Everything Is A Process

My iPhone alarm goes off in the morning and my day begins. I prepare to walk my dog, next I feed then play with him. Subsequently, I eat breakfast then prepare for my workday.

In grad school, thanks to Professor David Schuff, I find myself consciously thinking more purposely about these processes as my day evolves. Do I create Swim Lane or Affinity diagrams as I map out my day or, perhaps, some business modeling is in order? For the most part, nothing elaborate is necessary. However, by bringing higher awareness to my daily processes, I find that I am discovering ways to be efficient whether I am running simple errands or implementing a project and analyzing data for a client. Originally, I had been skeptical when examining the relevance of process in my daily life. However, I now find myself consciously thinking about ways I might take advantage of my new found awareness. In fact, today I thought through processes where I applied learned practices enabling me to effectively address delivering on three ambitious timelines while juggling a myriad of demands.

This level of thinking has also made me a better problem solver when thinking through processes professionally for clients and customers. Have you ever thought more consciously about processes we often take for granted in our daily activities? Or, how you might make these elements work better together by bringing greater process recognition to everyday routines? I think you’ll be surprised by the outcome.

Never Forget: Process Involves Real People

When examining process, do not forget that process is not solely about products or objects but real people. The realization struck me when I heard a speaker exclaim, “Everyone should experience an acquisition at least once in their career in order to discover more about process.” This was stated in a positive light. However, having personally been through two acquisitions, I have a different point of view.

Lives are often adversely affected through acquisition. I have observed first-hand top notch CEO’s, CFO’s, CIO’s, directors, managers and all levels of employees losing their jobs due to acquisition.

Typically, those becoming unemployed are informed that their position is redundant. It was not redundant prior to acquisition.

Granted there is a great deal of learning that may occur when IT integration occurs, employees with bills to pay and children to feed are frequently displaced. Moreover, employees’ dismissal has nothing to do with individual performance. Acquisition decisions are made at a higher level.

Although advances in process automation may contribute to fewer employees, we must keep in mind that humans still oversee those processes. Therefore, re-training should be top of radar. Displacing people, as a function of an acquisition, is not something we should relish nor ever take lightly.

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