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The Great Agency Myth - Why there is no such thing as 'no process'

Agency Myth #3: We Don't Need Process

We need to talk about the ‘P’ word. A word as often resisted and feared as it is laughed at and ignored. That's right, we need to talk about Process.

So often when I've gone into a business, whether it be 20 people or 200, the idea of implementing process is met with some form of derision.

...I hate Process

...It stifles creativity/innovation/agility/insert latest buzz word here.

...It just bogs you down in red tape

...No one ever follows it anyway

And I agree with them. Poorly, or not thought out, process can absolutely do all that.

(Interestingly, it's most often from the more senior people, those that are used to giving the instructions rather than following them, that seem to have the greatest aversion to having an ‘official’ process - especially if it means they may have to follow it. Yes, I'm looking at you!)

But having ‘no process’ brings with it its own problems.


Well for many reasons, but first being there's really no such thing as having ‘no process’.

Everyone has their own process. It may not be written down, it may not be communicated, but everyone has ‘their way’ of getting work done.

It may not be written down, but everyone has their own way of getting work done.

An individual may have the most efficient, highest quality, consistent way of working ever, but if they're the only ones who know about it and are using it, then everyone misses out.

Especially when they leave, taking that knowledge with them.

Or they become the bottleneck, because they’re the only one who ever gets it done properly.

Sound familiar?

For those people who don't get to control what process is used but still have to deliver their part (think developers, designers, copywriters etc), it can get pretty confusing if everyone comes to them expecting different things, being done in different and sometimes conflicting, ways. It can quickly become pretty chaotic!

And then there's your returning clients.

Without a consistent process they can rely on, they get a different experience, and often a different result, every time. And for clients, consistency and reliability are the keys to building trust and a strong ongoing relationship.

For businesses that hate or avoid defined processes, the challenge isn't so much a lack of process, but rather too many individual processes, many of which are inconsistent, inefficient and incompatible with each other.

The challenge for businesses without a defined process, isn't that there ISN'T any process, but rather that everyone is using a different one...

Some people naturally have very efficient ways of working. Others not so much. Some people refine their process every time to keep improving it. Others just repeat what they did last time regardless of the outcome they got before. Some people are naturally geared up to collaborate well and get the best from the team. Some focus solely on just their piece of the puzzle irrelevant of what everyone else is doing.

Most often people have ‘bits’ of great ways of working and bits of not so great ways.

But wouldn't it be great if there was a way to take all the best ‘bits’ of getting work done and meld them into one awesome Way Of Working?

One that everyone understood, that used the best of their talents and brought them together at just the right point, for just the right amount of time?

One that was easy to refine as lessons are learned and technologies and requirements evolve?

One that meant you can rely on your team to deliver consistently, to a high quality, time and time again without you having to be neck deep in every project all the time?

Well, you can, and you should.

I'll be honest, it's not the easiest thing to do and it's likely to take some time to get it right - If it was simple, you probably WOULD have done it by now. But it's one of the biggest, fundamental differences you can make to improve the quality and consistency of your client experience and to reduce your pain-points in delivery.

So what's the takeaway...?

Don't be afraid of defined process. Everyone is using one whether it's written down or not.

If you've got a good process, ask yourself is everyone using it, every time? (if it's not already written down and people educated on it, then chances are they aren't!) Is there anything you could do to make it even better?

And if your processes aren't great, or they're not written down and trained, then take the time to review them, document them, and get everyone up to speed on them.

Don't be afraid of good process. It helps you and your team create amazing work consistently and efficiently.

Your team, and your clients, will thank you for it.


Does any of that sound familiar?

Have you experienced a whole lot of ‘no process’ before?

Where are you on your process journey?

I'd love to hear from you about your experiences with ‘no process’ Process

Leave a comment below and let me know...

Feel free to share as much detail as you'd like. You may find you're not the only one going though something similar at the moment.

Just remember: share your thoughts and ideas in the comments - Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be removed.

Thanks for reading and adding your thoughts to the conversation.

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