When process maps leave everyone in the dark

Imagine you’re sitting in a meeting room and it suddenly goes dark.  You need to check the light switch, maybe even change the light bulb - you’ve seen a couple of spares in the admin room. But when you ask for assistance, you’re handed the full electrical wiring schema for your floor. Blueprints to the building with a detailed map of light switches and the specifications of lighting on each floor.

All of that information is accurate, but there’s a lot to get through. You can understand most of it, but you’re not an electrical expert, and you don’t really have time to find the section you need. The result? There’s a chance you’ll sit down to comprehend it all, but a higher chance you’ll wing it, grab a spare bulb, cross your fingers and try the socket… 

In the field of process improvement, we’ve been producing wonderfully accurate wiring blueprints to help teams see the light for years now.

We support transformation projects and new technology deployments that leave teams with new processes… that are promptly ignored.

Process information, like the wiring information, can be so detailed that it is of little value to teams. Yet a core purpose of process guidance is to help teams get it right, to perform tasks efficiently, so that customers feel like they’re getting a consistent level of service.

Great improvement cultures are built on smart processes that:

  • teams consider simple and useful
  • are written in language that’s easy to understand
  • are stored in a central, accessible location and are easily searchable

Process improvement is about teams helping each other, sharing knowledge and making things easier. When evaluating whether your organisation is riddled with electrical wiring schema, the first question should always be, are people actually using this information? It’s a simple test.

If processes aren’t easily accessible or understandable, teams turn their backs on them and try their luck with the light socket.

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Comments (2)

  1. Debashish Banerjee :
    May 31, 2016 at 01:33 AM

    Solving process problems calls in an in-depth understanding of the blueprint and correlating the lead indicators for unravelling the causal links through PM - otherwise known as phenomenon mechanism. Simplified approaches never allow the process teams to solve a problem. These measures only help fudge problems with usually disastrous consequences.

  2. Ivan Seselj:
    May 31, 2016 at 06:05 PM

    Thanks for your perspectives Debashish. We've got many clients now experiencing a significant lift in collaboration across teams by hitting the right level of communication - often a lot simpler than needed for the deep dive needed for of project analysis.

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