Can You Get a Process Right The First Time?

Peter Schooff of ebizQ posed this question:
“Is it impossible to get a process right the first time?”


My Thoughts…

I am convinced that it is impossible.

I have been involved in the analysis portion of both BPM and PLM implementations. We always start with a group of users describing the process as they know it.  Different people will have different perceptions of the process.  Each sees the process from their point of view.

This group will come to some kind of agreement as to the process and we will document it. At the next meeting, one or more of the original people will not be able to attend and they will send a surrogate.  One or more of the surrogates will point out that the process doesn’t work that way. At the end of this meeting, we document the current perception of the process. After ‘configuring’ the software, you begin to use it for real.  You will almost always discover that the process doesn’t work the way you thought it did and you will need to change it.

This assumes that by ‘get a process right’ we mean that we have captured the as-is process accurately.  If by ‘right’ we mean the optimized process, there is no chance.

When you have real people use the process, you will see that the process doesn’t work that way or shouldn’t work that way.  I always caution my customers to not have perfection as a goal.  If you thought you had achieved perfection, once you add people you will find that you haven’t.  So, start with a good process and implement a process improvement strategy.  Since the people in the process aren’t always the same people and the same people are subject to change themselves, process improvement strategies need to be ongoing activities.


Your Thoughts…

What has been your experience?



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By Scott Cleveland @ Cleveland Consulting | October 1, 2012

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