When we think of red tape, we think of slow, time consuming procedures, often involving too many people, and even more paperwork. 

Red tape is defined as “excessive bureaucracy or adherence to official rules and formalities” and it presents many frustrations and issues in the workplace. Slow decision making, low morale and productivity among employees, and inefficient use of time to name just a few. 

There are some benefits to red tape, such as having more time to assess work, spotting mistakes as a result of the requirement for multiple sign-offs, and more control over what is agreed. 

However, overall, too much red tape has negative impacts on project deliverability because of those slow decisions, the inability to pivot projects quickly, and too many parties being involved in decision making. All of this results in delays, missed opportunities, and frustrated team members who feel they have to jump through hoops to get things moving. 

The reality is, some red tape is required to provide structure and to ensure companies function effectively. 


So what is the answer and what can you do to decrease the negative impacts? Simplicity is key. 

Firstly, carry out a review to figure out what processes can be simplified. Look at what procedures are actually adding value to the overall requirement and ditch the ones that aren’t. E.g. if there are 3 people signing off on a report, or the next step of a project, could this be reduced to 2? 

Another key area to look at is your business culture. Are employees allowed to make certain decisions themselves? This type of empowerment needs to come from the top down and employees need to know they can make decisions. This will allow them to take action rather than just talking about it or constantly seeking approval. 

And finally, agree on the deliverables that need to be tracked at the outset and stick to them. This should decrease the potential for delays, and allow projects and initiatives a greater chance of being delivered on time, within budget and at the quality expected. 


Could simplifying your governance structures be the answer to trimming down that dreaded red tape? Contact us for a lean review. Find out more here: https://ciprojectsltd.co.uk/lean-sigma-six-review-full/

Want to assess and improve your business culture? Use our Free Culture Assessment Tool available for download here: https://ciprojectsltd.co.uk/culture-assessment-tool-free-download/ 



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