The Unseen Face of Process projects - A summary of the series

This is the final post  in a series focused on process work. Particularly process work being carried out in projects. It links in closely to my eBook ‘The Perfect Process Project’, version 2 of which has been released. If, after reading these posts, you want to purchase a copy of the book please feel free to click over to the appropriate page and do the business.
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This post is a summary of the series and a challenge to you, the reader.

Over the last 4 weeks this series has focused on the things that occur within a process project which could, potentially, damage that project are lead to a less than optimal outcome. We have looked at:

  1. Managing change and how process projects are generally change oriented. Also why change needs to be managed and what are the two types of change we are concerned with
  2. Process Ownership and why processes need to be owned. We've also looked at how to decide who your process owner should be and why it is important that they are at the right level in the organisation
  3. Measuring processes. Why measures are important, why processes need to b measured and "Comerford's Three Laws of Metrics"
  4. User Involvement and how getting the users involved at the right time and in the right context is vitally important
  5. Doing the wrong things and how a slavish adherence to items such as dogma, or trying to define your organisation before you've defined your process is a recipe for disaster.

Now as we wrap up this series of articles I think it is important to summarise them and help focus future discussions on the subject.

I am firmly of the opinion that process projects are one of the hardest things to get right. The previous posts have identified a number of the pitfalls that can occur along the route to finishing a project, as I mentioned in the introductory article. I think the reason a lot of these errors or behaviours creep into a project is that they are so simple and 'common sense' As I have said numerous times on this blog: 'The problem with common sense is that it isn't that common'. Project members tend to focus on the minutiae of projects without looking at the big picture and what the main stumbling blocks could be.

Throughout this series I have resisted the urge to focus on technology (Indeed throughout this blog you will find only a small number of posts that are specifically technology focused) because I feel that technology is an enabler to good process design and management rather than an end in itself. Having a good BPA or BPM tool will not guarantee good process design and management. It will certainly facilitate that but, as I mentioned in the article about 'doing the right things' it cannot substitute for performing the work, making the decisions, assigning the owners and communicating to the users.

So now the challenge:

2010 can be a bumper year for process work. As companies start to climb out of the recession, and budgets become less and less constrained, it will be interesting to see how many of these companies focus on process as a driver for helping them gain competitive advantage and reduce the costs on the bottom line.

If you are working in an organisation that is looking to run a project that is process focused (and see the first post n the series for a definition of 'process focused projects'), it would be interesting to see how many of the unseen problems that I have identified are potentially going to happen to that project. Over and above that it would be interesting to see how of you can influence the projects to not go down that path and to implment some of the solutions mentioned in the previous posts.

I would be interested to hear your success stories. Please comment below.

For earlier posts in this series please click here:

(Don't forget if you want help with any of the above items I am more than happy to come and give you the benefit of my knowledge and experience via my consulting company GCP Consulting)

Reminder: 'The Perfect Process Project' is still available. Don't miss the chance to get this valuable insight into how to make business processes work for you.

Click this link and follow the instructions to get this book.

All information is Copyright (C) G Comerford

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