Process Management

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    Tracey Smith

    I am interested to find out about people’s experiences in trying to move to process management in a very ‘silo’ orientated, traditional company.



    It will not work unless there is a Process Owner with much power and authority who can overide rigid managers and bruise some egos along the way. 


    Ron Tussey

    Where I agree with the response from Mike I would take it just a bit farther in that:
    1)  Highest Management must want it to happen
    2) Be very clear on what they expect as results
    3) Be totally willing to committ (time & expence)
    4) Take an active role in monitoring both progress and results
    5) Be willing to tip the silo onto their sides to support cross organizational communication and processes to work without hinderence
    You will never get past the silos, for the most part they are organizationally driven, and for sure structured by an accounting system that does not allow for anything other than the success of the segment, and these views od what success is-is sometimes removed or different from the organizational picture of success.  Total alignment or at least accepted alignment is greatly helpful.
    Good Luck and regards, Ron 


    John Hargreaves

    In addition to Ron and Mike’s input, I suggest you take a “systems thinking” perspective that will force the political (as driven by the current structural/silo working now) situations to be exposed.  That is, identify and engage all stakeholder groups and understand from their perspective what they will gain and lose from the initiative.  To be successful, the gains must of-course outweigh the losses, the issue being that people will have more difficulty accepting the “gains” than they will in ‘seeing’ the “losses.”
    Although this maybe a major company initiative, I recommend you do not try and do too much at once.  Pick the one major problem area and focus your efforts there.  Get agreement from senior executive – many of whom will be ‘silo leaders’ – that you have the right strategy to address the situation that needs to be improved..
    A cross-functional (silo representative) team will be required and these people will have to be evangelical types, prepared to be passionate about the initiative and passionate about selling its implementation into the silos.  One thing that I have found worthwhile doing is to treat the political/non-acceptance situation as The Major Risk for the project.  In doing this, at all times the project team must be aware – even seek out – any sense of dissent and address it.  This must be ongoing throught the project and the learning gained (both successes and failures) should become a “knowledge base” for future restructuring around processes.



    We said by all. At first, it seems difficult to gage whether or not an organization is sincere about their professed support of a new initiative. With experience, you become better at recognizing key clues that such inititatives are not all they are made out to be.
    1. There is no budget for training, travel, technology, and/ or testing.
    2. There are no metrics and no executives involved on a continual basis.
    3. There are no mission, vision, goals statements.
    4. There is no promotion involved; now or in the future.
    5. No care has been taken to form the right team.
    6. No care has been taken to assure team play.
    7. There is no role clarity for members of the team.
    8. The forecasts appear to be nonsense.
    9. Team members are not full-time and often work on other projects unrelated to the initiative.
    10. Team must rely upon others that are not being measured/ rewarded on the success of the initiative.
    These are just a few clues that by themselves are troubling, but taken together are a recipe for failure. If a number of these clues sound like your project, pack a lunch.

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