Processes and Performance
The Three level Framework
|Organizational Level||Organization Goals||Organization Design||Organization Management|
|Process Level||Process Goals||Process Design||Process Management|
|Job/Performer Level||Job Goals||Job Design||Job Management|
The Process Level is considered the pivotal link between organization and individual performance (Rummler & Brache, 1990). This level usually offers the greatest opportunity for improvement. Outstanding employees cannot improve their performance levels if poor processes are in place.
If you want to understand the way work gets done, to improve the way work gets done, and to manage the way work gets done, processes should be the focus of your attention and actions. - Geary Rummler and Alan Brache (1990)
A process is a series of steps designed to produce a product or service. It should be seen as a value chain, that is, each step in the process should add value to the proceeding steps.
Since processes are the vehicles through which work gets produced, goals must be set for each one. These goals are derived from three sources: organization goals, customer requirements, and benchmarking information.
Once the process goals are set, the process needs to be structured (designed). This should be a logical, streamlined path so that the goals may be effectively and efficiently achieved.
Often, new insights become apparent when you see how tasks relate to a series of events. Building a task and event relationship is called Process Definition. Being able to understand and define the process has several advantages:
- You can better understand how individual and group efforts affect other groups and individuals.
- You can discover barriers that exist between work groups. These barriers are obstacles that get in the way of cooperation and performance.
- Work is accomplished through processes and we improve performance by improving processes. Examining a process can highlight a glaring problem that could easily be fixed.
For more information, see: Process Definition.
Process management includes:
- Goal Management - creating sub-goals to drive function goals.
- Performance Management - tracking performance as established by the goals, giving feedback, identifying and correcting deficiencies, and resetting goals when required by the customers.
- Resources Management - Supporting each step with the needed staff, equipment, time, and budget.
- Interface Management - managing the white space between process steps.
Part of process Management is looking for problems or bottlenecks. A good process model will expose the “truth” of the organization. Although there might be written procedures, instructions, or rules for conducting a process, your model should point out what is really being performed! First, look for problems and opportunities that affect customers. These affect the organization the most. Remember that customers are both internal and external. Also, you need to understand the magnitude of the problem. This can be done by asking “How bad is it?”
The analysis should also include unearthing the Performance Metrics of the process. These include:
- Quality (to include rework)
- Service levels
Rummler, G. & Brache, A., (1990). Improving Performance: How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.