While policies help you understand what needs to be done, a process gets into the how part of activities. Through policies, you know what needs to be achieved, and you have the resources at work at making it happen. All you need is the methodology of getting it done – process. A process can be defined as a series of coordinated actions aimed towards achieving a preset goal. For a process, there are inputs, a trigger to set it in motion and an objective that it needs to achieve or you could call it the output of a process.
Let me explain the term process with an example. You are asked by your aging grandmother to send out an email to one of your relatives in the other part of the world to update on her health status. Simple enough? So, let’s examine what we have here. We have an input in the form of your grandmother’s health status and her asking you to send an email out is the trigger which will set you in motion. The output you want to achieve is the mail that needs to go out. Now the process. It could look something like this.
Open web browser and key in the url of your mailbox provider
Enter username and password for authentication
Click on the hyperlink that creates a new message
Insert necessary details and hit send
This is a four-step process and after completing the final action, you have achieved your intended goal, however simple it may be like sending out an email. The definition of a process states that it is a series of interconnected actions to achieve your result. So, in effect, none of the four steps could be interchanged with the other to achieve the same result. Meaning – you cannot open the hyperlink for creating a new message before logging into your mailbox account. It needs to happen in a sequence. The sequence of events is the process that will help take you towards the objectives you wish to achieve, be it sending out an email or making communication effective and efficient.
As a consultant, one of my primary jobs is to develop processes for my customers. My customers (generally) are aware of what they need to achieve, and they have the resources to make it a reality. I fill in the important role by defining the activities, assigning responsibilities and ensuring the process delivers on its promise. It is in the process layer where efficiency, effectiveness, optimization achieved, it is this layer that makes or breaks the success of businesses and this is the layer that I intend to target as we run through this workshop.