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The Power of Decision Criteria

Every decision is made based on criteria. Are you and your team conscious of your criteria?

Decision making is at the heart of project management. Doing it well requires skill and awareness of the process. This article addresses decision criteria and the need for up front and formal definition of them as part of a decision-making process. A previous article Get the Right Answers to Make the Right Decisions[1] discussed the need for the right questions to ensure high quality decisions. Among those questions is “what criteria will we use to evaluate options and decide?”

Poor decisions are made when people make them without consciously identifying their decision criteria. This happens at all levels, from individuals to decisions amongst project teams, executives, and members of boards of directors.


The Decision-Making Process

When decision makers are aware of their process it is less likely that they will overlook setting up mutually agreed upon decision criteria.

Being aware of the process means consciously recognizing that there is a set of steps for deciding. One of the steps is agreeing upon the criteria to be used.

There are many variations on the definition of the decision-making process. They share a common theme – consciously understand what you are doing and how you are doing it. Define your process and make it adaptable and flexible. Make it so that later steps influence earlier ones in an iterative refinement process.

Here are nine steps to sum up the process[2]

1) Define values, goals, objectives, and requirement specifications

2) Define the decision making and target environments

3) Agree upon decision criteria

4) Identify solution options

5) Analyze and compare solution options vis-à-vis the decision criteria

6) Decide

7) Implement the decision

8) Monitor and adjust

9) Reflect on the process for lessons learned.


The first step includes the definition of the desired outcome. The second step identifies who will make and influence the decision(s), levels of authority, process, tools, and techniques to use in decision making. It also makes sure that the decision makers have a good understanding of the nature of the environment that the decision will affect – the operational environment. Goals and objectives may be adjusted as step two is performed. Both steps one and two may be refined as criteria are identified. All three are subject to refinement as the process proceeds, as implied in step eight.


What are decision criteria?

Decision criteria are the basis for deciding. They “are the principles, values, rules, variables, and conditions that an organization or team uses to select an option or make a decision.”[3]


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Why Define Criteria

Consciously defining decision criteria improves the quality and rationality of decisions.

The criteria always exist. Every decision is made based on some criteria, which may be consciously known or not. Many are prone to subconsciously consider factors that skew their decision. For example, a bias towards reinforcing privately held values may get in the way of reaching a practical decision.

When decision criteria are consciously considered, prioritized, and agreed upon by decision makers, biases can be identified and managed, criteria that may not be immediately obvious can be discovered. Without consciously addressing decision criteria, decisions are suboptimal. They will take longer than necessary to make, and they are more likely to turn out to be ineffective.

Decisions take longer because criteria emerge over the course of discussions rather than at the onset. For example, a team charged with the design of the interior of elevator cars became aware after deciding, but before the design was implemented, that there were design options that were more likely to protect against damage. The team had not directly assessed damage resistance when making their decision. Once aware of the newly identified factors, the original decision was put aside while other options were identified and assessed, causing a several weeks delay.

The team had not explicitly stated their criteria. Informally, everyone had an understanding that aesthetics was the main criterion, with maintainability as a key factor. Cost and availability were also considered. They reviewed several options and selected one. If the decision had been acted upon the team could have made a poor choice that looked good but was easily chipped or cracked. The result could have been costly.


Time and Effort

Besides thinking it is unnecessary, a reason that decision makers do not spend adequate time and effort considering their decision criteria is the perception that it will take too long and that it is overly formal.

The time it takes to define decision criteria depends on the situation. With a team that often works together on similar projects, the criteria for choosing supplier, design, or plan options may be already available in a checklist. Little time would be needed to review the checklist and verify its fit for the decision at hand. If on the other hand the team was not used to working together, was operating informally, and had no checklist, setting decision criteria can be more complex, requiring convincing team members that some formality is needed.

In most cases all it takes to identify decision criteria is a brief brainstorming session among the decision makers, informed about typical criteria for the type of decision they are to make. Going further to evaluate the criteria, prioritizing them, takes more time and effort.


How Formal Do You have to Be?

A formal process improves performance. But how formal is formal?

The minimal degree of formality is to have a written list of criteria. If during the decision-making other criteria come up, add them to the list.

A next level of formality is to weight the criteria to identify priorities among them and then use the weights to score each option, so the score becomes a factor in choosing one.

In all decisions some criteria are more significant than others. Sometimes the degree of significance, the weights, are used informally or unconsciously. With more formality weights are used to calculate scores in a documented process. This brings a greater degree of objectivity to the process, though making decisions purely on the numbers can be unskillful. Do not underestimate the power of intuition, particularly among experienced decision makers.

The degree of formality depends on the complexity and impact of the decision, the team’s confidence in their decision-making process, and their accountability for their decision. In some cases, rules and regulations mandate the documentation of decisions, in other cases it is useful to be able to show others that a rational process was used to make the decision.


How to Set the Criteria

Identifying the criteria for a decision is not a particularly creative process. Use readily available lists via a quick web search for decision criteria lists. For example:

  • Performance
  • Appearance – look and feel, aesthetics
  • User experience
  • Stakeholder acceptance
  • Cost – of implementation, operation, and replacement
  • Benefits
  • Risk
  • Security
  • Maintainability
  • Reliability
  • Resilience and flexibility
  • Environmental, social and governance considerations
  • Sourcing and availability
  • Time to implement
  • Reviews.

Use this list or one that is more specific to your decision as a starting point to craft your criteria.


Bottom Line

Consciously agreeing upon and documenting decision criteria in the context of a defined decision process promotes high quality decisions and avoids unnecessary delays. To apply this principle most effectively tailor formality to the nature of your situation, with the minimum being a list of agreed upon criteria.


[2] Adapted from Pitagorsky, Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results

[3] How to Write Decision Criteria (With Tips and Examples) | Canada


Progressive PMOs are harnessing the power of Citizen Developers

A few of my colleagues raise eyebrows when I mention that I used to be a programmer back in the days, I am not talking about assembly language, but I could write a few things in Java and C++. Recently I picked up some new skills creating Power Apps, connecting data with Microsoft Dataverse, building Power BI Dashboards, automating processes with Power Automate, and building chatbots with Power Virtual Agents whilst preparing for Microsoft’s Power Platform Fundamentals certification. This is part of a growing trend of what has been termed Citizen Development.

Citizen development is an innovative approach to dealing with application development needs that a lot of Project Management Offices (PMOs) are now adopting. This innovative and inclusive approach to application development addresses the ever-increasing need for PMOs to keep abreast with technological change and the associated demand for user-friendly, hassle-free applications. Enterprise Technology departments are not always best to shoulder all the responsibilities related to digital transformation.

That’s where the inclusive idea of citizen development comes in as a broad-based and innovative solution. It enables project managers and implementers to develop applications on their own and in accordance with the most pressing PMO needs. Of course, they need to have advanced level of digital skills to use the low-code/no-code (LCNC) platforms, but with those skills taken for granted, almost any team member could take a stab at it.

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Citizen development has multiple benefits for the PMO and project management. By project management, I mean its agile and strategic version. Initially, this is far better for the current needs of success-oriented PMOs. Although traditional, waterfall types of project management would also gain. The benefits span many different sectors, whether it be public sector agencies, financial services, or non-governmental organizations. There is growing evidence that citizen development works, and that it works well for both organizations and individual employees. Let us examine what these benefits are and why they are important for the PMO and project management, irrespective of the field.


This is an obvious one. With application development demands being extremely taxing on Enterprise Technology departments, LCNC platforms provide substantial cost-saving opportunities to PMOs. PMOs can thus channel the savings to other, under-resourced needs. Experts estimate that by using LCNC resources, applications can be developed 10 times faster when compared with traditional methods.

PMOs can also expect savings on the maintenance of the new applications. Maintenance and application support are normally separate line items in operational budgets. Higher-end products usually require significant inputs to avoid disruptions and breakdown. The maintenance and support cost are minimal for the applications developed by citizen developers. The overall cost to develop and maintain LCNC -based applications is estimated to be 74% lower than the cost of traditional development led by Enterprise Technology resources. In addition, LCNC platforms hosting present sizable cost reductions, as shown by the experience of Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance. The company was able to save $1.4 million because of creative use of LCNC tools.

Breaking Down Silos

As citizen developers engage in software or application development, coordination with other business units of an organization becomes an absolute must. LCNC platforms do not require expert digital skills to use, but they need citizen developers to ensure that the end products are relevant to the PMO’s needs. From the perspective of effective PMO role, this is a great way of breaking down silos, which exist in all organizations. Improved teamwork and camaraderie are the important by-products of citizen development, which have long-term benefits. Citizen developers cannot go it alone, and it always takes a team effort to ensure that the end-product meets the critical needs of an organization. Importantly, this includes coordination of Enterprise Technology and non- Enterprise Technology resources too.


Citizen development also has the potential to make the PMO more agile. It expects non- Enterprise Technology resources to demonstrate adaptability and willingness to learn – two key attributes of an agile organization. From the perspective of the PMO, citizen development becomes a new and unconventional way of spurring continuous learning as an iterative and inclusive process.

Innovation and Creativity

By encouraging non-Enterprise Technology department resources to become software and application developers, PMOs can create a workspace conducive to creativity and innovation. As it happens, when people are given space and opportunity to punch above their weight, they usually outdo themselves by coming up with something extraordinary. Citizen development consequently becomes a great approach to egging people on to think outside the box. Agile organizations need to be innovative and creative. Equally, they need to be adaptive and committed to continuous learning.

Digitisation and Organizational Culture

The more employees get involved in citizen development, the better for the PMO and digital transformation. As PMOs take steps to adapt to the needs of digital transformation, citizen development becomes a timely and cost-effective method. It nurtures an organizational culture favourable for project resources and other non-Enterprise Technology resources to embrace change and make it work for themselves and the organization. It is this type of culture that becomes pivotal in weathering the storm of imminent changes and making the most of new opportunities for development.

Relevance and Flexibility

The involvement of PMO resources as citizen developers warrants the relevance of newly developed software and applications. No one could be more intrinsically motivated to ensure that they serve the purpose than the end-users themselves. I’m sure you can recall cases when even very expensive IT products turned out to be missing the mark. When developed in isolation from an organization’s core strategic goals and needs, they become underutilized. With less stringent requirements imposed; citizen developers have more flexibility to adjust as they go. As application development becomes faster, citizen development makes it easier to maintain the end products.


Citizen development has been winning over an increasing number of progressive PMOs and organizations. There is growing evidence that it leads to substantial cost-savings, encourages innovation, and makes organizations more agile. PMOs use it effectively to ease the workload of Enterprise Technology resources. Such departments are often understaffed or incapable of dealing with an ever-increasing list of requests and demands.

Citizen development makes a valuable contribution to an organizational culture that promotes creativity and initiative. In the current era of digital transformation, it is critical for agile organizations to create opportunities for their employees. This is to test and improve their digital skills. The experience of organizations that have embraced LCNC platforms for their non-Enterprise Technology resources to develop new applications shows that citizen development is definitely worth the effort.

Covid-19 makes Full Kitting in business processes a critical success factor

Ian James, a business process consultant, made the astute observation that “Teamwork fails most often in the moments between us.”

A good way to think of this is a relay race, where a  team with four decent sprinters can out-race a team with four better sprinters by beating the other team in exchange zone. The key to this event is how much time the baton spends in those exchange zones.

In business processes, the exchange zone is the transition of work from person to person, department to department, and organization to organization. These transitions are fraught with potential problems, making poor work transitions a silent killer of productivity of every company.   

Because the point of work transition in business is hard to see, it doesn’t get nearly enough attention. But, with radically increased virtualization of work and workforce due to Covid-19, “muddling through” work transitions are no longer feasible. Effectively managing the transition of work becomes a critical success factor.

One of the biggest problems with work transitions takes place when the worker in the previous step does not provide the worker in the current step with all the information they need, resulting in a back-and-forth between them until the necessary information has been extracted. This results not only in time wasting on the part of the worker, but also interrupts and wastes the time of others in the organization as the worker attempts to get the information they need. The resulting starting, stopping, and starting again due to missing predecessors can significantly reduce efficiency and productivity.

This manifests itself in users having to go back to a previous step because something was forgotten or a mistake was made; work already done is repeated because information was incomplete the first time around.

The concept for Full Kitting

The concept of “Full Kitting” is a well-tried and trusted manufacturing procedure with considerable potential for addressing the problem of work transitions, and thereby improving both production and service operations. It can be used to gain a strategic competitive edge because of the faster response time, lower prices and better quality.

A “Full Kit” contains everything a worker needs to complete their task before the task gets triggered. It ensures that once the task has started it can proceed at full speed to completion. This avoids the waste incurred when a task is forced to stop and restart multiple times due to missing prerequisites being available to complete the task. It helps significantly reduce the number of second actions to complete a single stage.

Making sure team members have all the necessary predecessor activities completed prior to starting their task ensures they have a greater chance to focus uninterrupted and without having to be impacted by potential upstream delays. Also, they are more likely to be able to drive their project tasks to completion with high speed and high quality.

This concept applies equally well to projects, processes and steps.

One way to think of conceptualize this is to consider an auto race: the pit crews need to keep stop time to a minimum. The pit crew needs to be ready to go when the car arrives. There is no time to look for people to help, or look for parts that may needed.

It sounds obvious, but there is a high probability that full kitting is a problem in your organization.

Why does this happen?

The first culprit is that there is no clear definition of what the prerequisites are – what the full kit consists of. The inverse of this is that there is no agreed clarity on exactly what the deliverable from a previous process step needs to provide.

The second culprit is the efficiency syndrome – the urge to have your resources utilized as much as possible. Following the fallacious notion that a worker should be busy all the time causes managers to have their people working using incomplete kits just so that they should not be idle. More importantly, it also means more work-in-process (WIP), less throughput and more operating expenses.

In cases where the operation has excess capacity, there is more pressure to use an incomplete kit, just to utilize the resources. There is no justification whatsoever for this, since excess capacity means shorter lead time; thus there is virtually no advantage to start working in an incomplete kit mode.

The third culprit is the customer putting pressure on the company to start working on their tasks even if the kit is not complete, in the mistaken belief that lead time will be saved by this action, in practice, this only adds to the lead time.

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Full Kitting and constrained resources

Full Kitting is especially important when the task is the responsibility of a constrained resource.  For example, imagine if you went in for surgery, and when the surgeon gets there, she finds that the surgical instruments aren’t ready, the nurses are running late, the anesthetist doesn’t have the right dose, etc.

Not only are you left lying on the table while everyone gets their act together, but it is a huge waste of an expensive resources time – the surgeon.

In this setting, full kitting in this scenario would include things like:

  • Having all the necessary instruments, equipment, medicines etc. checked, calibrated, tested and kept ready.
  • Having the patient physically and mentally prepared for the surgery.
  • Having the patients’ health reports available and checked.
  • Ensuring that all the necessary people such as surgeon, anesthetist, nurses etc. are present before the surgery begins.

Advantages of Full Kitting

Less work-in-process. Using an incomplete kit causes more work in process, because the job is invariably waiting for additional components to arrive.   More incomplete kits cause more WIP and hence longer lead time

Shorter lead time. The practice of using an incomplete kit causes more setups (you do the work twice) and the double handling means more time per task is spent. Since lead time is considered to be a source of tactical and strategic advantage to the company, it is extremely  important  to  use  any  method  to reduce  it  to a  minimum.

Improved quality and less rework. Much work-in-process causes poor quality performance. Incomplete kits tend to wait in inadequate storage facilities for too long. When the missing items arrive, they are incorporated in an improvisatory fashion that may give rise to quality problems. The double handling undoubtedly causes damage to the product as well as to the process, usually adding more rework to the  operation.

Increased throughput. An item that is processed without being sold is not considered throughput. When resources are utilized on products that cannot be shipped, other jobs that can turn into throughput have to wait.

Increase in workers’ motivation. Using an incomplete kit goes against the grain. It is the ‘hurry up and wait’ way of manufacturing. Once the ‘red hot’ incomplete kit arrives it gets top priority. Then, it waits till the rest of the items arrive. It hurts their motivation and trust in the system when they are forced to do more and apparently unnecessary work (double setups and more handling).

How to implement Full Kitting in business processes

  • Identify the criteria for determining that deliverable of a process step is complete.
  • Ensure that no process step is allowed to be completed until the deliverable meets the criteria defined. This could be through the implementation of business rules or checklists.
  • Identify the conditions that must be satisfied before a process step can be started (e.g. specified steps have been completed, approvals have been made, data must be available, a file must have been uploaded). You can specify these conditions during planning in the knowledge that they will be enforced by the system at runtime
  • Ensure that once the process step has started it can proceed at full speed to completion. This avoids the waste incurred when a project or task is forced to stop and restart multiple times due to missing prerequisites being available to complete the task or project. It helps significantly reduce the number of second actions to complete a single stage.

Vision and Systems View to Improve Performance

Project performance is influenced by systemic issues.

Systemic issues influence all or a substantial part of a system. They are generally long lasting and have significant impacts. They are like earth tremors causing tidal waves and like a bowling ball effecting the pins.

There is controversy about the need for systemic change. It is currently most prevalent in the realm of policing and race relations but has great importance in project and organizational management.

The controversy is about two things – 1) If and how much change is required and 2) whether any system exists to be changed. As to the first, it depends. As to the second, a systems view is a solid foundation for understanding the world.


Vision is linked to systemic change. It is the picture of how things can be. There are many possible visions – how I want things to be, how things may be, how I don’t want things to be. Also, there is the absence of a coherent vision – a blank space within which everything will unfold without a sense of what that would be like.

The vision is of systems, their behavior, how they relate to one another and to the active people, places, things, and processes that bring them alive.

Systems View

Our organizations, communities, economies, projects, operations, families, selves, bodies, are all intersecting systems. They exist within an overriding system – an ecosystem. All systems are in continuous change. The descriptions and boundaries of systems approximate the nature of the environment.

Recognizing the interplay among the systems’ parts (including oneself), one is better able to influence change and promote effective performance and quality of life. Assessing the system objectively, while one is part of it, promotes clarity.

Systemic Issues – An Example

There is great power to both appreciate and amplify parts of the system that work well, and address what is not working. Here is an example.

Imagine an organization that regularly has project performance issues. Projects are rarely done on time, there are cost overruns, project performers are burning out, clients are dissatisfied with product quality, there is discord among stakeholder groups.

The system in this case is the project, program and portfolio management (PPM) environment.

Within it there are stakeholders – the project, program and portfolio managers, sponsors, clients, functional managers, performers, etc. There are PPM tools and processes, for project selection and prioritization, planning, performance, etc.

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Analyzing performance across multiple projects over time, the performance improvement team discovered that poor project performance is caused partially by over commitment made in the selection and prioritization process. Executives enable and even promote a selection process based on political haggling between heads of different divisions. Estimates are allowed to be overly optimistic or pessimistic to sway decisions.

The performance analysts discovered that errors and omissions are regular causes of project slippage and failure. Performers are overworked and lack the skills to perform their jobs. A few are lazy, relationship-challenged, and get in the way. Client representatives charged with defining requirements are not getting the feedback and cooperation they need and lack business analysis skills.

There are systemic issues. For example, the impact of the prioritization and selection process. Ignoring them or thinking that changes at the project level will resolve performance issues misses the mark and perpetuates the problems.

Taking Action

Now comes the fun part – convincing the people who identify with the parts of the system requiring change that their systems cause poor project performance. It is one thing to identify systemic causes; a whole other thing to accept them as real and commit to change.

Will the people who identify with their systems, roles, and departments, be motivated enough by the care they have for the overall system – the organization – to take a hard look at their performance and to change? Are they motivated by the desire to continuously improve by candidly and objectively analyzing past performance? Do they disbelieve that their actions effect other parts of the system? Do they believe that admitting fault is a sign of weakness or a sign of strength? Do they believe that systemic changes are too hard to make?

This is where vision comes in. Change comes easier if on the highest levels of the organization there is a clearly stated vision. Particularly one that includes continuously improving performance based on candid, accurate and constructive assessment of past performance and a sense of what level of performance can be practically achieved. On lower levels the visions result in performance measures, relationships, tools and methods, work space, and transition paths and expectations.

Making Systemic Change

Making systemic change begins with the recognition that there is a system and that it is a complex of interacting subsystems (for example, departments and processes).

A critical factor is sustained executive level sponsorship. Without this, the ability to make substantial change is limited to the good will and rationality of the people in charge of the parts of the system that require change.

Then, the rest is a project or program.

What can you Do?

It is important to recognize that the past is not subject to change, but we can learn from it. Overcome the tendency to want to hide the ugly part of past performance. Make sure stakeholders understand that talking about the errors is not an attack. Make sure everyone understands the interconnectedness of the parts of the system.

Depending on your position in your “system” you can influence the process by establishing and beginning to actualize your vision, while considering all stakeholders’ places in the broader system. Then communicate, collaborate, and take appropriate action within your scope of control and influence.

In the last resort, if you realize that your organization will not change in your lifetime, then you can accept things as they are and either stay or find a new organization.

Effective leaders recognize the power of a systems view and a realistic vision to enable performance improvement through systemic change, when it is needed.

Business Process Changes During a Pandemic

What a difference a couple of months can make! I visited a doctor’s office in early March to treat a broken finger before the covid-19 shutdowns had begun across America.

Like any other clinic, no one wore masks. There were no social distancing measures in place. My doctor extended his hand to shake mine (I gave him an elbow bump in return). There was hand sanitizer available, but that had been the practice over several years of flu outbreaks.

Fast forward two months and consider a follow-up appointment of mine in mid-May. Walking into the clinic was comforting because all the staff and other patients had masks on (but also a little disconcerting). Extensive signage told us the rules, such as waiting in line 6 feet apart. Several chairs in the waiting area were blocked off to enforce social distancing. There were boxes for sanitized and for “used” pens to reduce the spread of germs.

Another change from March was the presence of a “scribe” to assist the doctor with recording notes and observations. This procedure is still relatively new to medicine and may or may not have been precipitated by the pandemic. Still, it was a noticeable change from March, and given my love of process, I even mentioned it to the two of them. My non-expert view is it may reduce the spread of germs since the doctor does not need to handle a computer during a visit.

By now you may be wondering what this has to do with process change. Consider the following five categories for any business which must interact in person with its customers, whether or not they may be ill.

1. Increased risk and liability. When governmental shutdowns and sheltering in place began, medical facilities closed too. My original follow-up appointment in April was cancelled because of the shutdown. Running a business during a pandemic increases the risk that customers and employees may infect others or may become infected themselves. Visiting or working at a business during a pandemic, whether a clinic or grocery store or gas station, involves some risk.

But what about a medical clinic or emergency room in which a visit is not exactly optional? If an establishment is lax in their procedures or can be shown to be negligent in protecting patients, then a lawsuit may be the result. In short, heightened risks during a pandemic are strong incentives for strengthening business processes to avoid liability. 

2. Procedure complications. The clinic I attended in May had some visible procedure changes and I am sure there were many I could not observe. The physical space was altered with extensive signage and floor markings to encourage social distancing. Simple procedures to provide “clean” and “used” pens for patient safety were small but thoughtful (and appreciated) steps added to the clinic’s daily routine. When I had an x-ray in March for my finger, they simply plopped my hand down on the machine. Two months later a staff person was there to sanitize the surface for my x-ray and undoubtedly before the next patient. Those were just some of the noticeable changes. I am sure the clinic, like airlines, drug stores, or post offices to name a few, must perform additional cleaning and sanitizing not needed pre-pandemic.

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3. Increased communications. Before my visit I received numerous texts and emails explaining what to expect and what was required during my visit. Most of the messaging pertained to wearing masks and distancing which was not done two months ago. It was comforting to me as the customer to get this communication during the pandemic.

My wife and I recently had some electrical work done at our house. The electrician’s company also sent out several texts and emails about their procedures for protecting us and our house from possible germs. We appreciated that and called to clarify one point.

Setting up the communications for the clinic and the electrician may have been a one-time event, but I am sure it still took many hours to perform. As conditions change, so will the communications need to be altered. Having developed and overseen a great deal of customer communication in my career, I know it is a regular part of business. However, having an external trigger like a pandemic represents opportunity costs and delays other kinds of productive work.

4. Added expense. The additional processes and procedures mentioned earlier will increase the expense of the business who must perform them. Unless an organization has excess capacity in its workforce, they either need to pay overtime or hire additional employees or contract laborers to do the cleaning and sanitizing. Adding scribes in a clinic to help control germs is an added expense.

The supplies needed to operate in a pandemic also increase expenses. Our local grocery store has added plastic barriers in addition to supplying employees with protective masks and sanitizing supplies. They spray and disinfect the check-out lanes between each customer, adding to their expense.

5. Reduced revenue and profits. With an increase in cost and potentially a decrease in revenue, profits are bound to decrease. Some examples include:

  • Reduced number of patient appointments in a medical clinic to maintain distancing.
  • A national warehouse store we shop at limits the number of customers in their store at any one time to minimize spreading of infections. They still have a steady stream of people waiting to get in, having waited in line with scores of others 45 minutes to access the store recently.
  • Training companies like ours will need to limit attendees to in-person classes to allow proper distancing or will be forced to conduct virtual-only classes.

Any business that limits the number of customers for safety reasons will expect a decrease in revenue. That can be mitigated by online sales for retailers or training companies, but some organizations like chiropractors, beauty parlors, or barbershops cannot replicate what they do in an online fashion. Along with an increase in expenses, profits will decrease which in turn will cause other detrimental effects such as layoffs or closures.

A pandemic is a pressing and urgent stimulus for many process changes. Some of the changes will likely disappear in time, such as mask wearing and social distancing. Other changes like increased sanitizing and safety-related communications may be permanent. Organizations hope, of course, that reduced income and profits are temporary and will need to adjust their operations accordingly. You might say there is never a dull moment in process work, but then again, I am a process nerd!