How Processes Disguised as Projects Can Hurt Your Business (and What You Need to Do About It Today)
A while back, Alex Hughes wrote about the Project vs Process dilemma like this:
Project management is a term that gets thrown around a lot in the enterprise environment. These days, it seems that any organized effort that includes tasks with due dates is deemed to be a project.
But what if it isn’t? Misidentifying it could set your project or initiative back at the very outset.
Ask yourself: “What are the main tasks for my next project?” If you answer with responses such as, “begin requisition,” “send notification letter,” or “log hours,” ask yourself another question. “Is what I am describing actually a project?” Are you sure that it is not in fact a process that you are describing that just happens to have steps with due dates associated with them?
In the future of work, employees must be empowered to operate at their full potential, and this requires a workplace that has freed itself of unnecessary and debilitating boundaries. It is only then that companies can hope to meet the business challenges of the fast-changing global economy.
– Cognizant , Future of work enabler: Worker Empowerment
At the edges of the organization, where employees interact with customers, partners, contractors and suppliers, employees have to quickly find answers to questions and be agile in their ability to match the requirements of the market and its customers in the online globally competitive environment. Their success lies in their ability to coordinate many information feeds, harness personal connections, and process interactions. The ability to navigate this maze effectively and quickly is based on knowledge that is frequently not written down or readily available to others.
There are in fact many factors that make traditional application development ill-suited to meeting the needs of knowledge workers:
“One- size-fits-all” is not appropriate for knowledge workers. Knowledge workers have individual learning and communication styles; they need the ability to approach their activities in the way they feel most comfortable.
While Salesforce provides a variety of tools to automate structured business processes, it does not provide the same level of functionality for “unstructured” processes (better referred to as “situational” processes – an unstructured process is an oxymoron). Thus, Salesforce tools must be augmented by tools that better support the increasingly complex, dynamic, and fragmented nature of work.
The Salesforce platform offers 4 different workflow tools, all of which are focused on process automation. Instead of doing repetitive work manually, you can configure processes to do it automatically. For example, assign tasks, send emails and update records based on conditions.
Work-Relay goes beyond Salesforce process management in key ways:
Work-Relay, a 100% native workflow and process builder for the Salesforce platform has released more than 30 WorkFast templates that help Salesforce administrators accelerate the development and deployment of workflow applications. The templates can significantly reduce the need for Salesforce Administrators to depend on programmers, and empower them to increase their ability to produce powerful business solutions for their organization. Work-Relay helps business users with no programming knowledge to rapidly build and customize workflow applications.
Product development projects, like many other types of projects, often can exceed their planned schedule by 50% to 100%.
Often this is attributed to uncertainty or the unforeseen.
To compensate for this age-old dilemma, managers and project personnel have learned to compensate by adding additional time to their schedule estimates. Yet even when they do, projects still overrun their schedules.
Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is an outgrowth of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) developed by Eliyahu Goldratt to scheduling and managing manufacturing.
TOC focuses on identifying and fixing bottlenecks in order to improve the throughput of the overall system. Likewise, Critical Chain focuses on bottlenecks.
Using the Critical Chain Method, projects can be completed more quickly and with greater scheduling reliability.
The difference between traditional and Critical Chain scheduling is in how uncertainty is managed. In traditional project scheduling, uncertainty is managed by padding task durations, starting work as early as possible, multi-tasking, and focusing on meeting commitment dates.
While Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) delivers all these benefits, CCPM has yet to become the standard in the industry. In some respects, it still seems to qualify as a new technology introduction. In fact, most project manager in the service industry have never heard of it, and an awful lot of training and qualifications make no reference to it. But innovations and new ideas take time to spread.
Work-Relay, a new breed Business Process Management (BPM) application that combines process and project management, has partnered with business rules management system (BRMS) leader, InRule Technology®.
By integrating InRule and Work-Relay, customers can author and deploy business rules in conjunction with their Work-Relay business processes without the need for complex code modifications.
Agile BPM can transform your business by managing structured and unstructured business processes — with the flexibility to improve those processes on the fly — for unsurpassed business responsiveness and success.