Discover and Prioritize Pain Points

Posted on in Growth Strategies, Process Improvements

This is another installment of a series about analyzing and improving your company’s business operations. The first couple articles appeared in the April 19 and April 26 editions of Connect.


The phrase “pain point” simply means a real or perceived business problem. By discovering your business’s pain points through workflow analysis, you can begin to work on solutions.

Form your team. Including a diverse group of staff members in workflow analysis, you provide a fuller picture of how a single business process may impact sections of your business. Include team leaders and other vital team members early to begin the process of earning buy-in from staff.

You may choose to appoint a project manager to direct the project workflow and hold the team accountable for forward action. A successful project manager will have proven ability to motivate teams, have organizational skills, be capable of foresight and strategic thinking to head off problems, be empathetic and practical, and have a down-to-earth approach to work.

Brainstorm to Uncover Your Pain Points

Develop a collective brainstorming process. Brainstorming is about innovation and creativity. Enter into brainstorming sessions with a prepared and refined statement of the problem. Communicate time limitations.

Choose a facilitator to open the floor to conversation and idea creation. The facilitator may choose to use sticky notes to record ideas and arrange them into groupings of similar categories – your pain points.

“During creative brainstorming sessions,” says Laura Hand, vice president of VGM Marketing, “some ideas will be great and some will be somewhat crazy or unrealistic. When the team has quieted and you have hit a wall, keep pushing forward. The best ideas often come to the group beyond this point when everyone thinks they are tapped out of ideas. A good facilitator will allow all of the ideas to flow openly and guide the group to narrow the focus as the session progresses.”

After you’ve determined which pain points to prioritize, analyze the full process connected to the problem or difficulty experienced in the workflow.

In next week's Connect, Nick Cleveland from VGM Forbin provides tips on how to analyze your processes.