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What methodologies or frameworks do you employ to streamline operations?

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Saikat Paul
Saikat Paul
Asana Head of Product OperationsDecember 20

I leverage a variety of methodologies and frameworks to streamline operations, depending on the specific challenge and context. Here are some of my go-to tools:

Lean Methodologies:

  • Identify and eliminate waste: Monitor cycle times to find waste and bottlenecks in your processes. Did an approval by a manager take 3+ weeks? Consider recontracting around an SLA. Are folks spending hours navigating and creating tasks? Consider what could be automated.

  • Continuous improvement: Always be on the lookout for small, incremental improvements. Implement, experiment, and iterate.

Agile Frameworks:

  • Scrum: It’s pretty much the standard for managing iterative and incremental development. Sprints allow for rapid test and learn cycles and standups provide great transparency. 

  • Kanban: Great for managing queue-based workstreams, often for support or service teams. Visualizing workflow stages and limiting work in progress helps me identify team capacity issues or process opportunities.

Design Thinking:

  • Human-centered design: When designing new processes or experiences, I try to put myself in the shoes of the end users. What do they need? How can I partner with them to prototype and iterate to get to an optimal solution?

DevOps Principles:

  • Automation and collaboration: CI/CD drastically reduces the time from ideation to validation. The faster you can test an idea, the faster you can traingulate the optimal solution and deliver it.

Data-Driven Decision Making:

  • Metrics and analytics: Lean on data and analytics to identify areas for improvement, track progress, and measure the effectiveness of your solutions. Don’t lean on intuition and anecdotes. 

Beyond specific methodologies, I also prioritize:

  • Standardization & Documentation: Maintain a source of truth to reduce reliance on tribal knowledge and efficiently onboard new team members.

  • Solicit feedback: Actively seek feedback to identify areas for improvement and keep processes relevant.

  • Sense of community: Encourage knowledge sharing and empathy-building across functions

Ultimately, the best methodology is the one that works for the challenge at hand. Don’t lean on one approach too much and don’t be dogmatic. Each methodology is a tool that you can utilize and adapt to streamline operations and optimize performance. And of course, always experiment, adapt, and never consider your job done.

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