When ‘process’ starts becoming more that just ‘ Doing things ‘


When people take chest-thumping pride in  their organization’s ” Process Oriented ” Culture, I feel scared , just like a man who boards a flight only to be told that the captain belongs to Taliban.  A process is about having a guideline for “Getting things done”.. there really isn’t a reason why pride should get associated with something like that!

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am actually one of those guys who loves designing processes for everything and I have faith in the idea that processes are necessary to run an organization effectively.. Ask my teams and you’ll know 😉 But it annoys me when people use the process as a crutch, a defensive wrap or as a tool to avoid making decisions Or even worse, to justify the bad decisions they have already made.

Designing a process is all about the delicate balance between structure and flow – Structure should NOT contort or overwhelm the flow. A process is like a highway between two points – Too many bends/Constraints ( Process guidelines) ,Too many checkposts(Metrics) & Your highway will become a traffic nightmare!

The only thing that annoys me more than the above types – The Blind Mercenaries of ” Process Compliance”… People who can , even when they are sleeping, explain why a process exists or how it can be tailored to the situation on hand – will write miles and miles about how important it is to ” Customer satisfaction”,  ” Quality Ratings ” ,  ” Customer Delight “, “Operating Margins”, ” Delivery Excellence” etc – BUT, are often unable to throw away a process when it becomes redundant or cumbersome…Kind of like the man who is willing to thrust a jet engine on a bullock cart in the hopes of making the cart move faster.

When a process leads to a conversation ending in ” This is how we do things here”..You know that the process has gone into autopilot mode…Waiting to crash when the map changes!

A ” Process” is neither divine nor indivisible – It was somebody’s idea of applying thought to ‘ the way things need to happen’.  It has to feel participative and dynamic..In order to inspire compliance, a process has to allow for participative evolution. A good process has a story to tell, a story that holds your attention and makes you want to play a part in it.

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~ by exploreamaze on May 30, 2009.

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