Why Some Companies Shy Away From Implementing Business Process Techniques

May 16, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Often, organizations steer away from using business process techniques to improve processes and the subsequent quality of their goods. While there are a few reasons why companies steer away from implementing process techniques or popular process methodologies, the reasons are likely not that companies don’t want to provide a high-quality product. Some of the reasons why businesses shy away from such techniques and methodologies are:

  • The perceived complicated nature of the business process techniques and process methodologies. For example, ISO proudly states that they have defined and published thousands of standards. For many businesses, especially small companies, this fact is overwhelming. How should a small startup company work its way through this complexity?
  • The complex nature of the techniques leads us also to a second problem. If the technique is so complex, how much time and how many resources is it going to take to implement it in the organization? Do they even have the resources or energy to implement it at all? Some businesses prefer to focus on the here-and-now, fighting fires as they arise, rather than spending a good deal of time and energy on getting good, robust processes into place.
  • A third issue is that business process techniques can unfortunately be considered ephemeral, as is the case with some clothing fashions. Total Quality Management is a good example of this. While TQM programs do exist in organizations today, in many cases, programs implemented at the height of their popularity during the 1980s no longer exist or have since been de-prioritized.
  • Finally, some companies present the argument that companies that do well with winning awards for quality based on their excellent processes may be good at conforming and winning awards, but do not excel in the market. While this is not entirely true, it does help support non-adoption of business process techniques and methodologies as part of a day-to-day ongoing organizational task.

While these are all good reasons, at the end of the day, businesses still need a way to accurately and simply measure how well their processes are working at any given time. Their processes need to be repeatable and flexible. A repeatable process lays the foundation for continuous improvement. A flexible process allows the business to adjust easily to changing demands of both internal and external variables such as fluctuations in the organization or the marketplace. If there are no process techniques or methodologies in place at all, can companies really quantify how well they are truly doing month over month or year over year? So, I think we can agree, at least in principle, that some process methodology is important. It may not need to be one of the popular process methodologies such as ISO or Six Sigma; however, it should be some sort of process that is repeatable, measurable, flexible and, most importantly, simple.

Dr. Milton Mattox is a senior-level business executive and technologist who has worked with some of America’s most acclaimed companies. An expert in software engineering, information technology, and quality process management, he continues to practice the process methodologies outlined in his new book, “RAIDers of the Lost Art: Reinventing the Art of Business Process Excellence” to successfully increase return on investment. For more information, reference http://www.miltonmattox.com.

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