Posts Tagged ‘ making process work ’

Getting To A Decision Of Sorts

We like to think of deciding as an act of deliberate intent. In actual fact, decisions often simply happen. They emerge and evolve, or arrive at a point where they are simply accepted. All appearances to the contrary, it can be difficult to point to when a decision was actually made, how it was arrived at and by whom. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are ways to improve not just the quality of decisions, but also clarity in the decision making process.



The Building Blocks of Decision

If we care about making a good strategic decision, then we need a capable process to get us there. In my last article, I made the argument that if we try to move normal meeting structures online, we are likely to fail. Partly that’s a product of attention span and inadequacies in online meeting technologies….
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Systems Are Good… But Habits Are Essential

I’ve been sharing some of the experiences I’ve had as I transition my approach to time management. I’m liking the system that I have moved to. While it takes a different approach to some of the principles that I use and apply, I understand the choices that have been made and why. And I can see the value of many of them. What has been most relevant in this overall transition, though, is not that I have a shiny new piece of software. The essential change is a result of developing new habits about how I use and rely on the system that I have.



Agile Will Not Save You

Agile approaches are enjoying a very bright place in the sun. And that is to some extent deserved; they represent a very different way of working, especially when we are dealing with ill-defined problems and a need for experimentation and search. At the same time, we often define agile as needing to be different than what came before. The implication being that predecessor capabilities are inadequate, inappropriate and best relegated to the dustbin of history. The reality is very different.



Our Ideologies Undermine Us

Beliefs and principles are useful. They guide us when we are dealing with unknowns and uncertainty. They also get in the way, because they blind us to being aware of when they stop working. This is particular true of process, where ideology often gets in the way of adaptation and a recognition of what works here (or what won’t).



Appropriation & Adaptation

While models can be awesomely useful, they are ultimately just constructs that were created because they were relevant to someone at some point. What’s more important is understanding where our models come from in the first place: how they are created, how they evolve and what they connect back to. We forget their underpinnings at our peril. But unfortunately we do that a little too often.



Successfully Navigating Process

Getting process right is hard. While we might know what not to do, identify what to do is challenging and difficult. In a world where we accept that the right answer to process is “it depends,” we need to get clear and specific about how we can figure out what it depends on. Identify the questions to ask and the approach to take is challenging. Following it is even harder. Doing both is essential.



Embracing “It Depends”

Process needs to work. To work, it needs to be relevant. That means that what we implement needs to be contextually appropriate, relevant and accepted. Cookie-cutter solutions don’t work here. What works depends. But the real question is, “what does it depend on?”



I Am A Process Geek

A personal confession: my professional career has been dedicated to process. While I appreciate the value of process, I am also challenged by how it is often implemented. It’s easy to ask for everything. It’s a lot harder to focus on what is essential and valuable.