In recent years, I have repeatedly had the feeling that things cannot go on like this in process management and that the next leap is necessary. The methods have become more and more sophisticated over the past 20 years and the level of maturity of organizations using process management has increased continuously.
Nevertheless, my inner voice tells me that it cannot go on like this with the constant “higher, faster, further”.
For this reason, I would like to share my theses for the future of process management with you here and open a dialogue.
So, let’s have a look into the future of process management. Here are my “New Process” theses:
1. Trust the people working “in” and “on” the process:
The times when employees were closely managed and controlled are over. A well-designed process provides the framework and opens up freedom of action and decision-making for the people without constantly having to obtain approval or a decision from their supervisor.
2. Involve the people “in” the process into the work “on” the process
The process design should not be created in a quiet chamber and then rolled out to the world. Instead, the involvement of the experts who work in the process every day offers the opportunity to incorporate real practical knowledge into the further development and, through the resulting transparency, create a high level of acceptance of the results. Here are three examples:
- Standardization of processes: In all organizations in which a process is executed independently by several people, the idea of standardization quickly comes up. Despite all the negative associations that the concept of standardization may bring with it, I see a great opportunity here to make the best practices of the individual people accessible to everyone. To this end, it is advisable to communicate the project with maximum transparency and to give everyone the opportunity to participate.
- Take up local ideas and let them scale globally: Sounds a bit like bullshit bingo, but it means that the good ideas that people have at the individual sites where a process is executed are taken up by the process owner to make them globally accessible. By doing so, even small ideas from individual employees can have a huge impact.
- Creating digital and physical platforms for exchange: As a big fan of communities, I think it’s very helpful to regularly bring people together for joint events and to create memories that inspire for the future. On the one hand, information can be passed on from the process owner to the people in the process. On the other hand, there is also the possibility of exchanging information with each other and addressing feedback to the process owner. Thus, everyone can contribute to the further development of the process.
3. Foster the development of the people in the process
The sole communication of process changes will make little contribution to a sustainable change in a process. Instead, I think it makes sense to develop process training courses that are tailored to specific roles, where people are picked up and the changes are communicated in an inspiring way.
My favorite example of this is still the so-called “Process Architect Journey”, which is used at Lufthansa to make process architects fit for their role. In several modules, process management methods are taught to specific target groups and applied directly in cross-company teams within the framework of a case study. — Connections and experiences are created that provide lasting inspiration.
4. Design cooperation “in” and “on” the process to meet people’s needs
Over the past year, looking at people’s cooperation has turned out to be a real secret weapon for me. No matter whether it is during work in or on the process. The benefit of offering people the best possible environment for their work is priceless to me.
Small rooms for online sessions, meeting rooms with the appropriate technical equipment or deep work areas for highly concentrated work have made my work so much easier. Additional communication areas support a targeted exchange of ideas, which is often not wanted and cannot be achieved in mixed areas. I see great potential in taking a closer look at processes in terms of collaboration in order to make work more human in the future.
5. Give meaning to the process:
I am aware that we are now entering an area with a great danger of getting into bullshit bingo. Nevertheless, I would like to put forward the thesis that the consideration of the “Why?” will become more and more important to reach people emotionally and give meaning to their work in and on the process.
I believe that more and more organizations will start to think about their purpose and that this purpose will then be reflected in process design and process execution.
This would mean that the approach of Simon Sinek’s WHY-HOW-WHAT would be completely mapped into processes by using the process design to define the “how” as well as the process execution to address the “what”. — But we still have a lot of development work to do here…
So, what do you think about these theses?
I look forward to your feedback!
Feel free to comment here or to contact me via LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mirkokloppenburg