we begin this section, it is important to get one thing clear
up front. Contrary to popular opinion, processes are NOT: procedures,
standard operating practices, quality manuals and work instructions.
Instead, processes are probably the single most powerful concept
in the whole science of managing business performance.
Processes are simply repeatable
patterns of activity that reliably deliver a desired output.
Well designed processes can be creative, flexible, empowering,
inspiring, and powerful. Poorly designed processes can be mundane,
restrictive, and bureaucratic (bound up in procedures etc.) or
they can be uncontrolled, inefficient and confusing.
Your organisation is full of processes
of one type or another. Grasping the concept of processes is
key to ensuring that they fall into the 'well designed' category.
How could it be otherwise?
Processes exist in all aspects
of your business. They are pathways through your system.
They are the means by which your system does its work, for good
or ill, at all levels and meta-levels. Some processes deliver
product or service (manufacture, ...), some processes provide
support for this (facilities, ...), some processes change other
processes (continuous improvement, ..) and still others design
those processes (workshops, ...), and provide guidance on how
processes should be designed (disciplines).
Processes provide the means for
you to work on your system one piece at a time, and yet to keep
the context of cause and effect, of objective and means. In this
way, change can be localised and its effects tested and managed
to a successful conclusion. And processes ensure that the conclusions
are consistent and sustained without the need for regular intervention
on the part of the manager.
In fact, unless your solutions
are bound into processes, they are simply wishful thinking, sustained
only by your will and vigilance - which is of course a process
of a sort, but not a particularly efficient one.
on to 'Management Disciplines;
Return to 'Systematic approach'
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