The APQC Blog

Process Strategy 2.0: A New Direction?

As we move into 2013, many organizations are planning for change. The Harvard Business Review Blog Network ran a piece about the emerging trends in process and process improvement: Three Examples of New Process Strategy.  In this discussion, Brad Power talks about Process Strategy 2.0 and how to leverage the most common improvement tools towards a new direction for process. So what’s on the process horizon?  Power suggests three things.

First, streamlining customer experiences in end-to-end processes. Process Strategy 2.0 will require aligned goals and supporting systems to manage work. Power talks about the shift toward a global, virtual, cross-organizational approach that focuses on customers. To ensure a cohesive, focused approach, alignment with goals and support systems will be an essential tool.

Second, Process Strategy 2.0 will leverage social collaboration tools. Yet, Power cautions about running headfirst towards social collaboration, as participation rates tend to be low. Organizations that have realized success with social media and process identify key enablers: leadership leading by example, setting governance/policies regarding security, and creating tools that make collaboration easy and fun.

Finally, Process Strategy 2.0 will use quick experiments and agile management to speed up operations and improvement efforts. The rate of change is accelerating in areas such as technology, competition, and regulation. Power suggests approaching these changes through creating a culture of openness, analytical rigor, and respect. He suggests that the expectation is that workers will not only do their work, but improve it as well.

If what Power suggests is correct, these are important emerging trends that can strongly influence the direction of an organization. One way to facilitate these changes is to use APQC’s Seven Tenets of Process Management, which offer guidance on the topics of strategic alignment, governance, change management, and tools & technology. These tenets can be viewed as tools that can implement Process Strategy 2.0.

What do you think? Are there different trends you see? What are the drawbacks of the trends Power lists? Have you been able to use the Seven Tenets to implement some of these changes?