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Making processes more effective by knowing the concepts that created them.
22 Apr 2019

Making Processes More Effective By Knowing The Concepts Behind Them

The key to making processes more effective is to accept that they don’t fit all cases perfectly. The downside of processes is that they can become too mechanical. They need adjustments. Decisions on these adjustments become better by knowing the concepts behind processes.

Making Recipes (Processes) More Effective

Take a recipe for example. It’s a process. Yet, following the recipe exactly each time does not guarantee the same outcome. Other factors affect it. The stove, the cook, the ingredients and the utensils are just a few of those factors. It’s why restaurants go to great lengths to control all these other factors.

It’s why great chefs do more than follow recipes well. They know the concepts behind them. Doing so helps them make the right adjustments for the conditions and the tastes of their customers.

That’s why the Great British Bake Off isn’t about the baker who can follow the recipes the best. It’s about the baker who can best take a set of ingredients make the desired item. They don’t get recipes.

Knowing the concepts behind a process helps in making processes more effective as we adapt them to reality.

No process fits reality perfectly. Knowing the concepts that created the process helps us address the unexpected that reality often presents.

Making Processes More Effective By Applying Their Concepts

Change Management Example

All processes have concepts behind them. These concepts guided the processes’ design, their steps. For instance, a concept behind the change management process is that people don’t like change. Therefore, the process includes extensive work with stakeholders. The purpose is to gain buy in.

However, if a change manager tries to apply the process uniformly to all stakeholders, she will fail. People differ. While people don’t like change, this is not true for all people. Thus, knowing the concept of psychology in change will guide her in making the right decisions for each stakeholder.

General Process Concepts

Why do processes work? Why do people like them? These questions identify concepts. They can guide decisions in the day-to-day application of processes:

  • Security
  • Ease of Use
  • Reduced Thinking
  • Efficiencies

Now take these concepts and apply them to any decision that comes up that further tailors that process to the case at hand. First, people have to feel secure with the decision. It must make things easy for them. It shouldn’t require much thought. Finally, the decision shouldn’t waste time.

Making Processes More Effective By Using Their Concepts In Decisions

A client once claimed that her husband wasn’t creative. When she told me he was a manager of a manufacturing plant, I said too many things can go wrong. The fact that people must oversee any process is proof that processes don’t always fit reality perfectly.

Therefore, for the times they don’t, understanding the concepts that created them help us make good decisions to address these times. If we don’t grasp them, we raise the likelihood that we’ll apply the process too mechanically. That raises our error rate.

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