Process, Process, Process

Ask anyone on my team or anyone that knows me – they will tell you I am a Process Evangelist. Thriving systems have healthy processes underpinning them.

Healthy organizations allow time for Process. Without process things decay. The second law of thermodynamics, also known as entropy, says that left to themselves, things tend to degenerate. … It takes effort and energy to combat entropy and keep systems from falling apart. When we look around us at various systems it is relatively easy to identify those systems that are tended to and maintained. It is evident there is some level of process  and intentionality attending to them. This is true of every system. You can see the outcomes and immediately get a feel for what is occurring in any given system. Notice that health is an outcome of intentionality and yes, even process. A great percentage of the time when I have been called in to assess a company, the problems encountered usually point to a lack of process. In most cases there is not a process in place to support the outcomes the leadership team expects. There are even times when business objectives are not clear, desired outcomes are not clear, and the team does not have the tools to determine why their outcomes are not in line with the objectives. Every decision and every action should have an underlying supporting process. Otherwise we have chaos. 

I have coined the term ‘Cone of Chaos’ to articulate the cycle companies can find themselves in. There is always a justification for doing things fast, or taking shortcuts all in the name of delivering. Some value might delivered, but it is at the cost of risk, technical debt, unmet expectations, and dysregulated nervous systems of team members that are constantly living in fight or flight because they are expected to deliver without being equipped to deliver their best work. If a team is not delivering the leadership should be asking the question ‘are we equipping our people to do their best work?’.

Cone of Chaos - Why Process and Planning must be prioritized

Process takes TIME. When implementing process it can feel like productivity is taking a back seat. The reality is that taking the time to implement process does slow output down temporarily, but the ROI is immeasurable in what it brings to the quality of your product, the morale of your team, and the faith and trust that is instilled in your company and your customers. It is time to go from ‘Hoping’ to ‘Delivering’ and manifesting the outcomes you and your company desire.

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