We lecture on good process endlessly, but one of the initial stumbling blocks we have is that the right people don’t know what the term ‘process’ encapsulates, or they interpret a different or incomplete meaning to the word.
So, what is process and more importantly, what is good process?
Generally speaking it’s the process of understanding a clients requirements, managing and enhancing them where appropriate and possible, creating a strict agreement of product and delivery schedule based on a solid understanding and explanation of those requirements. Setting realistic milestones and creating comprehensive documentation to deliver the agreed product or service in a timely fashion and to an agreed budget, requiring no one to do over time. Leaving the client feeling happy, the staff feeling valued and fulfilled, the management feeling empowered and reliable, and everyone feeling like they are one big team.
No unsatisfied customers. No late deliveries. No slavish, unpaid overtime. No scope creep. No runaway project costs. No last minute client changes with impunity and without due consideration and articulation of the consequences to the client. Everyone, every team accountable and focusing on the business delivery requirement (not just their own personal/departmental agendas).
It requires optimal interdepartmental logistics, pragmatic client management and a firm hand to keep everyone’s eye on the ball and steer them toward a common goal, not just a department’s or a person’s. Crucially, it requires team work across your entire delivery network.
At this point you’re either thinking that this is an impossible magic formula or it’s bleeding obvious. If you are the former, then part 2 of this article will address some of the Common Causes of Bad Process and hopefully make a believer out of you. If, like us, you are the latter, then take comfort in this: You are not alone, and it is absolutely possible to kill bad process. The perfect antidote is to have exposure to multiple sectors, roles, companies and continents. Have decades of experience and knowledge. And of course, know where to hide the bodies along the way ;).