Aaron De Smet

Processes are extremely important, which is: How does it work? What are the activities that, when you string them together in a particular way, add value? And what are the decisions that are made along that chain of activities? Who makes them? How do they get measured? This is one of the most important things.

When we develop metrics for an organization and set targets and … [ Read more ]

Scott Berkun

Good processes include a process for changing or eliminating the process. Because projects and teams are changing all the time, a process that is useful or necessary one month may not be useful or necessary the next month. Never assume that a process will go on forever, and avoid defining jobs around processes for this reason.

Tom Davenport

Why don’t organizations create process-oriented structures and start focusing the needed attention on process issues? Unfortunately, there are some good reasons. Processes aren’t the only thing in organizations that need attention. Business functions, which are focused on the skills and capabilities needed to solve organizational problems, deserve some attention too. Geographically-based structures are an acknowledgement that business is different in different parts of the world, … [ Read more ]

Kishore S. Swaminathan

Businesses thrive on stability and repeatability. Stable and repeatable processes justify large-scale capital expenses; they justify large-scale employee training; and they reduce cognitive overhead because processes and decisions do not change and hence their rationale does not have to be explained repeatedly.

By contrast, an analytically based enterprise of the future will have to be designed around volatility rather than repeatability. Volatility—or rapidly changing decisions that … [ Read more ]

Clayton Christensen

The capabilities of business units reside in their processes and their values, and by their very nature, processes and values are inflexible and meant not to change.

Steve Miller

There are two kinds of people in the world—either process-oriented or project-oriented.

Gary Hamel

Management processes often contain subtle biases that favor continuity over change. Planning processes reinforce out-of-date views of customers and competitors, for instance; budgeting processes make it difficult for speculative ideas to get seed funding; incentive systems provide larger rewards for caretaker managers than for internal entrepreneurs; measurement systems understate the value of creating new strategic options; and recruitment processes overvalue analytical skills and undervalue conceptual … [ Read more ]

P Ranganath Nayak, David A. Garvin, Arun N. Maira, and Joan L. Bragar

The distinction between process and procedure is essential. Procedures contain only explicit knowledge. Processes embed procedures in tacit knowledge of both the expert and the social kinds. Many of the problems of reengineering can be traced to the treatment of processes as though they were procedures – i.e., as though people’s tacit knowledge didn’t matter.

P. Ranganath Nayak

Processes improve fastest when those involved in the improvement effort understand the whole process rather than just their piece of it.

Michael Hammer

What we have now is a multidimensional organization. On one hand, we have markets; on the other hand, functional departments. Business processes cut across all the above. In that kind of complex environment, hierarchy and power make no sense. Instead, it’s about influence and collaboration.

Scott Buckhout, Edward Frey and Joseph Nemec Jr.

The reality is that an ERP system locks in the operating principles and processes for the corporation. Once the ERP system is installed, the odds of being able or willing to pay for modifications are close to zero. The cost; complexity; investment of time and staff, and implications and politics of untangling such an expensive investment prohibit most companies from tackling this issue. Consequently, it … [ Read more ]

John Seely Brown and Estee Solomon

Processes don’t do work, people do. Look closely at the inner workings of any company and you’ll discover gaps between official work processes — the “ideal” flows of tasks and procedures – and the real-world practices behind how things actually get done. These gaps are not problems that need fixing; they’re opportunities that deserve leveraging…We’re not arguing against business processes per se. The challenge is … [ Read more ]

Joanne Sammer, Mike Costa

Unlike many systems, ERP suites are designed under the assumption that an organization will modify its business processes to suit the software, rather than the other way around. ERP systems work most effectively in an organization that integrates processes across all parts of the enterprise, freely shares information, and uses common terminology. “You have to step back from ERP and realize that its success lies … [ Read more ]

Richard Foster

I think control systems are one of the most important, least understood, and least examined aspects of management that we have today. Most companies tend to accrete their control systems, whether on the financial, production, or sales side. So over time you get hundreds of these systems. If you ask companies how many control systems they have, they don’t know. If you ask them how … [ Read more ]

Clayton M. Christensen

Despite beliefs spawned by change-management and reengineering programs, processes are not nearly as flexible as resources are — and values are even less so.

John Dingell

You decide the substance and I’ll decide the process, and I’ll beat you every time.