Sunday, 1 May 2011

All or nothing in Process Management

It seems that so often that people expect a right or wrong answer to business problems. Process mapping and process management is sold often on the basis that this is the only way forward for everyone. In reality of course answers are in the shades of grey rather than black and white.

Does every business need or benefit from fully documented measured and dash-boarded set of processes?

Vendors of process tools will tell you you do, but that's because they deal with this day in day out and find their thinking gets clouded. The answer is no not always, often yes but also sometimes a partial or appropriate solution is required.

Obviously if you are into volumes of highly repeatable services (transactional) or manufacturing processes then a lot of what these process vendors and solutionists say makes a lot of sense; however if you do similar things but your variability is fairly high then over engineering of process may not be worth the effort and be counter-productive.

Executive or professionals often conduct activity in a regular or consistent way but apply their experience case by case so attempting to codify all they do and measure it as such will create enormous amounts of corporate angst and cultural barriers. So map, measure and manage to a level that is sensible for the activity in hand don't attempt to impose a full blown approach as this will ultimately result in rejection and no consideration of process at all!