BPM Series: Why do we hate process?

Mike Kavis asks a relevant question: Why do we hate process anyways? I have experienced this and I am sure many project managers and IT leaders must have found very tough to sell “process” to their team members.

Well, following process means extra efforts for people following it. And a number of times, if you are part of an industry in emerging economies, organizations are expected to achieve unachievable targets. And in such an environment I do not think it is possible for organizations (across functions not only in IT) to demonstrate delivery and process at the same time especially if resources are limited. There is always a trade-off between process and time / efforts. In the last 4 years, when I have worked in Insurance industry in India which is incidentally growing at 60%-70% CAGR, my team always questioned my wisdom for following process or doing documentation when we didn’t have the luxury of time and resources. And I sympathised with them. During my consulting days, our project plan and staffing factored efforts for documentation and processes.

I always consider myself a process man, however, in organizations which value speed over perfection, one has to be a bit flexible. Also, especially IT in user organizations cannot operate like IT organizations themselves and has to be pragmatic in defining processes. Processes should not be seen as an obstructions in speed, innovation and creativity. Processes exist for bringing in standardization, minimising people dependence, and ensuring quality in organizations, and organizations do not exist for process. Processes should be simple and easy to follow. Fewer people will hate processes if we follow these principles.

James McGovern makes an interesting point. He says, “No one hates process, everyone hates bad process!”

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