Process Solutions

Before 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.

Move on to 'Management Disciplines; Return to 'Systematic approach'


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