The Shit-in-Shit-out Principle in Process Management: How to Avoid Digitizing Bad Analog Processes

Carola Moresche, Tuesday 21 November 2023 | Reading time: 3 minutes

Shit-in-Shit-out Principle in Process Management

Learn how to avoid digitizing bad analog processes, turn your digital transformation from a dumpster fire into a streamlined success and improve your business processes with a touch of humor.

Welcome to the world of process management, where the dreams of streamlined efficiency often clash with the harsh reality of poorly designed processes. Today, we dive deep into the hilariously tragic realm of the "Shit-in-Shit-out" (SiSo) principle. This principle, often whispered in hallowed business school corridors, is the bane of digital transformation. It's a simple concept: if you put garbage into a system, you'll get garbage out. But, as we wade through the digital swamp, let's explore how to turn this stinky situation into a fragrant field of efficiency.

SiSo: The Digital Dumpster Fire

Picture this: a company decides to digitize their processes. They're excited, they're ready, and they've got the budget! There's just one teeny-tiny problem: their existing processes are about as organized as a toddler's attempt at filing taxes. By directly converting these chaotic analog methods into digital form, they've essentially created the equivalent of a dumpster fire, but now it's online and can spam your inbox.

The Perils of Polishing Turds

The saying goes, "You can't polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter." This is what happens when businesses try to digitize fundamentally flawed processes. It might look shiny on the outside, with its fancy new software and buzzwords, but inside, it's still a mess. A turd, if you will. The result? Employees spending hours navigating a labyrinth of digital nonsense that makes less sense than a cat's explanation of quantum physics.

Identifying the Stink

The first step to avoiding the SiSo trap is recognizing that you're knee-deep in it. Look out for signs like:

  • Processes that require more steps than assembling IKEA furniture blindfolded.
  • Workflows that make less sense than a plot twist in a soap opera.
  • Documentation that’s as clear as mud.

Deodorizing the Process

Once you've identified the stink, it's time to clean up. Here are some steps to deodorize your processes:

  1. Simplify Before You Multiply: Before digitizing, simplify the process. If it takes 20 steps to order paper clips, you're doing it wrong.
  2. User Experience is King: Design processes with the user in mind. If your employees need a PhD in Advanced Cryptography to understand the workflow, it's too complicated.
  3. Iterate, Don't Irritate: Implement changes in stages. Don't try to overhaul everything overnight, unless you enjoy the sight of grown adults weeping at their desks.

The Smell of Success

When done right, digitizing processes can be like a breath of fresh air. Streamlined workflows, efficient systems, and happy employees – it's the promised land of digital transformation. But remember, it all starts with recognizing and fixing the bad processes. Because at the end of the day, no amount of digital perfume can mask the smell of a bad analog process.

In Conclusion: Flush It, Don't Fudge It

So, there you have it, folks – a guide to avoiding the SiSo principle in process management. Remember, the goal is to transform your processes, not to transfer the mess. With a bit of humor, a dash of common sense, and a commitment to deodorizing the stinky bits, you can ensure that your digital transformation smells more like roses and less like, well, you know. Happy digitizing!

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