3 The Nature of Process

Companies create value for their clients, employees, and shareholders through processes. They embody organizational know-how and are the key to strategic capabilities. Focusing on them is critical to learning and sustainable competitive advantage.

3.1 – An introduction to complex service delivery processes – The airport experience

The objective of this presentation is to provide a first broad overview of the nature of complex service delivery processes.  I will use airports as illustration. While they typically include some of the simplest service jobs (such as bookstore clerk, parking attendants, and porters) they also include some of the most complex (pilot, air controller, scheduler).

Key concepts: Servicescape, customer experience, service delivery processes, chain of value adding processes, process breakdown

Techniques: SITOC, FAST

3.2 – The process view

The notion of a process is fundamental to the systemic view or organizations as value creating entities and the understanding of value streams flowing through the various departments and units.  This video drives home the notion, bringing it to a personal level.

Key concepts: SITOC, customers of  a process, chain of customers, outputs and outcomes, value stream, the mission of a process, transformation ressources, zooming in and out.

3.3 – Processes and projects

The project notion has a good “branding”, as it evokes new and unique ventures.  The project notion is all too often associated to routine, repetition, bureaucracy, and control.  The two notions are presented by some as clearly distinct.   This video debunks some of these notions and presents a reality that is best described in shades of gray than in black in white.  Key concepts: Project, process, temporary organization, improvement and learning, WBS vs FAST.  A host of examples are given to challenge popular paradigms and explore the relationships between the two concepts.

Key concepts: Project, process, temporary organization, improvevement and learning, WBS vs FAST, continuum vs dichotomy

3.4 – The nature of technology

All too often, an endeavour intent on process change ends up in technology implementation.  Process improvement is about the brainware that should guide the choice, adaptation, and implementation of hardware, software, and the required support network.  Technological capabilities and constraint are important factors to consider in process improvement and process design.

Key concepts: technology, brainware, support network, organizational culture, created capability, technological change, process change vs technology implementation.  Examples: History (American war of independence, Pacific war (radar in the navy), the designer example.  A simple model is proposed and the relationship between technological change and process improvement is clarified.