Most work by individuals in an organization is a part of a (business) process rather than a project. A process is simply a repeatable set of activities to meet a desired outcome. It is an important concept because the structuring of work around a process owner guides documentation, standardization and continual improvement.
- I can “map” processes into an integrated masterplan so that I can “see” all work in the organization.
- I can document a process, e.g. step-by-step procedures or a flowchart.
- I can improve a process to better meet customer requirements.
Key Learning Points:
- Process management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, techniques and systems to define, visualize, measure, control, report and improve processes with the goal to meet customer requirements. Source: Wikipedia.
- Process management leads to continual improvement of work and sustainability, this is especially important when people change jobs. Documentation provides a framework to allow managers and team members to discuss the work and outcomes.
- Review the training document Process vs. Project (see below).
- Review examples of a Process Masterplan and Process Summary (see below).
- Develop a Process Summary for a process with which you are familiar.
- Discuss all of the above with a process management resource.
- Process Ownership. The process owner ideally is someone who manages the process and has expertise in it. The person in this role guides continual improvement but doesn’t necessarily do all the work.
- Customer Requirements. All processes have one or more customers. Ideally, you talk to them personally to identify specific and real needs. They could be clients, other organizations, team members or even yourself. Exceeding customer requirements is a way to drive service (as long as it is cost effective).
- The Tools of Process Management. Some of the tools that guide improvement include: flowchart, histogram, control chart and cause & effect diagram. These are sometimes needed to bring focus and discovery where simple observation isn’t enough.
- Effort. You should categorize improvement into three levels: breakthrough (step-change is needed, e.g. 20-50% output change), continual improvement (e.g. 5-10%) or maintain (current output is sufficient). This choice is essential to prioritize the work of an organization.
- None at this time.
Questions to Encourage Critical Thinking:
- Which processes in your organization are most critical and require breakthrough effort at this time?
- Who would be the best process owners? Do they need training?
Tools and Templates:
- Process Summary. Contact Tony Aloise.
- Business Process. A business process or business method is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific service or product (and serve a particular goal) for a particular customer or customers. Source: Wikipedia.
- Customer. The person who receives the outcome of the process.
Web Articles/Short Stories/Essays:
- Process vs Project Management by Rory Trotter Jr on rorytrotter.com
- Business Process Improvement on Wikipedia
- Improving Business Processes on MindTools
- Business Process Management on searchcio.techtarget.com
- There are a number of published books by none have been vetted for this wiki.
- What is BPM (Business Process Management) in 3 Minutes by Daniele Chenal on YouTube
- “All work is either a project or a process, thinking about it as a process leads to continual improvement and sustainability.” – Tony Aloise
- “Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.” – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam