The ultimate benefit of processes is that they are adaptable. They are living organisms that can be modified as the company grows or changes. Because a structure with preexisting processes is already in place, it is easier to adjust, add, or remove responsibilities as the team grows and evolves.
When a new person joins your company, the current processes can provide the foundation from which you and the team can see what work is being done now and how it can be modified. From there, it is easy to reduce the workload for other members of the team, if necessary, and to assign new responsibilities.
Find out how work is currently being distributed among the team. If the team members are already set in a project management application, such as Wrike, you can export the processes and find out immediately who is doing what and when. You can also put together a calendar that displays what dates the work regularly occurs and even an estimate of how long the work takes.
Often you will find surprises. You may find that the work you thought was being done isn’t being done in the required time frame, or that two people are doing the same task when it’s necessary for only one person to do it. With time, entropy (which is the level of disorder in a system) takes over, and your processes become disorganized (see my blog The Important Role of Entropy in Business for more on how entropy applies to your company). At the very least, you will find inefficiencies that can be corrected.
Make a List
With the team, work on a list of the new responsibilities for the new employee as well as the other team members. Perhaps you hired the new person because the rest of the team had too much work. If so, your list should consist of the responsibilities that will be passed on from one team member to the next.
If you are hiring to take care of additional work that is new to the company, then analyze who will work on what. For instance, the new person may take on some of the already established work, and a more senior member will take over the new responsibilities or vice versa. You and the team could also take a hybrid approach in which there is some redistribution of prior work as well as new tasks. In any case, design your wish list before programming the new processes.
Redistribute the Work
Assign the responsibilities as necessary. I recommend putting together an Excel spreadsheet with the previous process in one column and the new process in the next column. You can include whom it is assigned to and how often it happens. If a task is being divided into two or is modified, you can also make that clear on the file.
If you set up the work in a calendar, you can check to make sure the distribution of the work makes sense. The load should be evenly distributed amongst the team and within the month. Since you and the team are reviewing all the responsibilities, it is the perfect opportunity to improve the team’s workflow to ensure the work moves along efficiently and with the least number of obstacles possible. Make any changes that you deem necessary.
Modify the Processes
Program the changes in your software. We use Wrike, which is a project management software. For more on how we use it, please read 6 Reasons You Will Love Wrike Like We Do. It is now time to modify the activities to the newly desired workload.
Because all your company’s processes are programmed, it will be easy to identify what is missing and what you want to add. Also, the platform you are using will allow you to change the processes so that they are assigned to the right person. You can move dates and make any other improvements you worked on in the design phase.
Once you are done programming, go over the task distribution in its entirety to make sure nothing is missing, and there are no errors. Additionally, when the new processes go live, make sure the team reports any mistakes or changes they would like to make. The processes need to work for the end-user, so it’s a good investment of time to ensure everything is functioning as it should. Once this process is over, you are set until your next hire.