Based on the previous two weekly letters, and if you have done the exercise for your business, you know why you exist and who you exist for, and you also know what that someone wants and indeed needs.
That brings us to the third of the six questions:
- Why and for whom do you exist?
- What does this “who” need and want?
- What do you need to do to meet these needs and desires?
- How will you do this work?
- What tools do we need to do this work?
- What skills are needed to do this work?
What do you need to do to meet these needs and desires?
It is in the answer to this and the following question in the list above, that the three forms of work come in.
You can choose one of three ways of working to do the job of creating the value that customers, whatever you call them, want and need;
- Miscellaneous data
The three usually work together in a business to create the value you exist for. As you will understand from reading below, we want to keep Miscellaneous data to a bare minimum.
Choosing to do the work in project form means that you follow the project model you have in place in your business to set up, plan and implement the work to create the required value. Then you hand it over to the recipient to take responsibility for it in the future and ensure that the desired benefits are achieved.
A project is unique and is dissolved after its completion. This is in contrast to the processes, which remain as long as the value they create is in demand.
Too many people neither have a project model nor follow a definition of what a project actually is. How are you? Do you have a project model that you follow? Is the term project reserved for what is actually work carried out under the project form of work, or are there several different definitions of project?
This brings us to process as a form of work. A process is a series, or network, of activities that together create demand value, and the work is carried out repetitively. This means that there is always work going on in the process and that there are often several different “instances” in the process that demand the value that the process creates and delivers.
As it is a repetitive work in progress, it wants to constantly strive for efficiency in the process, in order to be able to focus on creating an increased qualitative result with an ever decreasing need for resources. This allows you to focus on what really creates value for your customers.
What does it look like in your company, have you designed your processes? Are you actively working towards them? Do all processes have a process manager who leads the day-to-day work that takes place within the process?
The third form of work is that which happens a little here and a little there in the business and is not seen as big enough to design a project for, nor to design a process for. It may also not be repetitive and then also not invoke the need for a process. We call it miscellaneous tasks.
Examples of such tasks vary from activity to activity, but we can think of them as; booking a lunch, taking care of the mail, writing and sending off a letter of some kind, or watering the flowers.
Important things in their own right, but as I said, not sufficiently comprehensive and coherent to design a process for them, or to set up a project for them.
Chaos and question marks
In those organisations that do not run their projects well and do not have designed processes, which they also work to, much of the work consists of the miscellaneous tasks. It is there in the chaos that one can feel, exists. Everyone is busy, but we don’t really see how our work fits together, and we’re forced into endless ad-hoc meetings to sort out problems that shouldn’t exist.
I can say that by having control over your projects and your processes, you create a breeding ground for success. Sustainable and real success is only achieved in this way.
When you describe WHAT you are going to do to create the desired value, you will also be able to share the picture that emerges; whether it is a Gantt chart in a project or the flow shown in a process. Sharing that understanding allows you to discuss the plan/flow and adapt it, improve it, where necessary.
If you can’t share the picture across the flow, then you won’t understand each other either. You’ll be talking past each other and you’ll need to guess what your employees mean when they try to describe problems or suggestions for improvement. You have nothing real to relate to, such as a project plan or process description.
If you want to know more about how to work on designing your processes, check out our training courses. May I suggest the Basic Process Theory course, which takes you through just the basics necessary for you to reset your mindset. A way of thinking that is necessary to develop.
Remember; you can’t solve the problem with the same mindset that created the problem.