Process Examples: Overview

Quick Summary: Using simple tools can make process implementation quick and easy.

Abstract:

Creating processes can be remarkably easy to start through the use of simple tools.  Each of the five tools helps to define, create, and manage different aspects of the planned process.  All of the tools can be implemented as part of one’s normal activities; there is no need to rely on quality or process gurus.

Volume 6, Chapter 3 of this collection is titled “Quality and Processes.”  It includes 16 articles with seven articles on Quality and the remaining nine articles of Processes.  The two subjects are inextricably linked by the notion that is repeated in multiple articles in this collection: “Quality is attained through Repeatability, and Repeatability is only possible through Process.  A similar statement is equally valid by substituting the term “Scalability” for “Quality.”  Finally, Profitability will not be attained or, at best, be only intermittently achieved if both quality and scalability through processes do not exist.  The only questions for a new company to answer is when they will implement processes and where should they begin.

Unfortunately, to the vision-oriented entrepreneur or new company CEO, the thought of implementing processes may arouse feelings of constraint or diversions from their long-term goal.  The opposite is true!  Implementing the proper level of processes at the right time and in the right areas will increase efficiency by reducing confusion and re-work. 

To level-set, the reader is encouraged to review the nine articles in Chapter 6.03 as listed below.  These articles establish the foundation for the process examples that are explained in the next three articles and can be downloaded by website registered users.

Chapter 6.03 Process Articles

Number

Title

Quick Summary

6.030401

What is a Process?

At the most basic level, a process is an ordered set of repeatable steps to create a desired output.

6.030402

Processes: Why Bother?

Take time to explain the advantages of implementing processes to avoid resistance.

6.030403

The Pre-Process Explosion

Re-work and inefficiency due to a lack of processes can be tolerated -- until they can’t!

6.030501

Processes: When to Start

Unexpected results are a key indicator of when to implement processes.

6.030502

Starting the Process Process

Start process implementation in a small way with an easy projected victory to gain acceptance.

6.030503

Common Process Elements

Utilizing a common process format will help implementation across the organization.

6.030504

Documenting a Process

Divide the process of a creating process into well defined discrete steps.

6.030505

The Object Model Approach for Processes

Let the actual implementers define how they perform their tasks within a process.

6.030506

Step Back Process Guidelines

Process development can easily get off track by well-meaning but misguided activities.

 

Although almost countless books and consultants are available that cover all aspects of process development and implementation, the basic concepts are remarkably easy and straightforward as discussed in the articles listed above.  The articles included in this section and described below provide some real-world examples that may be useful as models.  The examples increase in complexity based on the order listed. 

With one exception, all of the process examples can be created with general PC software tools such as the Microsoft Office Suite™ or the open-source LibreOffice™ or Google Docs™.  The most complex tool required is a drawing tool such as Microsoft’s Visio™.  For many process maps, PowerPoint™ or its equivalent could also be used instead of a drawing tool.  The one exception is a simple Excel™ workbook template that is used to create a one-page overview of the process.  The various fields in that template are defined in article 6.030503, “Common Process Elements.“  Even that template can be created in a number of PC applications.  For convenience, a downloadable version of that tool is available as specified below. The simplicity of this template is deceiving.  Once mastered, all of the other process tools will quickly fall in place.

Article 8.030102:  Ordering Lunch

This article describes the first process implemented by a highly sophisticated financial back-office operation.  It solved a simple daily problem that impacted the group’s productivity.  It then served as the training mechanism for the creation of far more complicated processes.

Article 8.030103: Customer Fulfillment

This article describes the overall approach that a company took in defining the necessary steps from the receipt of a customer order to the steady-state customer support activities.  Mulitple processes and the required databases were identified during the activity.

Article 8.030104: Inflection Point Sequential Activities

This article describes how a non-profit, pay-it-forward organization helps companies address various business issues that they face.  The processes follow the beginning through the end of the entire engagement.

These articles show different applications of the five tools described in Chapter 6.03.  Not all tools are needed for a company to get started, and not all tools need to be implemented with the same degree of complexity.  This modular approach allows a quick and easy start that will continue to be effective – perhaps forever!  As they say:  “Try it; you’ll like it” and, more importantly, it will positively impact your business.
 

Downloadable file: Process Summary Template 2018_08_15.xls

 

Article Number : 8.030101   

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