensive sentences

Use minor words, shorter sentences, and shorter paragraphs, and always remember the rule of seven.


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