In a recent blog on the HBR website, Brad Power asks the question “Where Have All the Process Owners Gone”? In the post Power brings out a couple important points that really spoke to me.
- Processes must be improved across departments
- There must be a process owner
I can relate to the idea of improving processes. In my experience many companies haven’t even defined their processes in the first place. What I’ve realized recently is that we weren’t doing a good job of communicating and improving processes across different departments.
It’s easy for individual department managers to be so focused on their piece of the puzzle that they miss the big picture. Cross-departmental communication is essential for processes to improve companywide.
The organization structure needs to support the role of process owner. Who in your organization is responsible for monitoring the processes via metrics? At Astonish, I have all our managers report these key metrics to me weekly. Who is keenly aware of process flaws and it committed to fixing them?
Again, if you haven’t clearly defined your processes, your certainly not going to fix anything and if you do it will be haphazard at best.
The point is, you can correct issues within departments, but if you don’t have someone focused on the big picture, you won’t be achieving the results you’d like.