Smart business | Process management | Continuous improvement

Smart business = smart process management

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Organize instead of organization

Karl E. Weick, in 1969, already talked about “organizing” instead of “organization” in his revolutionary book The Social Psychology of Organizing. With that, he turned the earlier philosophy of organizations on its head. “To organize” is a verb, which is precisely the difference between it and the static noun “organization”. It implies action. It’s about what people agree to do, and what image is created by the process of interaction.

An alternative to the dominant model

Weick said that if we look long enough, we can see that processes continuously change. At the same time, he introduced a wider framework of terminology. Weick offered an alternative to the dominant model of the organization as a structure and management as a decision-making body. That started a discussion about a different perspective on organizing. One not based on rigid structures, but as a dynamic process. The term “process management” was introduced.

Process management: adding value

The term “process management” has many definitions, but it can be boiled down to “adding value to an organization”. How you do that, how successful it is, and how it can be improved, is the foundation of process-based thinking.

INK model

A well-known example of measuring and improving is the INK model. This model consists of four phases:

  1. An activity-oriented phase.
  2. A process-oriented phase.
  3. A system-oriented phase.
  4. A chain-oriented phase.
  5. A transformation/socially-oriented phase.

The organization can transform to a new phase like in a growth model or maturity model. Growth comes with development, change, and improvement. But first you have to determine where the organization is now.

Steering and managing processes

When testing where the organization is, the processes will be discussed. Processes have to do with a series of activities, with people who contribute to a target, an organizational result. How successful the organization is has to do with its ability to co-operate and effectively make use of its resources. You can examine how you’re doing this now, what it contributes to the vision and mission, and how it can be improved. You want to know what’s happening now and record it so you can analyze it and improve it. In short: steering and managing processes.

Processes, visualized

An organization consists of three types of processes:

  • Primary processes that directly contribute to the finished product.
  • Supporting process that are required to facilitate the primary process.
  • Management processes that control the organization and the processes.

Smart management needs good process management. It improves the viability and success of your organization.

Why is process management crucial for an organization? It will enable organizations to better react to the internal and external changes that impact the organization.

PDCA cycle

Good process management adjusts the various processes (activities) to these changes. It ensures timely intervention. These improvements are revealed in the continuous improvement cycle, the well-known PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) Cycle. This cycle is effectively a mandatory part of managing a business.

An organization that can react quickly and anticipate change by definition has an advantage over organizations that can’t. The impact of change on processes, organization, and systems can be assessed quickly. That’s how a clear strategy is formed. Better performance, as a result of the right processes and PDCA cycle, improves the competitive edge. This improves both the financial and non-financial situation. Not for nothing, process management and improvement management are popularized through methods like Lean (training), Six Sigma, Kaizen, etc.

Contribution from Passionned Group

Passionned Group helps organizations become more intelligent. We offer many types of training and consultants, including Business Intelligence (BI) consultants. Feel free to contact us for a conversation.

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