Organizations often abandon business process methods to improve processes and the subsequent quality of their products. While there are several reasons why companies refrain from adopting popular technologies or process methodologies, the reason is probably not that companies do not want to produce a quality product. Here are some of the reasons why companies avoid such methods and methodologies:
The perceived complex nature of business process methods and methodologies. For example, ISO proudly states that it has identified and published thousands of standards. For many businesses, especially small ones, this fact is staggering. How can a small startup overcome this complexity?
The complex nature of the methods also brings us to the second problem. If the technology is so complex, how long and more time does it take to implement it in an organization? Do they have the resources or energy to do so? Some companies prefer to focus on what is happening here and now, putting out fires as soon as they happen, instead of spending a lot of time and energy on creating good and reliable processes.
The third problem is that, unfortunately, business processes can be considered ephemeral, as in the case of some fashion models of clothing. A good example is Total quality management. Although the programs exist in organizations today, in many cases programs implemented at the peak of their popularity in the 1980s no longer exist or have since been stripped of priority.
Finally, some companies claim that companies that manage to win quality awards through their excellent processes do well in winning awards, but are not successful in the market. While this is not quite the case, it does help to reject the adoption of business process techniques and methodologies as part of a daily ongoing organizational task.
While these are all good reasons, businesses ultimately need a way to accurately and easily measure how well their processes work at any given time. Their processes must be reproducible and flexible. The repeat process lays the groundwork for continuous improvement. Through a flexible process, businesses can easily adapt to the changing demands of internal and external variables, such as organizational or market fluctuations. If there are no techniques or process methodology, can companies really quantify their work month after month or year after year? So I think we can agree, at least in principle, with the importance of a particular methodology process. This may not necessarily have to be one of the most popular process methodologies, such as ISO or Six Sigma; however, it must be some repetitive, measurable, flexible and, most importantly, simple process.
Dr. Milton Mattox is a business leader and technologist who has worked with some of America’s most famous companies. An expert in software development, information technology and quality process management, he continues to apply the process methodology described in his new book, “RAIDers of the Lost Art: Reinventing the Art of Business Process Excellence”, to increase successful return on investment.