Minimum Viable Process

    What is a process

    A process is a standardized method of accomplishing a task, which can be documented and consistently executed.


    They are useful to turn chaos into order

    Processes are vital to transforming chaos into a structured, repeatable method, that can be learned, adopted and improved upon. Processes also provide reassurance in times of uncertainty and facilitate problem-solving.


    But too many processes can be damaging

    While processes are essential for scaling a business, the over-implementation of processes can be detrimental. Excessive reliance on processes can hinder a company's agility, render it inflexible, and deter the innovative minds that initially conceived the start-up.

    It is not uncommon to encounter individuals who invest significant time in developing elaborate processes, only to produce extensive documentation that ultimately proves futile due to the extensive buy-in required for success. Often, such efforts fall into the "activity trap," where busy work is mistaken for value-added contributions.


    Finding a balance between process and chaos

    To strike a balance between chaos and order, and to implement the appropriate level of processes in your organization, consider the following guidelines:

    1. Introduce a process only when necessary, such as when a unified goal must be pursued by all team members (e.g., utilizing OKRs).
    2. Ensure that processes are easy to comprehend and do not necessitate constant reference to a manual.
    3. Empower your innovative team members to convert their discoveries into processes, rather than relying on pre-existing models. This encourages exploration and allows those who prefer structure to replicate successes.
    4. Do not attempt to prevent over-processing altogether. Instead, maintain vigilance and pare down excessive processes as they emerge.
    5. Strive to cultivate a company culture that minimizes over-processing. However, recognize that the propensity to create processes to make sense of chaos is a fundamental aspect of human nature and may require a regular 'culling'

    By adhering to these principles, your organization can foster an environment that effectively balances innovation with structure, enabling your start-up to thrive and grow.