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Process Conformance March 27, 2011

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Management & leadership, Quality.
Tags: , , ,

I admit that I have a love/hate relationship with process. On the one hand, a reviewed, approved, and controlled document with a process flow chart and assigned roles and responsibilities has value, providing repeatability and a basis for continuous improvement. If the method is consistently followed, then any variability in the outcome can be attributed to other causes.

On the other hand, strict adherence to process often doesn’t make sense. Any manager can follow a process; a good manager has the good sense to know when to abandon the process when circumstances require. That doesn’t mean the process is just window dressing, something to be ignored until the compliance auditors come around. The process should be a guide and a living document, updated and improved based on actual outcomes. The enlightened manager understands that abandoning the process requires revisiting the process and making it better.



1. Jeff Marmins - March 30, 2011

Tim –

I’m grateful for the post and your candor. We’re talking a lot about the breaks in process caused by exceptions. However, rather than re-inventing the process repeatedly (although they have to be living, breathing workflow documents open for improvement) there needs to be associated technology with rules for exceptions. And, the technology can learn what to do the next time the same exception occurs.

2. Keeping Specs Updated « Managing in the 2000s - April 16, 2012

[…] written before about my love-hate relationship with process (see Process Conformance). I understand why people hate process. Often they think that it inhibits their creativity and […]

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