Going From People Driven To Process Driven

A process driven organization has certain obvious advantages over a people driven organization. Many old fashioned entrepreneurs still prefer to be people driven for the fear of losing control over their organization. However a large majority still aims as process oriented as the ultimate way to create an organization. Many have tried and failed because they have not truly understood what the concept means. Below is an explanation of the same:

Documenting Processes Does Not Make You Process Driven

Many corporations believe that if they explicitly document their process and provide it to their employees as a reference manual than they are being process driven. There are certain flaws with this approach which are as follows:

Firstly the processes which are generally documented are operating processes. This means that they are just processes which transforms inputs to outputs in the normal course of business.

Higher order processes such as control operations which ensure processes are being followed as intended as well as processes which need to exchange information with the external environment and make decisions still largely people driven. This means that laborer’s job has been streamlined, all decisions are still constrained by the people approach. A truly process driven organization is a learning organization. The description of such an organization is mentioned below:

Learning Organization: The Real Test

  • Ability to Scan The Environment: A process driven organization will have a process to regularly scan the environment. They will take the ability of the experts to scan the environment and map it into a mental model. This model will then become a series of steps which can be implemented as a process for environment scan.

  • Ability to Identify Opportunities And Threats: There must be processes set up which lay down best practices to help ensure that you document the moves of the competitor and the changes in the technology as well as demographics in the marketplace. Once again the challenge is to create a mental model of an expert and use average people to get above average results.

  • Ability to Adapt: The organization must then be able to provide the necessary signals to the required departments to adapt. The process of adoption must be quick and non disruptive. Consider for example, had Ford Motors seen the Toyota inventory management process in time and streamlined itself to compete, the Japanese legend would not have born. A large number of business upsets are because of the arrogance and ignorance of the mega businesses. This is because the process of environment scan and adoption is people driven. To standardize it is one of the biggest challenges facing business today.

  • Ability to Manage Complexity Arising Out Of Growth: While it has been said that systems can be easily replicated, it is easier said than done. As businesses grow larger, the number of rules increase and many of these become self-contradictory or self defeating. Siloization takes places and business is divided into functions. Hence processes also have to ensure that they effectively manage such complexity to actually make a company less people driven and more process driven.


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