Restoring “process” to its rightful place. Principle #2: Build it for Purpose!

This post is the 4th in a series on considering the proper position of “process.” Beginning with its current stigma, to everyday situations that reveal its necessity, to the two guiding principles I submit are the keys to its restoration. The following is the second guiding principle:

Continually re-design process for purpose and environment. Just as car-makers continually update technology and release new models every 2-3 years to meet new consumer demands and regulations, process must be continually updated to meet the demands of its customers. What does this mean to you?blueprint3


Restoring “process” to its rightful place. Principle #1: Strategy comes first!

In the last two posts I took a very critical look at the concept of “process.” Especially with popular management-thinking placing priority on disruptive strategies that utilize innovation and entrepreneurship to create new value, it’s fair to say there’s a “leery eye” placed on anything that’s too structured or restrictive – i.e. process. At the same time there’s universal agreement that there must be a minimum of “discipline” to organize activity and produce results (see the stories in the previous post).towing


Everyday Stories…Is there a place for “process”?

As a sequel to the previous post on “process” here are some everyday situations to provoke your thinking. Just read, take a step back, turn it over in your mind…share your conclusions.

Storytime_logo3Story 1: The airliner had been cruising smoothly at 30 thousand feet over the Atlantic on its way to London, Heathrow. Suddenly light turbulence begins to cause a bumpy ride and the captain turns on the seat belt sign as a precaution. In the next few minutes the turbulence becomes more regular to the point the airplane is moderately shaking and bumps become more significant. The flight attendant asks passengers to return to their seats. The captain contacts air traffic control to request a change of altitude to 35 thousand feet to climb out of the turbulence…

Story 2: A creative film producer is working on a commercial piece for a large company. After understanding the company’s product, its benefits and key messages to be communicated, the creative part begins…Brainstorming on messaging, narratives and possible media types – customer journey, day-in-the-life, animation, sci-fi, etc. The team finally arrives at a storyline that is validated with the customer and production begins – storyboarding, scripting, actor selection, shooting footage, etc. With 7 days left until the first screening, it’s time to bring all the pieces together…

Story 3: Wow, finally the house is quiet – kids are in bed, time to relax. Jon and Mary have spent the evening cooking, cleaning the kitchen, reviewing homework and helping the kids make their lunches…Now it’s “parent time.” Jon makes a hot cup of tea for Mary and brings it to the table. “Let’s talk about what we’re going to do for summer vacation” Mary says. Together they start brainstorming ideas and begin to make a list. After listing 5-6 ideas they talk about how they’ll decide between them – the kids summer camp schedule, Jon’s vacation days, the price, relaxing vs site-seeing etc…

These “story snippets” are from everyday life – nothing extraordinary, not “industry specific,” both personal and professional…As you casually read over them, think of them through the “process lens” and ask yourself these questions:

What about process? Does it play a role? To what degree?

…trying to provoke your thoughts…Share them!

…more to come…