The Case for a Process Platform – part 1
Blog: Business Process Xcellence
The Godfather, Lord of the Rings, and Toy Story are noted in the top ten trilogies of all time, according to most lists by so-called movie experts. (Yes, The Godfather made the list despite Part III.) As I begin the first part of this intended trilogy of posts, I do aspire for a clear and concise trifecta of insight, information, and suspense. That being said, I did enjoy all six Rocky movies.
Processes. Why should we care about them? The only process that really matters is bringing together buyers and sellers. You have a product. I need a product, so I buy your product. Done deal. Sounds easy, right? The reality is that buyers, whether they be individuals or organizations, can be very demanding. They want the right product at the right place at the right time, and at the right cost. Sellers really don’t care about process…until they lose that first deal. Then starts the mad scramble of figuring out how to satisfy that customer, or finding other potential buyers, in order to get the product off their shelves. One could call this trying to learn from our mistakes, or improvement. Market leaders have learned that continuous improvement is a necessity.
“Okay, so I work for a company that provides both products and services. I guess that my company needs to care about processes, in order to have the right mix of quality, service, and cost. But not me…that’s for those process geeks, right? The guys that change the name of their group every three years to the latest acronym…what is PEX anyway, I just learned what LSS means for Pete’s sake! (It’s Lean Six Sigmund, right?) I’m too busy doing my job to get bogged down with process. I’m accountable for 25% of the company’s revenue, plus customer service. I need to make sure my team is performing at a high level and has the right training. Let someone else worry about process (just don’t change mine).”
As process professionals, haven’t we all heard or felt, the above comments from those in our organization? The reality is that this person’s response included many nuggets about why process should be important to them. It just needs to be framed in a way that resonates with them.
The reality is that everyone is either directly involved in a core process (plan, develop, market, sell, deliver, service), or in a supporting process that is important (IT, finance, etc.). We all perform at least one process; some of us are accountable for the performance of a process; some of us manage risk associated with a process; other support a process with IT architecture, or training. There are many different lenses through which our organizations view process. It is possible to bring together these different perspectives, around a common process understanding?
To be continued….