by Jim Vaughan

Creating the perfect process.

Sep 29, 2009
IT Leadership

Don't create bloated processes that never get used.

Interesting. I prepared my blog and logged into the site to submit. That’s when I saw the blog by Phil Ayres entitled “Dreaming about Process Perfection.” So I checked my calendar to see if it was process improvement month.  When you are done reading this blog (and I do hope that you do get to the end) go check out Phil’s blog which is well worth the read. Here follows my original blog unedited even after reading what Phil had to say.

I remember Tom Peters once wrote that the worst decision is the decision that does not get made. The premise was that if you wait to have a failsafe decision you may never get to a decision. There is a point where a decision must be made. If the decision is incorrect you can discover this early enough and correct your course. I find a similar pattern with process development.

Often we want to create failsafe processes. We want to make sure that we cover every scenario, walk through the process 100 times, have thirty people review, comment and agree on the process. These processes become bloated with information. Us type A personalities gloss over as we read through the details and the error legs that we will never use. Frustration sets in and the process is submitted to the plastic lined file for safe keeping. This often becomes the fate of many processes. A lot of effort is put into the creation and very little value is achieved.

Applying the KISS principle you can create a fairly simple process in a short period of time on one sheet of paper. (font = 10 pt or larger) Put the process in place and start using it. Yes there will be flaws and there will be questions. Using a continual process improvement philosophy you can start improving this process. The process will continue to improve and be used more widely. Rather than being clumsy and awkward to use the process becomes lean and mean. The process works within the organization culture and has been “road tested” by those experts that need to use the process.

If you take a look at any product you will see that is improves over time. This is the evolution of product development. A process is a product that will make your organization tick. Get your product to market and allow it to evolve.