We’ve been loyal users of this Cuisinart 14 Cup Programmable Coffeemaker for over 20 years, replacing our previous model only after a decade of service. Perhaps longer. I honestly cannot remember how long we’ve had basically the same coffee maker.

Our daily coffee-making routine is an example of an efficient business process:

  1. Discard the old coffee.
  2. Rinse the carafe.
  3. Fill it with cold water and pour into the coffeemaker.
  4. Clean the permanent filter and reinsert it.
  5. Add the right amount of coffee*
  6. Activate the machine with the middle button.
  7. Wait for 5 minutes.
  8. Pour and enjoy the coffee.
  9. (Bonus) Serving coffee to Liza earns me extra points!

This routine embodies the perfect business process:

  • Simplicity: The steps are straightforward and easy to follow.
  • Robustness: Even if we don’t use precise measurements, the process reliably delivers our morning coffee. *
  • Durability: The coffeemaker withstands daily use with minimal maintenance (or no maintenance).
  • Focused Functionality: Despite numerous features, we primarily use the basic function of brewing coffee. The clock and other settings are secondary and often unused.

This daily ritual illustrates a vital business principle: keeping processes simple, robust, and durable often yields the best results. While not all business tasks can be this streamlined, many can be simplified to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

In summary, look for ways to streamline and simplify your business processes. The benefits are clear: efficiency, reliability, and ease of use. Make them like coffee pots.

* There are two kinds of people: 1) those who measure their coffee precisely in scoops, grams, etc., or 2) those who dump in coffee and eyeball to about where it is every day. Studies show that precise coffee measurers are far more likely to be serial killers. Be careful of them.

Jay Graves

Jay is Chief Operating Officer at Blueprint.Inc (https://blueprint.inc) based in Nashville, TN (better known as the home of StyleBlueprint.com). He manages financial, technical, and process management, supporting small business clients around the South. He has over 20 years of experience in technology management, software development, strategic business development, and bootstrapped startup companies.