In Search of the Perfect Process

Michelle Cowan's picture

The word is out: perfectionism stifles improvement. In our personal lives, most of us know that perfectionism can lead to procrastination, a mass of unfinished (because they are "imperfect") projects, wasted time, frustration, inaction, and low self-esteem. Despite this knowledge and many people's ability to accept imperfection in their everyday lives, perfection often permeates the work environment, many times without anyone realizing it.

An Organization of One

Michelle Cowan's picture

Having trouble deconstructing your business in terms of processes? Try this exercise on for size.

Building a strong foundation: BP Trends Associates’ recent Business Process Manifesto

John Tesmer's picture

We here at APQC read with interest the recently posted Business Process Manifesto from BP Trends Associates.

The manifesto is aimed at cleanly defining what business processes are and their context within an organization. As the lead for the effort Roger Burlton has again facilitated a thought provoking discussion, and the resulting document sets the stage for big things in the near future.

Hey, All You Daredevils!

Michelle Cowan's picture

Love risk but hate loss?  You're not alone.

“This new market strategy is great… but what if we lost one of our key clients?” “This product has the potential to make a huge splash… but should we stray too far from what we are known for?” “This improvement proposal could improve our efficiency, safety, and alignment significantly… but the up-front cost is pretty high.”

In Case You'd Like to Know...

Michelle Cowan's picture

Yesterday, I hosted a Webinar all about the new “Business Excellence” content in the Knowledge Base. If you are at all curious about the latest and greatest that we have in process management, measurement, benchmarking, and innovation, check it out here:

Now in the Knowledge Base: Business Excellence

Zen for Process Management

Michelle Cowan's picture

No one knows who first said it, but a popular saying asserts: "You don't know where you're going until you know where you've been." I'd like to offer an equally, if not more important, statement that can be applied to process management and improvement: "You don't know where you can go if you don't know where you are."

Can't See the Forest for the Tree Diagrams?

Michelle Cowan's picture

Process management can become a very insular activity. Process-focused teams pore over business documentation, interview key employees, and painstakingly map out the way the organization conducts business. As definitions are written, designs drawn up, and reports presented to executives, some teams develop a kind of process-myopia, losing sight of the ultimate vision of process management: delivering a product or service to a customer more effectively and with higher customer satisfaction.

Seven Tenets (Not Tenants) of Process Management

Michelle Cowan's picture

No, not the “seven tenants of process management.” We’re not asking you to get seven experts to move into your facility, pay rent, and magically imbue your business with process management power. Tenets, my friends.

How do you know if you are really managing according to processes? How do you begin to move to a process management structure? How do you ensure that your process management program is fully optimized?

You, Too, Can Measure Quality

Michelle Cowan's picture

Whew! A new APQC Collaborative Research study has just launched: Harnessing Enterprise Quality Measurement to Create Business Value. This summer, we’ll be investigating the ways top organizations measure quality. And with the hot, hot Houston summer upon us at APQC, there’s no better time to stay inside air conditioned meeting rooms to learn from the best.