The downside of today’s focus on accountability and performance management is a fragmented view of how work flows across every organization. As a result departmental silos are reinforced and way too much finger pointing occurs. This leads to a culture of “if it’s not our fault, it must be yours.”
I love to get examples of the power of process mapping, like the one Jeff Johnson provides below. The Improvement Point Jeff is referring to proceeds his comment.
“As important as what’s measured is how the information is used. In many organizations, team members and managers resist measuring accuracy rates, cycle times, rework, customer satisfaction levels, wait times, and the like because they’ve been beaten up with this information. Despite the mountain of evidence showing that 85 – 90 percent of errors and mistakes originate in the organization’s structure, system, or process, all too many managers still look for who rather than what went wrong.”
from Jim Clemmer’s article, “Organizational Measurement and Feedback Pathways and Pitfalls (Part 1 of 2)”
Read the full article now!
Today’s Improvement Point mentioned how we often focus on assigning blame rather than looking at the structure or process. I agree with your comment.
In the past year I have also gained leadership responsibility for our IT team. Through that work, we have been looking at several of our core business processes (i.e. how we track inventory, record sales, report lab results, etc.) Almost all the conflict we ended up resolving was NOT a result of an employee being incompetent or not wanting to do a good job, but rather an outdated or poor processes. In the last 14 years the company has grown from single digit employees to over 150, but we hadn’t re-examined some of our core processes, which no longer worked in the larger organization. It wasn’t until we mapped what is that we saw the big picture as no one person was seeing the whole picture. Once we had it in front of us, it was clear to see the conflict that had become endemic in our organization.
The best part is I didn’t have to solve it. When the people involved in the process saw the clear big picture, they had better solutions than I likely could have come up with. That joint process stopped the “blame game” and actually resulted in better relationships with the people that needed each other.
– Jeff Johnson, Marketing Manager – Africa, Pioneer, A Dupont Company
The July 2005 issue of The Leader Letter is dedicated to strategic process management. It includes sections on:
- “It’s Often About Processes Not People”
- “Why Strategic Process Management”
- “Steps to Strategic Process Management”
- “Process Management Pathways and Pitfalls”
- “Keys to Strategic Process Management”
- “Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm…on Process Management”
You can learn more about The CLEMMER Group experiences, perspectives, and approaches to Strategic Process Management here.
The section entitled “Strategic Process Management: Optimizing Cross-Functional Performance” (part way down the page) provides the slides from the executive briefing overview we provide on our approach.
You can also find resources on Process Management here.