Selling Process Excellence To The Boss

PEXGreat animation What Is Process Excellence? just published by the Process Excellence Network (PEX). The story behind the video is interesting as well.

It’s good because it de-mystifies process. Too many people think that process is the domain of the IT crowd or the Quality manager or some elite strategy unit. This video challenges all that.

It spells out how process is just another way of describing the work we do. Its message is that process is about how organizations create and deliver value to their customers. It’s process that enables organizations to get aligned for success. So it’s on point.

But here’s the really interesting thing about this video. It’s intended to help PEX members – overwhelmingly Lean, Six Sigma and PI people – to sell their Process Improvement programs to their C-Level execs.

But hang on, I hear you say, why on earth do execs need to be sold on Process Improvement programs? Surely they welcome them with open arms? Aren’t the PEX community received as heroes in the C-level suite?

Strangely, no. In many organizations, the Lean Sigma and PI crowd operate at surprisingly low levels, and even feel vulnerable. And there is some serious evidence that supports C-Level skeptics.

So many PI teams are now looking at new approaches, and tools to support them. Thought leaders here want to get beyond PI projects. They want to focus instead on programs to build organizational process maturity. They aspire to CMMI Level 5 capabilities – they are searching for process excellence as standard, and a culture of continuous improvement.

This new approach to PI demands different tools. Process fragments in Visio or on brown paper, or in the technical language of IT, just can’t deliver this.

Actually, it’s not even a tool that’s required any more. Sustainability demands a business management platform. A platform that:

  • provides an integrated and holistic process model of the enterprise, linking the enterprise value chain, or target operating model, directly with the operational reality
  • visualizes end-to-end processes in a way that is intuitive, and in the language of the business
  • overlays processes with performance metrics, business controls, quality and compliance
  • provides a governance framework that enables all process stakeholders to collaborate on the analysis, design and implementation of change
  • blends process with documents, metrics and training – and delivers it to every desktop and mobile device as a personalized ‘intelligent operations manual’, connecting process with getting real work done, and making it easy to engage in continuous improvement.

With this kind of platform in place, the insights and expertise of the Lean Sigma and PI community can be fully leveraged. OK, maybe not conquering heroes – but properly valued.

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