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Project and processes are best friends!

To have a best friend is good. And did you know that your projects are best friend with some of your processes? In an earlier article I mention the fact that projects and processes are best friends. In this article I intend to elaborate on that subject.

If we imaging that we work within the construction business, we could also imagine all the exiting projects going on. We have got the contract to build the new terminal at the international airport. We also build the new bridge across the large river in our capital. Another project is to repair the highway bridge going over a large part of the harbor area. And then the best of them all; the prestige project of building the new parliament building with all the new technology for security and for the democratic work.

In order to be able to run our projects successfully and then deliver the expected constructions on time and on budget, we need support from the organization outside our projects. We need them to be there for us, to help us with some things that we need within the project, but we do not want to plan it in detail. What needs could that be? It is things that all our projects need and that is not specific for the different projects. That means that it is things that are done over and over again, in all the projects.

Wait a minute you might say, does not that sound like a process? You are right on the spot; it is processes that we need in our projects. These processes are a vital part of the success of our projects, but they are not included into our projects. The project manager do not control in detail the activities and resources. She or he merely have integration with these processes, and have clear requirements of the outcome from the processes.

As we are working on a construction company, two of the most important processes supporting our projects are procurement and purchase. We do need to have good prices and the right quality on all the material that we buy for the different projects. We also need to have the material delivered on time and to the right place. That means that someone within those processes have found the suppliers that we can trust and made them to our best partners. They have everything done in advance, all the agreements, all prices, how things can be delivered and how fast. All those things are acting as an input when preparing the project, and writing our offers and closing the deal with our customers. The better the processes work, the better our project will perform.

Other processes of importance for our projects are staffing, handling invoices from suppliers and to customers, and financial follow up.

If we switch business to rehabilitation, where we work with helping severely injured people getting back on track. We have a constant flow of patients into our business and most of them we help over a couple of years or more. We have designed our process of taking care of our patients very well, to ensure that they get back on track as soon as possible. As all of them have very individual needs, we see every patient as a project within the rehabilitation process. What does that mean? It means that our process contain of a mix of well defined activities that need to be done, and between them we have highly individual activities for each patient.

This means that we see most of our business as processes, but to ensure the successful treatment of every patient we see their case as a project. In that way we use the best of two worlds to ensure our success in helping those counting on us, so that they get back to a better life.

The above is two examples of businesses that use both projects and processes and mix them together for their best result. They understand that projects and processes are best friends and that they enjoy being together.

To you and your business excellence,

Matts Rehnstrom