Jan Bosch is a research center director, professor, consultant and angel investor in start-ups. You can contact him at jan@janbosch.com.

Opinion

More process doesn’t help

Leestijd: 3 minuten

Over the last weeks, I’ve been to three different conferences where I heard presentations that were variations on a common theme: if we would just add more structure and more process to the topic at hand, if we would only introduce more steps, more checkpoints, involve more people, and so on, then all the problems we’re experiencing with this product roadmapping, these innovation initiatives, these business development activities, would magically disappear.

Although most would agree that this is obviously wrong, the fact is that in many companies, universities and government institutions, this is exactly what happens. The organization experiences some kind of problem, perhaps even one that may be exposed in the media and makes management look bad, resulting in a top-down order to “fix it”. The subsequent process is obvious for those that have been part of it. First, there’s an activity to describe the process that led up to the issue surfacing. This is followed by a review of all the actions and other factors, with the intent of identifying what went wrong. Finally, a new process is introduced or an existing process is updated to address the perceived limitations, holes or weaknesses in the current way of working.

Once introduced, the next step is to ensure enforcement of the new way of working. Obviously, the new or updated process adds overhead and makes it more difficult to perform the tasks efficiently. So, before you jump the gun and start to work on further complicating the existing processes in the organization, there are five factors I’d like you to consider.

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