Simplification — NYT Article on Suggested Process

Simple article in NYT on how to make processes easier.  While aimed at the private sector, the lessons may be helpful to those trying to make forms simpler, and the processes of courts simpler to navigate.

The simple solution for just about any bureaucratic roadblock is to assemble your teams and ask a series of questions: What are we trying to accomplish here? Why does it matter? How does our current process help our goals? How does it hinder them?

If you add your customers and your suppliers to the inquiry, you may discover all kinds of ways to eliminate wasteful, inefficient work requirements.

By starting a review process that focuses on those questions, you stand a good chance of finding roadblocks before they take on a life of their own. By adding a simple “start-stop-continue” assessment, you may find a way to keep your rules and processes relevant: What do we need to start doing? Based on what we are learning, what do we need to stop doing? What do we need to keep doing?

As you go through your review, you are also quite likely to notice which processes or procedures need adjustment. When in doubt, ask those on the front lines what’s in their way: Is there anything that no longer seems to make sense?

If you’re really feeling courageous, try asking your customers or suppliers what hurdles you’ve put in their path. What makes you difficult to do business with? Beyond conducting just another customer satisfaction survey, you may risk actually discovering what matters. Just be careful that you don’t wind up creating another bureaucracy in the process. about how to simplify processes.  While aimed at the business world, the suggestions might be considered by those trying to simplify court processes and forms.

The lesson is simple:  look at every element and whether it is really still needed.  Make sure you have the people at the table who can tell you.  Include consumers as well as the processors.  There is an argument that the right place to start is with forms — not just what they contain, but how many of them are really needed.  Another way is to make a list of all the steps that have to be gone through, and then see how many can be combined or eliminated.


About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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