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Business Processes

Process vs. Bureaucracy: Can we have one without the other?

by Jenny Choban on November 17, 2016

Some things are universal.  We all hate bureaucracy, even those of us who make our living that way.  In the end, bureaucracy is a word to describe a big complicated administrative processes. So can we have good processes without being bureaucratic? And what defines a “good process” anyway?


Good Processes Are Efficient

Here’s the reason we all hate bureaucracy.  Sometimes it feels like processes are inefficient by design.  It’s as if someone sat down and tried to think of the most time-consuming, cumbersome way to do something.  Good processes are the opposite.  They use the resources available to make things happen quickly and easily.

Consider the advantages of using a system like JIRA Service Desk to manage your business processes. You can easily see and execute all of the needed steps (making a request, getting the needed approvals, ensuring that the work is completed and recorded). There are no hold ups because something didn’t get printed on the right color of paper or because an email is buried in a manager’s inbox.  You can keep things moving.

Special features, like being able to electronically sign documents make electronic business management systems more efficient than ever before.  Your business processes begin to run like a well-oiled machine.  Everything that needs to get done, gets done.

Good Processes Are Thorough

A process is a means to an end.  A good process makes sure that all the necessary steps get covered on the way.  This means that everyone who needs to be included, is included, that everything that needs to get done, gets done, and that every step along the way gets recorded. That last part sounds a little bureaucratic, doesn’t it? But making sure all the steps in a process are documented is essential to ensuring internal accountability and to being able to prove compliance to external agencies. In short, thoroughly executed and documented processes cover your ass.

Electronic systems have a lot to offer towards ensuring that processes are carried out thoroughly.  A chain of dependencies can be built into electronic forms, making it impossible to bypass required parts of a process.  This means no more chasing up missing data or forms.Built-in audit functions ensure that every step is documented.  Using a centralized, electronic system to manage your business processes goes a long way towards covering your ass across all parts of the organization.

Good Processes Are Fair

Good processes mean that someone's girlfriend or boyfriend's request doesn’t get responded to first just because of their relationship.  Electronic systems ensure that requests get put in a queue and responded to appropriately.  That’s not to say that first-come, first-served is always the way to go.  Safety issues trump convenience issues. Those hierarchies can be easily built in to ensure that the highest priorities get addressed first.

We Can Help

ThinkTilt has created ProForma, a library of over one hundred customizable forms and templates (for everything from submitting a hazard report to requesting catering for an event) powered by JIRA Service Desk. Now every team in your organization can have high-functioning, streamlined system for managing and responding to requests.  Teams can easily customize the forms to fit their needs without the headache of creating custom fields.

Good processes without bureaucratic hoops.  Sound too good to be true? Let us prove it to you. Send us all of the paper, PDF, Word, Google or FormStack forms associated with one of your business processes and we'll convert it into a ProForma template free of charge. Once you and your teams see the power of ProForma, we’re confident you’ll want more.