Who Knew a Process Management Conference Could Be So Fun?

Michelle Cowan's picture

It's great to be at APQC in Houston right now! Those of you who aren't here… well… you're missing out. First of all, Houston weather is perfect this time of year. When the rest of North America starts shivering, we venture outside to enjoy temperate perfection. And if it happens to rain, no problem. This week, we're inside the Houstonian Hotel, learning about process management from thought leaders and experts.

Process Improvement: The Job that Never Ends

Michelle Cowan's picture

The goal of process management is to improve performance. Whether the emphasis is customer retention, cycle time, employee satisfaction, efficiency, business growth, productivity, or any other goal, organizations implement process management to improve something. Countless books have been written on the topic, and numerous techniques and methodologies exist to help organizations accomplish these improvements, such as Lean, Six Sigma, and Total Quality Management (TQM).

Change Management: The Heart of Process Management

Michelle Cowan's picture

Without proper change management, you can forget about moving your organization to process management. There is a reason change management is located at the heart of APQC's Seven Tenets of Process Management—number four of seven. All the other tenets, in a way, revolve around change management. The first three—strategic alignment, governance, and process models—lead naturally to change management.

Benchmarking: You Can Do It!

Michelle Cowan's picture

It doesn't take much interaction with APQC before you hear about benchmarking. Our business revolves around collecting data, conducting studies, and sharing information. Our mission is to connect organizations with one another to learn. But did you know that we have dozens of resources to help you benchmark for yourself? Whether you intend to outsource your benchmarking research or use your own resources, we have material to help you put the information you uncover into action.

Following the Crowd

Michelle Cowan's picture

Executive: We need to implement business process management. How do we go about doing it?

Colleague: Well, we don't have a center for process improvement, and the group that usually handles enterprise projects does not have expertise in process management specifically.

Executive: I hear that lots of folks are using the Normative Enterprise… Framework… um…

Colleague: The Normative Enterprise Workflow Framework and Associated Definitions?

Executive: Yes! The NEWFAD. Can we implement that? Should we implement it?

Stuck in a Rut?

Michelle Cowan's picture

It's difficult to shake off old patterns, especially when those patterns are dysfunctional processes in an organization. Most organizations have processes that they know do not work, and yet they hold onto them—sometimes for years.

A Love Letter to Measurement

Michelle Cowan's picture

Ah, measurement… It's been too long since I wrote to you. You do such wonderful things for us in business. You show us how everyone is performing right now and warn us when there could be trouble ahead. What's more, you make new things happen and help people see how far we've come.

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.

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.”