After the influence of ISO9000, today most companies have standardized processes in place. But they actually continue to be impacted by failures from a department-based management approach: there is poor communication between areas, conflicting objectives, mistakes, rework and the chronic last-minute fire-fighting. Why do such issues continue to occur if the “process vision” has already been implemented, including international certifications?One explanation to this apparent paradox is that standardizing processes in most companies is a process-by-process activity, that is: each work process is identified, standardization teams are mobilized but, in the end, there is an intricate archipelago of process “islands”! Things may flow, but only inside each island boundaries. In fact, what this approach has done is merely to move from having old communication issues among departments into having the same communication problems among processes. For instance: what used to be a Sales Department is now a “Commercial Process”; Product Engineering Department now manages “New Product Development Process”, etc. What used to be department goals now has a new, sophisticated name: “Key Process Indicators”… But actually, each department continues to seek its own interests, perpetuating the issues of “departmentalized administration”. The management style has not changed; the same old pressure to meet goals continues in each functional area. There has been no organizational transformation. Except for a few sporadic improvements, there has been no tangible leap towards a better organizational performance. At the end of the day, only one new element has been added: the cost to keep running a whole paraphernalia of paperwork of the “new” “management” “system” (three lies in a single expression, because it is not new, it doesn't work as a system and it doesn't deserve to be called management). That is, it is the same old “Management OF Processes” that we have seen around for a long time. It would be and entirely different approach to implement a “Management BY Processes”, that is: a “System of Business Management through Business Processes”, or “Business Management by Process”, BMP for short. That starts by recognizing the need to get all stakeholders engaged in reviewing the structure of the whole business activities (not just quality, environment or occupational health) and to ensure that those activities are oriented towards stakeholders’ satisfaction, with a key difference: that is done not by standardizing each process in an isolated manner, but by means of an integrated process standardization that considers the whole business, in a systemic approach. To put it into different words, that means: the standardization of the information and materials flow, end to end throughout the whole company, together with the supporting and management activities, in response to the market and other stakeholders’ needs. That is BMP, and it makes a huge difference compared to the “standard” Process Management. But we don’t have room to go into further details of the methodology here… So please get in touch with us and we'll provide you a thorough presentation about this great tool.
Eduardo C. Moura