Process Management

Process Management is the inverse of management laziness.

Who doesn’t want to optimise productivity and positive outcomes? If your answer was ‘me’, then don’t waste your time reading this blog (see you next time). This blog is written for those who are wanting more, wanting better.

Organisations that have effective process management practices understand ‘process and can articulate what ‘process’ is. I believe process is simply the routine of getting something done. This is a comprehensive area and there is much written and already available on this topic, so I don’t intend to insult you by suggesting you can learn enough process management skills from one single, brief blog.

Nevertheless, I have dealt with enough organisations, that don’t do process management well, to know that it is worth spending some time sharing my thoughts on this topic. So, here goes….

Process management starts with identification and moves on through analysis, review, solution creation and recommendation, communication, implementation, training, and monitoring.

 Identifying a process is not as simple as it might first appear. There are both tangible (obvious) and intangible (not so obvious) processes that require identification.

An example of a tangible process is snail mail:

  • how does it arrive?;
    • on-site?
    • P.O box?
  • who handles it?
  • who reads it?
  • who distributes it?
  • Does it need to be listed in a register?
  • who files it?
  • who monitors it?

An example of an intangible process is grief monitoring (what are you doing to accommodate/assist a colleague who is grieving (actual/potential) personal loss?

The object of process identification is worthy of individual consideration because different organisations will have varying requirements and nuances, but the commonalities are probably solution motivated.

Analysing a process is the logical (if not natural) progression after identification. The key here is not to over analyse; don’t fall for turning the analysis of a process into a major process itself. Yet under analysing is equally dangerous; correction, more dangerous. The analysis is what leads to problem identification. The analysis leads to a creative solution. So invest some time analysing.

Reviewing a process assists you to evaluate the value of individual steps in a process. A quick tip; don’t skip steps. The temptation is to undervalue a step or consider it so simple or so good already that it doesn’t need reviewing.

Solution creation and recommendation to a process is the beginning (not nearly the end) of process improvement. Solutions need to be context considered and tested before considering their adoption.

Communication of a pending solution is often the most valuable step in process management in that it both enables and empowers affected stakeholders to contribute their observations, concerns and suggestions. In process management, one of the quickest ways to devalue your team members is to not include them in your communication with them (it’s an EE imperative).

Implementation of a solution is the next logical step; this doesn’t need to be complicated nor time heavy. The key is to ensure all stakeholders are informed and, if necessary, involved.

Training, as a process alteration, in process management is regularly the overlooked step. It is so easy to presume ‘they will get it’. Planning, developing and delivering good training is the critical key in process management. 

Monitoring an altered process is the derrrrr step in process management.

So there you go; process management in a nutshell. The intent for this blog was just to get you thinking about how you currently handle process management and areas you could consider improving.

Clearly, the main game here is the pursuit of excellence; not being willing to rest on past practices, but continually analysing outcomes, broadening the limits, challenging the structures, and creating ever-better ‘mouse traps’.

So tell us, what have you done in the area of process management that has been a winner?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Alternatively, I always appreciate constructive comments.