Human Processes: What Makes Good Change?

In my last column, I took a brief look at how to assess the quality of a business process – not from an optimisation perspective such as Lean or Six Sigma, but from a usability perspective. Follow the 5 Cs outlined in www.bptrends.com/human-processes-what-makes-a-good-process, and your processes are more likely to make a positive impact on working behaviour.

Some people may find that this represents more work than they are used to, since it takes time to find out what is really happening in an organisation, to identify where activities are common to other processes, to check where the work is affected by regulations, and so on. So, it might be necessary to prioritise which processes you spend the most time on. Eventually, one would hope, all the processes in your organisation will comply with the 5 Cs, but in the short term, some will be more important than others. But which ones?

This is a deep question, since two organisations in the same sector that offer similar products and services may have quite different organisational vision (aims) and resulting strategies (mission). A way forward is to look at the factors that affect the delivery of this vision and mission, for which an ideal technique is the venerable technique of System Dynamics. For a description of the approach, see my column on Measuring Change (www.bptrends.com/human-resources-measuring-change).

In this previous column, I showed how to use System Dynamics to identify optimal transformation opportunities. However, the approach could be summarised as a way to work out the most important things in a complex situation, so it is ideal also for identifying the processes on which to prioritise your attention.

If you are a process analyst struggling with workload, try a Causal Loop Diagram. It will give you the information you need to justify focusing your time on a small number of things that you can then do well, rather than attempting to do a multitude of things without having the time necessary to succeed.

Keith Harrison-Broninski

Keith Harrison-Broninski

Keith Harrison-Broninski is a consultant, writer, researcher and software developer working at the forefront of the IT and business worlds. Keith wrote the landmark book "Human Interactions: The Heart And Soul Of Business Process Management", described by reviewers as "the overarching framework for 21st century business technology" and "a must read for Process Professionals and Systems Analysts alike". Keith founded Role Modellers, whose company mission is to develop understanding and software support of collaborative human work processes, the field Keith pioneered with his work on Human Interaction Management. For more information about Keith, see http://keith.harrison-broninski.info.
Keith Harrison-Broninski

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